R.I.P. – Kevin DuBrow

The website TheVegasEye.com is reporting the death of Quiet Riot vocalist Kevin DuBrow, who was found in his Las Vegas home by friends Sunday.  No cause of death is given.

In their day, Quiet Riot could only be called ‘pioneering’ for helping to create the LA metal sound, opening the door for hundreds of other acts to follow and they were the first metal band to ever achieve number one status on Billboard (for the album ‘Metal Health’).  If you were cognizant back in the 80’s (as I sometimes was), you couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing either ‘Metal Health’ or ‘Cum on Feel the Noize’ – both of which I consider the best songs they ever did.

I only had the opportunity to see the guys once, on a reunion tour of their most famous line-up consisting of DuBrow, drummer Frankie Banali, bassist Rudy Sarzo and guitar phenom Carlos Cavazo.   This was only a few years ago, but I was amazed at their collective stage presence and ability to totally mow a crowd over.   On a more touching note, I was impressed to see how they openly payed tribute to the memory of former bandmate (and legendary Ozzy Osbourne guitarist) Randy Rhoads.

Afterwards there was a meet and greet where I talked briefly with all four guys and found them to be personable and genuine.   In fact, my brush with Kevin is the most memorable.

I was chatting with my buddies and I saw Kevin approaching as he made his way to go sit at the autograph table.  Trying to be overheard, I looked at my buddies and said “How often is that, when you can look around a bar and see Kevin Dubrow walking around?”

Kevin stopped with a grin, looking at me and replied “About once a year.  Yeah, once a year.”  And with a wink, he went on his way.

Probably silly, but I thought that was a cool gesture on his part, and I never forgot it.  Unfortunately, I DID forget my autographed 8×10 of the band, left it on a table at the end of the night.  I still kick myself for that one.

Selfishly, I’m saddened to think I’ll never have another chance to finally get that autographed picture or to again see that awesome live performance.  But mostly, I grieve for the loss we all share in the passing of this great frontman and performer.

My sincere condolences to his family and friends.  Kevin, thanks for rocking us, man! 

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