Quiet Riot – Metal Health (1983)
Let’s just be straight here, I love this album. I have since it was released. 1983. I was 13. It was a tough year for me…I guess 83-85 were a little difficult. Not necessarily because of going through the typical teenage bullshit, but there were other things going on that really made those some tough years. But hey, I got through it. I spent a lot of days and nights listening to this album. I used to have this little one speaker GE boombox that I would put under my pillow at night to keep listening to music as I went to sleep and so my parents wouldn’t hear it. Not that they had a problem with QR, they just had a problem with my obsession with music. haha It was a thin cassette player so I only needed to remove my bottom pillow to make it fit and not kink my neck. Usually sometime in the middle of the night the player ended up on the floor and the second pillow was back in its proper place.
I picked this up right after hearing Metal Health on the radio. “huhuhuhuhuh, the song says bang your head.” It was catchy. I never cared for Cum On Feel The Noize. It was goofy…still is. I was never a Slade fan, but I don’t dislike them, just never really got exposed to them beyond the 2 songs that QR did, which are goofy. Beyond the goofiness of COFTN, this album is pretty great. Especially songs like Breathless, Run for Cover, Don’t Wanna Let You Go…the whole damned thing. When I pop in the CD I never skip any tracks, not even COFTN, it’s just part of the flow of the record.
In 1999 I got to see them with this lineup. They did an autograph signing earlier in the day at Mars Music and of course I went. They were all in good spirits except for Frankie Banali who seemed to have his ass on his shoulders a bit that day. I brought a few things to get signed like some odd QR EPs, a few CD covers and a few WASP CD covers. Apparently Frankie didn’t have one of the WASP CDs that I brought and asked if he could have mine. I told him no and he got a little peeved about it. “Well I’m not signing anything else.” “Fine, dude, no biggie,” and I finished out my time with the rest of the band who were gracious. Cavazo gave a head nod towards Frankie and just shook his head at him in disapproval. They had about 200 people show up to meet them which I thought was a decent showing for a concert that was getting no promotion and was at a shitty venue.
I came home after the signing to chill out for a while before the show and realized that I had 2 of the WASP CD/EPs so I brought it to the show. We got to the Riverview Theater and I swear it looked closed. This place was trying to get revitalized and they were bringing some decent bands there but it never seemed to take off for them. For this show only about about 40 people showed up…FORTY PEOPLE. I felt really bad for them. They came out and played like there were 20,000 people there. Kevin never once commented on the size of the crowd. They were awesome. After watching Cavazo play I gained a lot more respect for him as a guitarist. That guy is really friggin’ good.
After the show the band came back out to hang out with everybody. I was talking with Rudy Sarzo about his days with Whitesnake and such Frankie came up to me and said, “Hey, come here a second.” “Sorry I was such a dick earlier. I was having a bad day.” I told him it was no big deal and pulled out the spare copy of the WASP EP that I had and handed it to him. He was shocked and gave me a big sweaty hug. haha. “Until today I didn’t even know that this EP existed.” I ended up talking with him quite a bit for the time they hung out. I told him that his first 2 albums with QR were big influences on me when I was learning how to play drums. All of them were nice and Kevin seeked out every person in the room and thanked them personally for coming out. That wasn’t the asshole Kevin Dubrow that I had read about in the ‘zines, this guy was actually nice.
It was a fun day and night and I finally got to meet a band that I had loved for 16 years. The news of Kevin’s death in 2007 really brought me down. I had read just prior to that that he had gotten himself clean and sober. It was too bad that those demons continued to haunt him and that he wasn’t able to continue down that path to recovery.
Written by The Metal Files
August 16, 2009 at 8:55 am
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