Kevin DuBrow - vocals; Rudy Sarzo - bass, vocals; Carlos Cavazo - guitar; Frankie Banali - drums
A few months prior to this show being recorded in May of 1983, Quiet Riot was just a LA-based metal bar band, armed with guitars, make-up, spandex pants, and lots of hairspray. Their rise to fame coincided with MTV and the fact that the innovative music channel was looking for bands that were big on fashion and (arguably) short of musical depth. Thanks to a handful of hits "borrowed" from the U.K.'s glam rock kings, Slade, Quiet Riot soon became staples of the FM rock radio scene.
This show was made two months after the band rose to prominence, and it is clear they still had not tightened their musical chops. However, lead singer Kevin Dubrow more than makes up for that with his undeniable stage charisma.
Quiet Riot were one of the hottest LA-based metal bands during the late-'70s, and by 1983, when they released their multi-platinum, MTV friendly Metal Health disc, they were briefly one of the biggest bands in the U.S. and Europe. The band's radio success and ability to fill arenas would be short-lived, and never again duplicated despite dozens of reunions and reformations with other members.
Quiet Riot was always a vehicle for vocalist Kevin DuBrow, a curly haired, spandex- wearing screamer, who seemed to be the stereotypical metal rocker. They began in 1976, with an original line-up that included DuBrow, bassist Kelli Garni, drummer Drew Forsyth, and guitarist extraordinaire Randy Rhoads. Garni was eventually replaced by bassist Rudy Sarzo. They couldn't land a U.S. deal initially due to America's love affair with disco, but they did land a deal with Columbia Records in Japan. The Japanese deal ended up with two mediocre LPs, Quiet Riot and Quiet Riot II.
It was at that point that both Rhoads and Sarzo bolted to join Ozzy Osbourne's new band. DeBrow reassembled Quiet Riot with guitarist Carlos Cavazo and bassist Chuck Wright, and landed a U.S. deal with Epic Record's Pasha imprint.
By 1982, Rhoads had perished in a well-publicized plane crash while on tour with Ozzy, which led to Sarzo returning to QR. Sarzo pushed out both Wright and Forsyth (who was replaced with top L.A. session drummer Frankie Banali), and after seeing MTV as a viable promotional means, the group became even more visually appealing than before. The strategy worked. 1983's Metal Health, spearheaded by the sudden radio success of the title song and a re-make of the 1972 Slade classic, "Cum On Feel The Noize," would propel the band to platinum status and allow them MTV blue-chip status.
The band toured nonstop through most of 1983 and 1984, becoming one of the most popular hard rock acts of that time period. Pressured into having a repeat success of Metal Health, the band rushed into the recording studio in 1984 and delivered a carbon copy called Condition Critical. They even covered yet another Slade classic, "Mama Weer All Crazee Now."
The record sold far fewer copies and the band's career became a free-fall from there. Most of the members were fired or quit by 1986, and Dubrow had kept the band going with a revolving door member policy. The original Metal Health lineup, heard at this show, did re-unite briefly in the 1990s, but disbanded again when its reunion album flopped. Sadly, DuBrow was found dead in November of 2007, in his Las Vegas apartment, from undisclosed sources. His death effectively has ended the 30-year-plus run that Quiet Riot enjoyed.
Recorded in 1983 for the King Biscuit Flower Hour while Quiet Riot was promoting its third release, Metal Health, this show presents the picture-perfect MTV rockers at a time when their popularity was at a peak. "Breathless," "Danger Zone," "Run For Cover," "Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet," "Cum On Feel The Noize," and show closer "Metal Health (Bang Your Head)," are all here, making this a greatest hits show for the band that exemplified the glam metal scene of early-'80s Los Angeles.