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Rudy Sarzo announces his return to Quiet Riot: “It's time for me to come home”

Rudy Sarzo
(Image credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage)

Quiet Riot – the band formed by Randy Rhoads in 1973 – have announced they will welcome bassist Rudy Sarzo back into the fold in 2022 after an 18-year absence. He will replace Chuck Wright, who is stepping aside to focus on his solo career.

During a new appearance on SiriusXM's Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, Sarzo says he is “returning home to Quiet Riot in the beginning of 2022, next year”.

“Next year marks 50 years of my journey with Quiet Riot, because that's when I met and I started playing with Frankie Banali, another founding member of the Metal Health version of Quiet Riot. That was a turning point [for me] as a musician,” he says.

1983's Metal Health was Quiet Riot's third studio album, and spawned hits including Cum on Feel the Noize and Metal Health (Bang Your Head). Its followup – Condition Critical – was the last album featuring Sarzo before his departure from the band in 1985. He did, however rejoin for a six-year period from 1997, before leaving again in 2003.

During his years out of the band, Sarzo has played with Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Dio, Blue Öyster Cult, Queensrÿche and The Guess Who.

Regarding his return to Quiet Riot, Sarzo continues: “After Frankie told me in 2019 that he had pancreatic cancer, and then he started his fight, it was a daily fight. I mean, he would be taking multiple treatments to fight it, and he would be touring. It was really an exhausting thing. So we stopped hanging out as much because, obviously, he was too tired. So we would text each other a lot – every day – and stay in touch.

“He let me know in April of 2019 [of his cancer diagnosis], and Covid happened in 2020. That really made it impossible for me to be in his presence. It wasn't until a couple of days before he passed away that I was able to go to his house.

“[Banali's wife] Regina requested it, and I spent time with him. And then, the following day, when he was taken to the hospital, Regina made it possible for me to be with Frankie for his last hours. 

“So, after Frankie passed away, I went over to Regina's house, and we talked, and she expressed to me that Frankie wanted me to come back to the band, that he wanted to have a founding member there.”

He continues: “I was already traumatized by Frankie's passing, so it was a decision that I had to take a lot of time to think about – let the mourning period [pass].

“So, the time came when I was ready to accept the reality, that it's our responsibility, of us left behind, to carry on with the legacy and celebrate it. So that's when I decided. I said, ‘Okay, it's time for me to come home.’”

Sam Roche

Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.