The Thanksgiving holiday weekend was a sad one for metal fans, marred by the deaths of Quiet Riot frontman Kevin DuBrow and Hawthorne Heights guitarist Casey Calvert in separate and unrelated incidences.
The 52-year-old DuBrow was found dead in his Las Vegas home on Sunday, November 25. Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali, a close friend of DuBrow’s, confirmed the news via an email to Spanish music web site The Metal Circus, writing, "Please respect my privacy as I mourn the passing and honor the memory of my dearest friend Kevin DuBrow."
Hawthorne Heights’ Calvert was found dead on November 24 in his band’s tour van outside the 9:30 Club in Northwest Washington, D.C., where the group was scheduled to perform that evening. D.C. police were called to the club around 2:30 p.m. and discovered the 25-year-old guitarist unconscious. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
No further information about DuBrow’s or Calvert’s death is available at this time, pending autopsies.
DuBrow: Charisma and Controversy
DuBrow gained fame as a founding member of Quiet Riot. He had formed the group with guitarist Randy Rhoads, bassist Kelly Garni and drummer Drew Forsyth in the Seventies, but the band didn’t find fame until 1983, when it became one of the leading acts of the glam-metal genre. (Rhoads left the group in 1979 to become Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist and died in a private airplane accident while on tour with Osbourne in 1982.)
According to DuBrow’s Wikipedia entry, “During Quiet Riot's commercial heyday in the 1980s, DuBrow was known for his partial baldness, on-stage charisma, gravelly voice and suspenders.” He was provocatively outspoken, and his diatribes against metal and his former bandmates resulted in minor controversies. In May 2007, DuBrow angered the director of a forthcoming Rhoads documentary by withdrawing his participation from the project after offering to provide private photos and video footage. (See “Randy Rhoads Gets the Shaft.” )
The singer responded that he pulled out after he became concerned about how the guitarist would be represented. (“Kevin DuBrow Responds to Rhoads Movie Controversy.” )
Even in death, DuBrow remains potentially controversial, as noted by Kelly Garni in his eulogy to the singer on the Randy Rhoads web site RandyRhoads.tk :
"I ask this to all of you not only for myself but for other friends and family. I ask that no one here offer any speculation or opinions, theories or other things that could be construed as negative or, and I'm sorry for this, even sympathetic, right at this immediate time. I am already within hours of this having to deal with untrue rumors and speculation and that only adds fuel to that. There is a tendency for the subject of Kevin to incite flames on every board and now is not the time for that. I will explain to everyone here the facts and the truth in the next 24 to 48 hours as I realize this will effect us all. So please, until then, be patient. All details and other pertinate [sic] info will be passed on to you here when it becomes available to me. Thank you."
Quiet Riot’s latest studio CD, Rehab, was released on October 3, 2006. The lineup featured DuBrow, Banali, bassist Tony Franklin (formerly of the Firm and Blue Murder), and guitarist Neil Citron, with a guest appearance by singer Glenn Hughes.
Calvert: “Quirky and Awesome”
Casey Calvert was a founding member of Hawthorne Heights, a post-hardcore/screamo act that formed in Dayton, Ohio, in 2001. The band made its album debut in 2004 with The Silence in Black and White, but its breakthrough came with the 2006 release If Only You Were Lonely, which went Gold.
According to the D.C. Fox affiliate, Calvert had chronic asthma and used an inhaler, though it is unknown at this time if his death was related to this condition.
In a posting on their web site, HawthorneHeights.com, the band wrote of Calvert, “Just last night he was joking around with everyone before he went to bed. We can say with absolute certainty that he was not doing anything illegal.
“He was quirky and awesome and there will truly be no others like him! His loss is unexplainable.”