“I am returning home, going home to Quiet Riot in the beginning of 2022, next year,” the bassist confirmed during an interview with Eddie Trunk (as transcribed by Blabbermouth).
Sarzo was part of the band’s classic lineup, playing on such memorable releases as Mental Health (1983) and the less-celebrated Critical Condition (1984). His most recent stint with the band ran from 1997 to 2003.
“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,” the bassist noted. “To me, that was a turning point [for me] as a musician.”
Sarzo and Benali remained close friends over the years, even during periods when they weren’t bandmates. That relationship eventually brought Sarzo back to Quiet Riot.
“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,” Sarzo explained. “So it was really an exhausting thing. So we stopped kind of hanging out as much because, obviously, he was too tired. So we would text each other a lot, every day, and stay in touch.”
The COVID-19 pandemic made it even more difficult for the friends to see each other.
“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,” Sarzo admitted. “Regina [his wife] 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.”
Banali died of pancreatic cancer on Aug. 20, 2020, at the age of 68. After his passing, the late drummer’s wife confided in Sarzo.
“She expressed to me that Frankie wanted me to come back to the band, that he wanted to have a founding member there in the band,” the bassist recalled. “So, we talked about that.”
Still, Sarzo admitted the decision was not an easy one to make.
“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 it — let the mourning period [pass],” he explained. “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.'”
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