Quiet Riot documentary shows another side of rock

 
 
Left to right: Chuck Wright, Alex Grossi, Regina Russell, Frankie Banali and Jizzy Pearl
Left to right: Chuck Wright, Alex Grossi, Regina Russell, Frankie Banali and Jizzy Pearl

Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back: The Quiet Riot Movie, the first feature documentary by filmmaker Regina Russell, is a look inside the life and history of one of the 1980s most influential bands, Quiet Riot.

The film, which premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival last month and won best Music Documentary, is far from your standard “Behind the Music” type documentary. It takes the viewer on a winding journey into the soul of what the band was, where that journey has taken them and where they are heading.

As Banali’s fiancee, Russell had unprecedented access to the vast Quiet Riot archives; this access allowed her to put forth something that opens a side to this story that is deeply personal.

Quiet Riot shook up the music world in 1983 with they had the first No. 1 heavy metal album ( Metal Health) sell over 10 million copies worldwide. Their album produced some of the most popular videos of the year, opening the doors to a mammoth wave of music and bands from the Sunset Strip.

But what sets the film apart is the honest look at the human side. Russell tells the story of a deep friendship between Kevin Dubrow and Fankie Banali. The two were more than just bandmates; their bond comes across early in the film. So when DuBrow died in 2007 from an apparent drug overdose, Banali had to cope with not only losing his best friend, but also his livelihood.

In 2010 and at a crossroads, Banali had to forge ahead and make a new life for himself and his daughter. At times both tragic, at others hilarious, the film follows him going through the emotional feat of trying to fill the void left by Dubrow and get the band back together one more time.

Russell explained how the film came to be. “I had seen Frankie's home movies from the ’80s, and heard a lot of his stories but I didn't think of making this movie until he said something that sparked the idea. He said he was going to meet with Kevin's mother and get her blessing to go on with the band. I thought it sounded like a documentary and the idea developed.”

Russell doesn’t shy away the non-glam reality of being in a rock band.

“The story was surprising me all along the way. It took me on some unexpected turns and I had to adapt and follow. That just gave the film lots of layers and surprises and gave me more to work with. It's deeper and much richer than I thought it would be in the beginning.”

Banali’s proud of her work.

“I would not wish such a huge undertaking on anyone,” he said, “yet she took the project head on and has made a film that I don't think anyone else could have, and with great detail, sensitivity and honesty.”

To get more information about Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back, go to www.thequietriotmovie.com

Madeleine Marr

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