The breakthrough of Kevin DuBrow, Randy Rhoads and Quiet Riot

The amazing story of the breakthrough of Kevin DuBrow, Randy Rhoads and Quiet Riot is told in the new book Keep On Rollin’ My Fan Club Years. This weekend, a virtual book launch hosted by SiriusXM DJ Keith Roth will see author Missy Whitney joined by a host of stars, including Rudy Sarzo, Dee Snider, Mark Weiss and Joe Lynn Turner.

Keep On Rollin’ My Fan Club Years with Kevin DuBrow and Quiet Riot

Part One

They were the number one album in America. They broke through disco and all that shit. They were the first, they didn’t knock down the wall. They blew the wall up. Dee Snider / Twisted Sister

At 16, Missy’s first-ever live show was at Star Baby, a disco venue holding a rock ‘n’ roll night. “The stage got dark,” Missy told MetalTalk’s Steve Ritchie in Episode 18 of MTTV, “and it was a very tiny stage. Then the band came out. I saw a tiny little guy [Randy Rhoads] with a polka-dotted vest and guitar. And then I saw this bass player [Rudy Sarzo] with this long black hair, and I thought that’s a woman bass player. The lights came on, and then Kevin came out, taller than everybody. When you’re 16, that’s just made the biggest impression. They were just so big for the stage, and they started playing, and we were so excited.”

Technical problems in the venue meant the set was often interrupted, and Randy blew a speaker as well. The band mingled with the crowd after the show, and Randy accidentally spilt a drink over Missy’s skirt, but Missy and her friend had the bug.

The next Quiet Riot show was at The Whiskey in Hollywood, and the pair took the 40-minute bus ride to the show, and a pattern was set. Missy would see 105 shows out of a possible 107 before the band’s big break meant the local shows had finished. The two missing were due to venue age restrictions.

The ’70s and ’80s club scene around Hollywood is the stuff of legend. Missy kept a list of all the bands she saw that Quiet Riot play with. “There were two bands that did not make it big time that I still loved,” she says. “One was called A La Carte, a three-piece progressive rock band, and then there was also Smile. They did get a record deal later, but it just didn’t work out. Everyone was struggling to get that spot and get a record deal, but Kevin was way more motivated than most.”

Quiet Riot - Melissa Whitney - Keep On Rockin'
Quiet Riot. Photo: Mark Weiss

Missy’s motivation was to be a fan and enjoy the music that she loved. “I found Kevin DuBrow’s address in the phone book. He lived in a four-plex apartment on the top left unit on Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks. So I thought, I’m just gonna be his pen pal. I’m good with that. I started taking a ton of photos. I made duplicates of everything I took, mailed them to Kevin, and I said, ‘I love your music. I took some photos, and here you go.'”

After a couple of letters, Kevin wrote back saying ‘thanks for the photos’ and started passing on discount tickets. Kevin then phoned Missy. “He said, ‘do you know who this is?’ and started singing Slick Black Cadillac. I was in shock. We talked a little bit, and he said he, unfortunately, was the bearer of bad news. He said Randy was leaving to go with Ozzy Osborne.”

Missy was a big Randy fan. “My mom made a little polka dot vest for me to wear. But Kevin was really optimistic and said I’m going to go under my own name as DuBrow. I can make the decisions. I’m gonna start auditioning players, and I’ve got a lot of music.”

I want to say kudos to Missy’s book because very little is known about the DuBrow period. In 1979 when Randy Rhoads left for Ozzy Osbourne—the period of Missy’s book ties the previous Quiet Riot, Metal Health, the world knows today.

This book celebrates Kevin DuBrow, Frankie Banali, and Randy Rhoads. And it should be in the collection of—not only Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne fans but in the collection of every music fan. I am honoured to do the foreword because I was there, and Missy was the O.G. fan club president. Rudy Sarzo / Quiet Riot

The devastating death of Randy at such a young age means there are so few photos of him playing. Even legendary photographer Mark Weiss, who has contributed to the book, only managed one photo shoot with Randy. Armed with her camera, this is one of many reasons why the book is unique, as Missy shares her photos and memories.

At one show, Rhoads moved to the edge of the stage during a solo towards Missy, wearing her replica Randy outfit, including “satin pants, of course, which was the big thing back then.” Dripping in sweat, he leaned down and kept pointing to his cheek, but I didn’t get it. My friends are pushing, he’s playing, and the lights are on him, and he did it again. Then I realized, so I gave him a kiss on the cheek and smiled. He got up and continued playing. I thought that it was just so sweet that he did that. He acknowledged that I had dressed like him. After that, a lot of the other fans started wearing a lot more polka dots trying to garner attention. But I think it was because I wore the exact outfit, and, you know, imitation is the highest form of flattery.”

Photo of Randy Rhodes, taken by Mark Weiss
Randy. © Mark Weiss / The Decade That Rocked

By this time, the friendship between Missy and Kevin had grown, which would lead to the birth of the Quiet Riot Squad fan club. “We had been working together for some time,” Missy says. “My friends would help me post flyers all over Hollywood and in record stores and discount tickets. I used to go to the forum and put flyers all over the cars. I actually made my own mailing list before Kevin and I even met. I was that motivated.

“Then, one day, he called and said, I want you to meet me at the Troubadour. He insisted I show up. So I gathered some friends, and we went down there. As soon as I walked in, he sees me, jumps up and literally grabs my arm and brings me over to a booth. He said, ‘I’ve got a record deal. Spencer Proffer loves our music. It’s with Pasha/CBS’.”

Kevin asked Missy to run the Offical Quiet Riot Squad fan club, saying she was clearly the person to do this. “That was a great memory,” she says. “He was so excited after all that time working his butt off, and it wasn’t like he was pulled into a large band to get popular. He did this on his own and Frankie [Banali] too because Frankie was in the band at that time as well. It was a big time.”

In Part Two, Missy discusses Frankie Banali, Metal Health and the videos and the growth of the fan club.

Keep On Rollin’ My Fan Club Years with Kevin DuBrow and Quiet Riot, has been written by Missy Whitney and will be published by MiMa Publishing. The Virtual Book Release Event is this Saturday and will be available to watch until the end of the month.

Tickets are $10. Full details are at https://www.meethook.live/keeponrollin.

Hosted by SiriusXM DJ Keith Roth the virtual book launch features Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Whitesnake), Missy Whitney (Author – Keep on Rollin’ My Fan Club Years with Kevin DuBrow & Quiet Riot), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Stephen Pearcy (Ratt), Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, Deep Purple), John Vassilou (Tour Manager – Quiet Riot), Laura Mandell (Kevin DuBrow’s Mom), Mark Weiss (Photographer), Ron Sobol (Photographer), Don Dokken (Dokken), Mitch Perry (Steeler & Former DuBrow member), Michal Pellicone (Publisher, Book Design), Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen, Sons of Apollo, TSO), Roxy Petrucci (Vixen).

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