Quiet Riot and Poison’s Disastrous 80’s Tour
Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories they take a look at the disastrous Poison and Quiet Riot feud.
Quiet Riot would release their album Metal Health in 1983 and it would make music history. Metal Health would become the first metal album in history to top the album charts. While Quiet Riot had a lot to celebrate, their time at the top would be short lived.. A year after the album was released Quiet Riot would release their follow up Condition Critical. Trying to capitalize off the success of Metal health, the album’s artwork bore a similar resemblance & featured another Slade cover. While it would go platinum in America, it sold almost ⅙ of its predecessor. Things were even more dire for the band when they released their follow up 1986’s Quiet Riot 3. Infighting and disagreements with the label, pointed to a steep decline in the band’s popularity. It was no surprise the band had a dysfunctional relationship with their label given that their original demos were hated by CBS and it was only after producer Spencer Proffer begged the label for money, that they got a deal. Kevin Dubrow would recall to Full in Bloom the band’s relationship with their label saying
We were always trying to get things the way we wanted them. We had to fight for everything. Then when we all became big, they all thought we should be grateful for what we had, that we were lucky to get what we had. Instead of kissing the ring, they looked down and said ‘You should be grateful for what you have, you little expletives.'”
To his bandmates, Dubrow’s ego existed long before Quiet Riot had a hit with Metal Health and it would create a number of problems. Drummer Franki Benali would tell Loudersound “Kevin was, for better or worse, the single most honest person I’ve ever known. If he had an opinion, he’d verbalize it loudly and often. What most people only think of or whisper in private, Kevin would scream at the top of his lungs. That kind of honesty is rare, and it comes with a price – which Quiet Riot paid dearly.”
The success of Metal Health only validated Dubrow’s ego as he soon started taking credit for other LA bands who followed in their footsteps. According to Loudersound, Dubrow even attacked Ozzy Osbourne by saying and i quote he “sang like a frog.” Since bassist Rudy Sarzo was between stints with Quiet Riot and Ozzy it created some awkwardness. On top of that Sarzo was tired of defending Dubow’s behavior. And also contributing to tensions between the band and dubrow was the frontman’s substance abuse issues. By 1985 tensions rose to the point that Sarzo was out of the band. The following year in 1986 the writing was on the wall, Quiet Riot 3 was a flop peaking at #31 with no impactful singles and they soon started playing smaller venues. By 1986 Quiet Riot were touring with an up and coming band named Poison who just released their debut album Look what the cat dragged in.
Poison drummer Rikki Rockettwould reveal in the book Nothin but a good time “some of those early tours in the winnebago were tough. We opened for Quiet Riot in clubs and at the time Kevin Dubrow and their tour manager were not the easiest people to work with. We had too many restrictions on us. A lot of the audiences were there to see quiet riot they didn’t give a damn who the opening act was…. We started to embrace that competitiveness he’d say.
In the same book Banali would concur with Rockett’s assessment claiming that poison had no rider to speak of. Banali would feel bad for them and frequently fill up plastic bags with food and drinks and bring it over to Poison’s dressing room.
Howie Huberman who was one of the first early backers of Poison would reveal in the same book “I think poison got into a huge fight one day with quiet riot and at that point within two months it was a flip-flop and quiet riot would be happy to open up for poison – if poison would let them open up for them and they wouldn’t because bret got into it with kevin dubrow.”
It was during the tour that Poison’s debut album hit a sales milestone and either as a way to celebrate or get back at Quiet Riot or both Poison destroyed the bathroom in one of their dressing rooms & according to Banali Since Quiet Riot was the headliner they got the bill for the damages. Rikki Rocket would perfectly summarize what was happening at that point in time revealing in the same book “we all go through things. There was some jealousy. They were on their way down, we were on our way up.”
Things would end on a sour note with Benali revealing in the same book “the next show we did it might’ve been minneapolis, but it was definitely somewhere where it was cold and snowing as Poison walked off stage our tour manager said okay fellas the dressing room is his way. He opened the door and he threw them out into the snow and that caused some really really bad vibes.”
By 1987 Dubrow was out of the band he led for many years with Banali telling Louder Sound “It wasn’t the band that wanted him out,”. “It was management and the label. But it took the band to make the change.: Dubrow would return in 1991 fronting the band until his death in 2007.That does it for today’s video guys thanks for watching. Be sure to hit the like button and subscribe and we’ll see you again on rock n’ roll true stories. Take care.