In a brand new interview with Greg Prato of Songfacts, QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali confirmed that he was the one that came up with the opening drum pattern — later performed by Lee Kerslake, but credited to Tommy Aldridge — on the OZZY OSBOURNE song “Over The Mountain”.
“How that came about was really interesting,” Frankie said. “I had an apartment in West Hollywood — this small, one-bedroom apartment — and I was having to hustle as many gigs as I could and as many sessions as I could just to meet my monthly rent while all my other friends were still couch-surfing. I get a call one morning… from Randy Rhoads.
“Randy had a really low voice. Everybody thinks he had a high voice because he was a tiny little guy, but he had a really low voice. He goes, ‘Frankie, do you want to play with Ozzy?’ And I said, ‘The guy from BLACK SABBATH?’ He says, ‘Yeah.’ I go, Okay! I have my drums, but I don’t have a car.’ So he borrowed a car that was big enough. He came and picked me up and we went down to rehearsals. And when I say, ‘pick me up,’ he picked me up with my 1969 green Ludwig sparkle set with a 26-inch bass drum. I brought a gong — the whole thing. We went to this rehearsal studio called Mars — on Melrose and Western — and we rehearsed for about a week. It was interesting. It was great to play with Randy, and the bass player, oddly enough, was Dana Strum, who eventually became the bass player in the VINNIE VINCENT INVASION and then SLAUGHTER. Essentially, that was the band.”
Banali continued: “Ozzy was interesting — he was nothing like what I expected. He was quiet and he sat down on a piano bench with a little ghetto blaster, and he was recording essentially everything we were doing. That ended up becoming ‘Over The Mountain’, which, at that time, wasn’t really fleshed out. A lot of those parts were guitar parts that Randy brought in from older QUIET RIOT songs from the ’75-’79 period, and that triplet thing is something that I was doing at every session because I figured, ‘If it ever comes out, I’m finally going to get it on a record,’ because I really enjoyed it. It’s derivative of the ‘John Bonham triplet.’ John Bonham is one of my favorite drummers, so that’s how that came about.
“Now, originally, they were going to record the record in L.A., but Jet Records had spent so much money flying Ozzy between London, L.A. and New York looking for musicians and they were really unsure what Ozzy‘s future was going to be. Ultimately, they decided to just record it in England, because it would be less expensive, and they would only pay to fly one guy over. And obviously, ‘the guy’ was Randy Rhoads. That was my brush with Ozzy-ness, so to speak.
“The interesting thing about that one is, I read — I think it was in Bob Daisley‘s book [‘For Facts Sake’] — that it’s nonsense and that I didn’t come up with that drum part, that he was there when Lee Kerslake — who is a friend that I really love, from URIAH HEEP — came up with the drum part. It is fascinating that Bob Daisley would say something like this, because this happened a year before he was involved with the band, and he wasn’t in Hollywood. So, how could he pass judgment like that? I know what I played.
“In ’87, Kevin [DuBrow, QUIET RIOT singer] and I were doing press for the ‘QR III’ record, and Ozzy was doing press. It was at a Mexican restaurant on Melrose in Hollywood. Ozzy pointed to me, and he goes — I’m paraphrasing, but something to the effect of — ‘That’s the bloke that came up with the drum part that Lee recorded, that Tommy Aldridge got all the credit for!'”
QUIET RIOT‘s new album, “Road Rage”, will be released on August 4 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Joining Banali in the band’s current lineup are bassist Chuck Wright (who has been in and out of the group since 1982), guitarist Alex Grossi (who has been in the band since 2004), and new vocalist James Durbin.