Kevin Mark Dubrow (October 29, 1955 − November 19, 2007) was an American rock singer, best known as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Quiet Riot from 1975 until 1987, and again from 1990 until his death in 2007.
Dubrow grew up in Los Angeles, and eventually settled in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Van Nuys at age 13. At some time, he learned to play a twelve-string guitar. His first band consisted of 11-year-olds who played only one gig, to an audience of senior citizens who were not particularly fond of rock music. By the time he was in his mid-teens he had developed an appreciation for a number of British rock acts including the Small Faces, Queen, Spooky Tooth, Rod Stewart and Humble Pie. It was the latter of those influences being singer Steve Marriott that would leave the biggest impact on Dubrow and act as a compass in his musical career. Dubrow was a prank caller, and would often make 'emergency break-through' phone calls to friends whose phone lines were busy using the name Steve Marriott, only to tell them something ridiculous.
With Quiet Riot:
Quiet Riot was formed by Randy Rhoads and bassist Kelly Garni (who would be replaced by Rudy Sarzo) in 1975, who recruited Dubrow and drummer Drew Forsyth. This lineup disbanded in 1980 when Rhoads went on to join Ozzy Osbourne's band, with Rhoads personally enlisting Greg Leon as his replacement. For a time the band's name was changed to Dubrow, which had a rotating lineup of members including Leon, Chuck Wright, Frankie Banali, with brothers Tony and Carlos Cavazo. After the death of Rhoads in a plane crash in 1982, while on tour with Osbourne, Dubrow changed the name of the band back to Quiet Riot. Rudy Sarzo left Osbourne's band and rejoined Quiet Riot shortly before the release of Metal Health, which went to the top of the charts, making Quiet Riot the first metal band to achieve number one status on their (U.S. release) debut album. Their singles included "Cum on Feel the Noize" (originally written and recorded by English band Slade in 1973), and "Metal Health (Bang Your Head)".
In February 1987, Dubrow was fired from Quiet Riot. Shortly afterwards, he signed with Kim Richards for personal management. With Richards' help, Dubrow formed and began recording with a new band named Pretty Women. Richards, who was at that time working on the soundtrack for the Blake Edwards film Switch, arranged for the Dubrow penned "Slam Dunk" to be included on the movie's soundtrack.
In 1991, Dubrow regrouped with his former Quiet Riot bandmate Carlos Cavazo alongside Kenny Hillary and former Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli in a new band called Heat, (Quiet Riot had continued on in 1988 with new singer Paul Shortino of Rough Cutt but by this time were disbanded). By 1993, Heat had renamed themselves Quiet Riot with Banali re-joining on drums.
Quiet Riot continued through the 90s in several different incarnations, including a full reunion with the Metal Health-era line-up. They released the albums Terrified (1993), Down to the Bone (1995), Alive and Well (1999) and Guilty Pleasures (2001).
During 2006, Quiet Riot worked on a new studio album that was expected to be released in either 2006 or 2007. The band stated that they had set no timetable for the release of the album, that they were financing the project themselves, and that it would be released when they saw fit and on their terms. The album, Rehab, was released on October 3, 2006. The lineup on the album was Dubrow, Banali, Tony Franklin, and Neil Citron. Singer Glenn Hughes also made a guest vocal appearance on the album.
In 2004, after Quiet Riot's 2003 breakup, Dubrow recorded a collection of cover versions for his first solo album, In for the Kill. The album was recorded in Dubrow's late home Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dubrow also worked as a morning DJ for the Rock Station in Las Vegas, KOMP 92.3 on the morning show alongside longstanding host Craig Williams. Talk of show syndication had been heavily rumored but Dubrow departed the show to pursue touring with Quiet Riot.
Dubrow had a hobby of photography from his teenage years, often taking photos at rock 'n roll concerts. Through that interest, he became best friends with Ron Sobol. The two traded photographs that they would take at concerts. Sobol continued on as lead photographer and lighting director for Quiet Riot. Dubrow had a long time companion named Carrie who later became his girlfriend on and off for years, and the two remained friends until his death. Dubrow dated Las Vegas radio DJ Lark Williams, breaking up shortly before his death.
On November 25, 2007, Kevin Dubrow was found dead at his home in Las Vegas. Friends had been unable to contact Dubrow for a week, and he had failed to show up to Thanksgiving arrangements he had made as well as a party hosted by his friend Glenn Hughes. According to Hughes, Dubrow had told him a few days before he was unable to be contacted that he wanted to make changes to his lifestyle.
The cause of death was established to be an accidental cocaine overdose. It was also estimated that he had died about six days before his discovery, November 19, 2007.
In an email to Spain's The Metal Circus, Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali wrote: "I can't even find words to say. Please respect my privacy as I mourn the passing and honor the memory of my dearest friend Kevin Dubrow."
Dubrow was buried in Pacific View Cemetery in Corona del Mar, California next to his stepfather Harold Mandell. A rabbi presided over his funeral service on November 30, 2007. Several of Dubrow's friends gave the eulogy; Frankie Banali, Ron Sobol, Glenn Hughes, and Carrie. The burial ceremony was traditional.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license