CHUCK WRIGHT Says His Latest Departure From QUIET RIOT 'Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time'
June 5, 2022
Longtime QUIET RIOT bassist Chuck Wright spoke to Tulsa Music Stream about his latest departure from the band. Last summer, it was announced that Wright would be leaving the group to make way for the return of Rudy Sarzo, who was coming back to QUIET RIOT after an 18-year absence.
Asked if he was surprised to see Sarzo rejoining QUIET RIOT, Wright responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Did it surprise me? No. It's happened three or four times maybe before, so it didn't surprise me at all, honestly. And truthfully, it couldn't have come at a better time for me because I was finishing up [my solo] record. And I'd been on the road since 2011 constantly and I was just burnt. So I was ready for a break from it, honestly. So, to me, it was welcome. When I got the call, [I was], like, you're doing me a favor 'cause if I keep doing this kind of schedule, it's gonna kill me. 'Cause it was pretty brutal. We were taking red-eye flights and no sleep ever. It was pretty brutal. And it's still like that. I saw their schedule [for 2022]. And I'm glad I'm at home and working [on promoting my solo album]. So it's all good for me."
Wright had served off and on with QUIET RIOT for nearly 40 years, appeared on nine albums, and was known as the bassist for QUIET RIOT's mega-hit "Metal Health" (Bang Your Head) and "Don't Wanna Let You Go". He was a contributing songwriter on 1986's "QRIII" and appeared in the band's video for "The Wild And The Young", among others. Wright had been one of QUIET RIOT's longest touring and recording members.
Sarzo appeared in the most notable music videos in the MTV age and toured with the band until 1985 and again from 1997 to 2003. During his years out of the band, Sarzo was a member of OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, DIO, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, QUEENSRŸCHE and THE GUESS WHO.
Regarding how his return to QUIET RIOT came about, Rudy told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk": "After Frankie told me in 2019 that he had pancreatic cancer, and then he started his fight, it was a daily fight. I mean, he would be taking multiple treatments to fight it, and he would be touring. And so it was really an exhausting thing. So we stopped kind of hanging out as much because, obviously, he was too tired. So we would text each other a lot, every day, and stay in touch.
"He let me know in April of 2019 [that he was diagnosed with cancer], and COVID happened in 2020," Rudy continued. "That really made it impossible for me to be in his presence. It wasn't until a couple of days before he passed away that I was able to go to his house. Regina [his wife] requested it, and I spent time with him. And then, the following day, when he was taken to the hospital, Regina made it possible for me to be with Frankie for his last hours. So, after Frankie passed away, I went over to Regina's house, and we talked, and she expressed to me that Frankie wanted me to come back to the band, that he wanted to have a founding member there in the band. So, we talked about that.
"I was already traumatized by Frankie's passing, so it was a decision that I had to take a lot of time to think about it — let the mourning period [pass]," Rudy added. "I had to do that. So, the time came when I was ready to accept the reality, that it's our responsibility, of us left behind, to carry on with the legacy and celebrate it. So that's when I decided. I said, 'Okay, it's time for me to come home.'"
Chuck's debut solo album "Chuck Wright's Sheltering Sky", was released on May 20. It features over 30 guest performers, including members of MR. BIG, SKID ROW, TESLA, DREAM THEATER, JANE'S ADDICTION, ASIA, JEFFERSON STARSHIP, acclaimed solo artists Allen Hinds, Toshi Yanagi, Whitney Tai and many others. It covers a wide range of genres, from jazz fusion, prog, funk, to in-your-face hard rock, and is widely available on CD and all digital platforms on the Cleopatra Records label.
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