Was Nikki Sixx Ever Asked to Join Quiet Riot?
Rock historians agree that Nikki Sixx auditioned for Quiet Riot prior to his Motley Crue fame. But whether the bassist was actually offered the gig seems to be up for debate.
“I really, really loved Quiet Riot,” Sixx recalled in a recent interview with Metal Edge. “They kinda had it right. Kevin DuBrow had a great voice, and of course, we don’t need to talk about Randy Rhoads and how influential he was. I used to really enjoy hanging around those guys and seeing them play. It’d be like 200 people in the Starwood, but to me, when I was that young I was just like, ‘They look cool, they sound cool, and they have great songs.’”
It was during those early years that Sixx and Rhoads struck up a friendship.
“I’d hang out with Randy at his house, and Randy was such a gifted musician. Whereas I’m a pretty simple Cliff Williams, a right-in-the-pocket bass player. And I remember Randy being like, ‘If you like do this and you do that…’ Just showing me a couple of things.”
When Quiet Riot dismissed original bassist Kelly Garni in 1978, Sixx claims to have been invited to join.
“And at one point they were like, ‘We’re going to change bass players. Would you be interested?'" the rocker recalled. "I was thinking, why am I going to say no to this? This is everything I could ever want. But I kind of had my own ideas, which took a while but eventually happened. And who knows how it would have gone anyway? I would’ve joined Quiet Riot, Randy would’ve left and god knows if I would’ve gone continued with them or not.”
The possibility of Sixx teaming with Rhoads is a fascinating piece of rock history that leads many fans to wonder “what if?” Only problem: Quiet Riot says it never happened.
“All lies,” the band’s official Facebook page responded to a story featuring Sixx’s recent quotes. “This never happened. (Meaning Nikki was not invited to join Quiet Riot. Yes we all know he auditioned.)”
A follow up post from the Quiet Riot account, written by drummer Frankie Banali’s widow Regina, asserted that “Kevin, Frankie and Randy's family and friends have ALL debunked this story.”
“When I was an actress I auditioned for many big movies and tv shows,” she continued. “That doesn't mean I was asked to be in them. There is a big difference. Nikki Sixx was NEVER EVER asked to join Quiet Riot. Period. Fact.”
Regina’s post seems to align with what DuBrow said during a 2007 interview. The since deceased singer claimed that Sixx “didn’t know the names of the [musical] notes. Yeah, so Randy (Rhoads) couldn’t sit there and teach him how to play bass. We really liked him as a person, but he just didn’t know how to play the instrument. That’s not an insult; it’s just a fact. I mean, in 1977, he did not know the instrument.”
This is not the first time Sixx has claimed he was invited to join Quiet Riot. In a 2021 interview with Kerrang! Radio, the bassist stated that both Rhoads and DuBrow offered him the gig.