Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Steve Riley, Former W.A.S.P. and L.A. Guns Drummer, Dies at 67

Steve Riley, Former W.A.S.P. and L.A. Guns Drummer, Dies at 67

Steve Riley, the former drummer of metal bands W.A.S.P. and L.A. Guns, reportedly passed away earlier this week at the age of 67. 

In a statement provided to Blabbermouth, Riley’s family confirmed the musician had died on Tuesday (October 24th). “We are devastated to share that Steve Riley has passed away at the age of 67,” the drummer’s family shared. “Steve had been battling a severe case of pneumonia for several weeks and on Tuesday, Oct. 24, succumbed to the illness. His wife Mary Louise and son Cole were by his side in his final moments.” 

Riley’s family revealed that the late drummer had spent the past five decades building a rich music legacy. He had toured the world countless times as well as sold millions of records. “His style was unmatched, influenced by the greats like Buddy Rich, Ginger Baker, and John Bonham, and his passion for the craft was evident until the very end.”

The relatives of Steve Riley stressed how important it was for him to be a loving husband and caring father. They pointed out that at home he was more than just a rocker. “He was a Boston sports fanatic, a World War II buff, and an avid reader. As much as he loved being on the road, nothing brought him more joy than coming home to his family.”

Riley is survived by his wife and son as well as his brothers Michael and Daniel. He had been the drummer for W.A.S.P. from 1984 to 1987 before joining LA Guns. He left that group in 1992. 

Steve Riley Once Opened Up About His Time With W.A.S.P. and Being Grateful to Join L.A. Guns

During a 2020 interview with Antihero Magazine, Steve Riley reflected on his time in W.A.S.P. and how fun it was being a part of the heavy metal group. 

“I’m telling you that first situation with W.A.S.P with Blackie, Chris, Randy Piper, and myself, that was a great band,” he declared. “And we knew we were a really good band, not just theatrically, but sonically, music, stage show, the way we played, it sounded, it looked great and it was something else.”

Steve Riley also pointed out that the first year of the group was outrageous due to the bandmates going on a world tour. “It was just an unbelievable time. And I have really fond memories of that band and going and doing The Last Command was a blast too, because we just came straight off of that first world tour.”

Riley went on to say that L.A. Guns was totally different from W.A.S.P.  He said the L.A. Guns bandmates were big fans of W.A.S.P. and reached out to him right after Blake disbanded W.A.S.P. “I was really fortunate to go right from W.A.S.P into L.A. Guns and yeah, you’re right, it was a totally different thing. I mean, W.A.S.P Was a totally theatrical band. It sounded great, but it was a very theatrical band.”