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

Former L.A. Guns and W.A.S.P. drummer Steve Riley has died. He was 67.

Riley’s son Cole confirmed the musician’s death to Cole said that Steve died on Tuesday, October 24.

“Steve had been battling a severe case of pneumonia for several weeks, and on Tuesday, Oct. 24, succumbed to the illness,” Riley’s family said in a statement to the outlet. “His wife Mary Louise and son Cole were by his side in his final moments.”

The news of the drummer’s death was first reported by Metal Sludge and first confirmed by his friend Jason Green, who shared the news in a video on YouTube.

Riley served as drummer on W.A.S.P.’s second and third albums — “The Last Command” (1985) and “Inside The Electric Circus” (1986). He also accompanied the band on world tours from 1984 to 1987.

The drummer played for L.A. Guns with singer Phil Lewis and guitarist Tracii Guns, but the duo launched a new version of the group in 2016 without Riley. Riley later also made his own version of L.A. Guns, which debuted in concert at the M3 Rock Festival in Maryland in May 2019.

“Steve spent the past five decades building up a rich music legacy, touring the world countless times, selling millions of records, sharing the stage with incredible bandmates and bringing joy to fans across the globe,” the family’s statement continued. “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. But Steve’s greatest legacy was his role as a loving husband and caring father. 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 Mary Louise and his son Cole, as well as his brothers Michael and Daniel.

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