Former L.A. Guns and W.A.S.P. Drummer Steve Riley Passes Away at 67


Riley's LA Guns

Riley’s LA Guns – Story by Charles Ken, courtesy photo via Golden Robot Records

Steve Riley of L.A. Guns and W.A.S.P. has passed away

Former L.A. Guns and W.A.S.P. drummer Steve Riley has passed away at the age of 67. received confirmation of the news of Riley’s death from his son Cole, who said that Steve passed away this on Tuesday, Oct. 24. In a statement released to, the Riley family stated, “We are devastated to share that Steve Riley has passed away at the age of 67. 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.”

The statement continues, “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. 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. Steve is survived by his wife and son, as well as his brothers Michael and Daniel.”

Riley spoke with Audio Ink Radio in a recent interview, in January 2023, about his work with Steve Riley’s L.A. Guns and the history of the Sunset Strip scene. At the time, he said, “I was lucky enough to get hooked up with W.A.S.P. in 1983 and do that for three or four years and three our four albums with W.A.S.P., and then again, luck and timing in this business. I mean talent is one thing, but luck and timing is such a big thing, and I lucked out again, timing-wise where I could go right from W.A.S.P. to L.A. Guns in 1987. So, it was such an exciting time, because the whole industry was geared towards what was coming out of LA.”

During that interview, Riley also talked about his love for grunge, stating, “I’m a big Nirvana fan, and I’m a big Soundgarden fan and Alice in Chains. I really loved those bands. I thought they had some great, great material, and I would have been thrilled to play with any of those bands.” Listen to the full interview below.

Metal Sludge first reported the news of Riley’s death with a video from his longtime friend Jason Green, who posted on his Waste Some Time With Jason Green YouTube channel and said Riley had passed away following some health issues.

Charles Ken
Posted by Charles Ken | Music, Rock, Rock News