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Riot Guitarist Mark Reale Dead At 56

Mark Reale of Riot

Founding Riot member Mark Reale passed away Wednesday morning (Jan. 25) at age 56, two weeks after being admitted to a San Antonio hospital for complications relating to his long-term struggle with Crohn’s disease. The guitarist suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage on Jan. 11 and had been in a coma since then, although a recent update on his official site maintained a positive outlook on his progress.

“Our brother Mark Reale went home to be with our Lord this day January 25th 2012 after a long battle and complications from Crohns disease,” reads a statement posted on “With heart felt thanks to the fans around the world … the RIOT army meant everything in the world to Mark, it’s what kept him going. The loyalty and love of the band’s fans fueled his passion and desire to continue making music for as long as possible. Please keep the mighty tor in your hearts and the memory of Mark alive within you. Shine on, Mark shine on!”

Fans are also posting condolences and memories of Mark on the site.

A statement from the band reads as follows:

“To friends and fans of Mark Reale and Riot, We are deeply saddened to confirm that Mark has lost his battle with a lifelong illness. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated by Mark’s family, friends, and bandmates at this difficult time.”

Reale formed Riot in New York in 1975 and had remained the band’s only constant member until his recent illness. Riot reached the peak of their success in the early ’80s, but have remained active over the years, sharing the stage with everybody from AC/DC and Black Sabbath to Sammy Hagar and Kiss. Their most recent album was last year’s ‘Immortal Soul.’

There is no word yet on funeral arrangements for Reale, but stay tuned for more news as it becomes available.

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