Today (Jan. 15) we remember guitarist Mark Reale of Riot. We lost him on this day five years ago.

Mark Reale best known as the lead guitarist for NYC heavy metal band Riot, who had success in the early 1980's. Reale drew up on the music of the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, and George Harrison. He considered George Harrison one of his biggest influences. He formed Riot in 1975 and was the main songwriter of the band. The band's debut album Rock City was released in 1977 but it was 1981's Fire Down Below on the Elektra Records label and the song "Swords and Tequila"  that garnered the band acclaim.  Riot toured the world with bands like Kiss, AC/DC, Sammy Hagar, Molly Hatchet, and Rush. In the late 1990's, Reale co-founded the band Westworld with TNT singer Tony Harnell.

Mark Reale battled Crohn's disease most of his life and died from complications on Jan. 25, 2012. He was 56.