Twisted Sister Drummer A.J. Pero Dies At 55
March 20, 2015 at 1:46 PM (PT)
Longtime TWISTED SISTER drummer and STATEN ISLAND native A.J. (ANTHONY JUDE) PERO has passed away, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS announced. PERO was found unresponsive on a tour bus in POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., and died of a heart attack at 55.
"Today, I lost a brother," frontman DEE SNIDER told ROLLING STONE. "A.J. was the final piece in a band that would become an international sensation and one of the greatest live rock acts to ever hit the stage. His sledgehammer assault on the drums helped drive TWISTED SISTER and me to greatness and inspired me to rock every single show. My heart breaks knowing I will never feel the power of his beat behind me, or turn to see his face smiling broadly from the sheer joy he got from doing what he loved. I will always remember that smile. R.I.P., my friend."
The band's official website wrote: "The members of TWISTED SISTER are profoundly saddened to announce the untimely passing of our brother, A.J. PERO. The band, crew and most importantly the family of A.J. PERO thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time."
PERO had been touring with a side project, ADRENALINE MOB, at the time of his death.
"A.J. PERO was a force, the likes of which I doubt I will ever have the chance to play in front of again," TWISTED SISTER guitarist JAY JAY FRENCH said. "His drumming was legendary, but his heart, as a human being, was even greater. In our hearts, he will always be the engine that drove the train. I loved him and today my heart has been ripped out. R.I.P."
PERO was in the NEW YORK rock group CITIES when he was recruited to join TWISTED SISTER in 1982, appearing on the band's first four albums before leaving and rejoining CITIES in 1986.
PERO drummed on TWISTED SISTER's most popular tracks, "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock." He linked back up with his former bandmates for brief reunions in 1997 and the early 2000s until they regrouped permanently in 2003 and subsequently made a pair of studio albums, 2004's "Still Hungry" and 2006's "A Twisted Christmas." PERO remained the group's drummer at the time of his death.
TWISTED SISTER are next scheduled to perform MAY 30th in LAS VEGAS.
PERO was also a member of the OZZY OSBOURNE tribute band NO MORE TEARS.