Twisted Sister Drummer AJ Pero Dies at 55
AJ Pero, the drummer for Twisted Sister, has died at the age of 55. No cause of death has been revealed, but he passed away in his sleep while on the tour bus of Adrenaline Mob, which he joined in December 2013.
Twisted Sister posted a message on its Facebook page: “The members of Twisted Sister are profoundly saddened to announce the untimely passing of our brother, AJ Pero. The band, crew and most importantly the family of AJ Pero thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time.”
Adrenaline Mob posted the below statement, as well as a recent picture, to its Facebook page.
Anthony Jude Pero, a native of Staten Island, joined Twisted Sister in 1982 after they had gone through a series of drummers. With Pero behind the kit, they broke through with Stay Hungry, their 1984 major-label debut. He left in 1987, after the tour in support of Come Out and Play. But he rejoined the group after it reunited in 1997 and had been a member ever since.
Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider released a statement on Pero’s passing. He wrote, “Today I lost a brother. Anthony Jude Pero passed away. 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. RIP my friend.”
An abbreviated version appeared on Snider’s Twitter page.
My friend, my brother, my band mate passed away today. My heart is broken. RIP A.J. Pero.
— Dee Snider (@deesnider) March 20, 2015
According to the bio on his website, Pero began drumming at the age of 3 and took lessons from jazz legend Gene Krupa. He became somewhat of a prodigy, having appeared on both the Mike Douglas Show and the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon by the time he was 10.
In addition to playing in Twisted Sister, Pero was also a member of Cities, which bookended his first tenure in Twisted Sister. He and Cities guitarist Steve Mironovich formed Circle of Thorns in 2007.
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