Twisted Sister drummer dies of apparent heart attack at 55

This Aug. 21, 2005 photo shows Twisted Sister drummer A.J. Pero before a concert in Little Falls, N.J. Pero died of an apparent heart attack on Friday, March 20, 2015, while touring with Adrenaline Mob, a group with which he played in between engagements with Twisted Sister. He was 55. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

A.J. Pero, the drummer for the heavy-metal band Twisted Sister, died Friday. He was 55.

The band said Anthony Jude Pero died of an apparent heart attack while touring with Adrenaline Mob, a group with which he played in between engagements with Twisted Sister.

Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French said Pero was on a tour bus Friday morning when Adrenaline Mob band members tried unsuccessfully to awaken him, then called an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he was declared dead shortly after 11 a.m.

“His drive was the heart and soul of the band’s sound, the engine that drove us,” French said. “We lost a friend and a legend.”

Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider called Pero “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 I to greatness, and inspired me to rock every single show,” Snider said. “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.”

Pero was well-known for a scene in the video for 1984’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” in which he struck a snare drum covered with glitter, sending it spraying into the air.

He joined Twisted Sister in 1982, right before the Long Island bar band exploded onto the burgeoning heavy metal scene after nearly a decade of slogging through small clubs. Wearing makeup and glam costumes, the highly visual band was a perfect match for the fledgling MTV video network and become one of its mainstays with hits that included “I Wanna Rock.”

French said the band will soon consider what to do about its six upcoming summer tour dates.

___

Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

1 thought on “Twisted Sister drummer dies of apparent heart attack at 55

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s