Twisted Sister Drummer A.J. Pero Passes Away

Twisted Sister Drummer A.J. Pero Passes Away

March 20, 2015

Twisted Sister drummer A.J. Pero passed away this morning while on tour with Adrenaline Mob, he was 55 years old.

Twisted Sister first broke the news on Facebook, stating, “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.”

“We write this with tears in our eyes and our hearts broken to pieces… our beloved brother AJ Pero peacefully passed away in his sleep this morning on the bus,” said the members of Adrenaline Mob. “We are in complete shock and our hearts and prayers go out to his family. It has been nothing short of an honor to have shared the stage with such a beautiful soul and legend! We love you AJ, rest in peace.”

The Associated Press is reporting that Pero died of an apparent heart attack. 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.

Born Anthony Jude Pero on October 14th, 1959, in Staten Island, New York, the drummer rose to stardom with Twisted Sister in the mid ’80s. During his tenure with Twisted Sister Pero earned commercial success with such albums as ‘Under The Blade’, ‘You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll’, ‘Come Out And Play’, ‘A Twisted Christmas’ and the 1984 triple platinum smash hit ‘Stay Hungry’, which introduced the band to countless fans thanks in part to the infamous videos for “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock”. In late 2013 Pero replaced former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy in Adrenaline Mob, appearing on their ‘Men Of Honor’ release.

“Today I lost a brother,” said Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider. “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 I 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.”

“AJ Pero was a force, the likes of which I doubt I will ever have the chance to play in front of again,” continued Jay Jay French. “His drumming was legendary but his heart, as a human being, was even greater. This April 1st would have been his 32nd year as a member. In the Twisted Sister world he was always affectionately known as “the new guy”. That is how long and deep our history was/is. In our hearts he will always be the engine that drove the train. I loved him and today my heart has been ripped out. RIP.”

“This morning I received the tragic news about A.J.’s passing. As anyone would be, I am devastated,” shared bassist Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza. “With such a loss, even I broke down and cried, allegedly the tough guy in the band. One statement says it all, “A.J. was my band mate, my friend and my brother and I will miss him forever.”

“My family, extended Twisted Sister family, and I are heartbroken and devastated to hear the news of Anthony Jude Pero’s passing,” added guitarist Eddie Ojeda. “A.J. was a dear friend and brother to me, and in my opinion, one of the most talented drummers of all time. I will always remember the amazing experiences and great laughs we shared. A.J. always had an amazing sense of humor and did his best to please everyone he came in contact with.Back in the day, when the band first started touring, we were often room-mates and he never failed to keep me smiling. It’s very difficult for me to talk about this right now. However, I feel that out of respect for his legacy, it’s important for us to let the world know how we all felt and will always feel about him. I know I will dearly miss him, but I’m grateful to have been his friend and musical partner for thirty-eight years.At this time, my sincerest sympathies go out to his family. Heaven just got a great drummer, one that will live forever in our hearts.”

Courtesy of