The metal world suffered a huge blow this past Friday as Twisted Sister/Adrenaline Mob drummer A.J. Pero passed away at the age of 55.
Pero was currently on tour with Adrenaline Mob when the band was unable to wake him from their tour bus. He was then taken to a hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he was pronounced dead of an apparent heart attack.
A.J. rose to fame as Twisted Sister’s most celebrated drummer, performing on such classic albums as Under the Blade (1982), You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll (1983) and Stay Hungry (1984). Most recently, Pero replaced founding Dream Theater member Mike Portnoy as the drummer for the heavy metal super group Adrenaline Mob, where he debuted on their second full length studio album Men of Honor (2014).
Members of Twisted Sister issued the following individual statements via their website.
Dee Snider: “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.”
Jay Jay French: “A.J. Pero was a force, the likes of which I doubt I will ever have the chance to play in front of again. 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.”
Mark “The Animal” Mendoza: “This morning I received the tragic news about A.J.‘s passing. As anyone would be, I am devastated. 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 bandmate, my friend and my brother and I will miss him forever.'”
Eddie Ojeda: “My family, extended Twisted Sister family, and I are heartbroken and devastated to hear the news of Anthony Jude Pero’s passing. 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 roommates 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.”
Adrenaline Mob posted the following heartfelt tribute to their fallen brother on facebook.[facebookpost https://www.facebook.com/adrenalinemob/photos/a.668972686458813.1073741849.215519745137445/881550465201033/?type=1]
Adrenaline Mob also announced that drummers Mike Portnoy and Chad Szeliga will be paying tribute to Pero at the band’s show tonight at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey.[facebookpost https://www.facebook.com/adrenalinemob/posts/882074398481973]
We at Metal Head Wrestling would like to offer our prayers and support to A.J.’s family, friends, and fans. Help celebrate his legacy by revisiting Twisted Sister’s classic video for “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.