Heavy metal lost one of its best drummers last week when A.J. Pero, drummer for Twisted Sister was found dead of an apparent heart attack last week. A.J. was only 55 years old. At the time of his death he was on tour with the metal super group Adrenalin Mob and couldn’t be woken up on the tour bus by band members.
A.J. joined Twisted Sister in 1982 prior to the release of their EP ‘Ruff Cuts’ and their first full length album, the classic ‘Under The Blade’. In 1983 the band released their best album ‘You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll’ but it was in 1984 that the band catapulted to super stardom with ‘Stay Hungry.’ A.J.’s rhythmic and heavy drumming became one of the trademarks of the band’s sound (think of how catchy the drum into to 'We're Not Gonna Take It' is). Following the ‘Come Out And Play’ album and tour, A.J. quit the band and returned to Staten Island, New York. The band would record one more album, the underacted 'Love Is For Suckers' before imploding.
Pero would team up with T.S. vocalist Dee Snyder’s Widowmaker and in 2001, the classic lineup of Twisted Sister would reunite and since then continue to tour and record somewhat regularly.
Pero was among the top metal drummers of the 1980’s along with Quiet Riot’s Frankie Banalli, KISS Eric Carr and Dokken’s ‘Wild’ Mick Brown. Because of their cross dressing and cartoonish image, many don’t consider Twisted Sister anything more than a novelty, but their first three albums in my opinion rank among metal’s best.
"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."