Dee Snider and Twisted Sister and putting the act in mothballs. The band had been together with all original members since the 1980s, a feat that few bands can pull off. In all they ahd played for 40 years. Then drummer A.J. Pero died of a heart attack.
Dee Snider took the news of Pero’s passing quite hard. When approached the following day, he told reporters:
“I’m coming home to sad news. My drummer died of a heart attack yesterday. He had a massive heart attack in his sleep, and we lost him. First member of the band to die. You don’t [replace him]. I mean, will we continue to play? Probably, for his family, ’cause his family will benefit from us playing, financially. But of the all five original members of Twisted Sister, he’s the first one we lost.”
Since then, guitarist Jay Jay French has also spoken out about A.J. Pero’s passing.
“We’d be in the dressing room, and drummers are always like, ‘Oh my shoulder, my arm.’ You put theBen-Gay on, take the aspirin. You just figure those are like battle scars. I didn’t know to the extent that he had heart problems. He never confided in me about that.”
Twisted Sister is planning a farewell tour, to be title Forty and Fuck It. They will do benefit shows to help A.J. Pero’s family, as well. Twisted Sister will do specific shows — one at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the other at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey — in Pero’s honor.
Leaving behind family that needs to be cared for is something that concerns Dee Snider. When asked how he feels about Pero having died of a heart attack, he admitted being angry.
“I just gotta say, people ask me how I feel about A.J.’s passing, and quite honestly I’m going through a real period of anger right now about it. He’s a great guy, and I loved him dearly. But he had a history of heart disease, his family did. His father died in his early 60’s of heart disease. And A.J. never had himself checked out. And when they did the autopsy, he had 95% blockage on his aortas, advanced heart disease. And he didn’t have to die. And I feel it’s like basically irresponsible behavior on his part. He had two ex-wives, an ex-girlfriend of 19 years. He had four kids he left behind. You know, you have a responsibility as a parent, as an adult to get yourself checked out. So people, please, get yourself checked out. There’s no reason for people to die of heart disease in this day and age.”