While the untimely passing of Twisted Sister and Adrenaline Mob drummer A.J. Pero sent shock waves throughout the hard rock and metal community, the band’s frontman Dee Snider suggested that it might have been preventable. Appearing on TMZ and on his syndicated show House of Hair, Snider attempted to make the death of his bandmate a learning moment, asking people to get regular checkups. He went so far as to say he was “angry” about the death of Pero on TMZ, saying it was avoidable:
“He was 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 60s of heart disease — and A.J. never had himself checked out. And when they did the autopsy, he had 95 percent blockage, advanced heart disease. And he didn’t have to die. And I feel it’s, basically, irresponsible behavior on his part. He had two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend of 19 years, four kids he left behind. And 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.”
On House of Hair, he revealed that Pero didn’t even have a will, suggesting that there may be legal battles over his estate:
“This is the unfortunate reality of irresponsible adult behavior. Not only did A.J. Pero have a family history of heart disease, which he allowed to go unchecked, but he did not have a will, left behind two ex-wives, a longtime girlfriend, four children between the three of them, and a mess of an estate to be sorted out. Now, there is infighting, mistrust and dissension amongst the family members about how to handle life after AJ. What a mess. While the legalities of the situation are being sorted out, Twisted Sister is doing a show to raise some money to help the family out in the short-term. This unfortunate situation should be a life lesson to all to take responsibility for the world we create and will leave behind when we are gone.”
It seems like a bit of a tough love message from Snider. He’s obviously still dealing with the loss of his bandmate, and his statements might anger some close to Pero. That being said, if his statements convince anyone to go get themselves checked out or to fill out a living will, then it might be worth it. It has been announced that former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, who Pero replaced in Adrenaline Mob, will be touring with Twisted Sister for their last tour next year for their final tour in addition to the two tribute shows to raise money for Pero’s family.