TWISTED SISTER / Adrenaline Mob drummer A.J. Pero has died at the age of 55.
In an official statement, the surviving members of the band wrote: "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."
TWISTED SISTER singer Dee Snider released a separate statement, saying: "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."
Pero was a member of TWISTED SISTER from 1982 to 1986, from 1997 to 1998, and again from 2003 until his death. Pero performed on ADRENALINE MOB's last two albums and recently joined FOUR BY FATE, also featuring former FREHLEY'S COMET members Tod Howarth and John Regan.
ADRENALINE MOB said in a statement: "We write this with tears in our eyes and our hearts broken to pieces.
"Our beloved brother A.J. Pero peacefully passed away in his sleep this morning on the bus.
"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, A.J. Rest in peace.
"We will cherish this last picture [see below] we all took together on tour forever! What a great night we had... We'll miss you, buddy!"
Commented Tod Howarth: "The news, of course, is out. A.J. Pero has passed away... I learned of it this morning and had just spoken with him yesterday pertaining to the FOUR BY FATE recording schedule for May. TWISTED SISTER's solid drummer was a great guy in the short time that John Regan and I got to know him… Thoughts, prayers out to his family first, friends and fans — perhaps all in the same."
Added legendary hard rock singer Jeff Scott Soto (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, TALISMAN): "I'm not believing this... just got info that brother A.J. Pero, drummer for TWISTED SISTER and ADRENALINE MOB, has passed away!!! No other info or details but I am in shock... I just met the man a few months ago, we were instant bros, I am so sad for his family and bandmates... damn!"