Dee Snider Urges Fans to View A.J. Pero’s Death as a Cautionary Tale
In the latest installment of Dee Snider’s podcast Snider’s Comments, the singer once again discussed Twisted Sister’s A.J. Pero’s “irresponsible behavior” regarding the late-drummer’s declining health. It’s not the first time Snider shared his controversial opinion about Pero, who passed away in March. Back in April, Snider said, “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.”
In his recent episode of ‘Snider Comments,’ which you can hear in the player above, the singer again speaks out about Pero’s death explaining how everyone should use his death as a cautionary tale for those who have a family history of certain diseases. He said [as transcribed by Blabbermouth], "A.J. Pero, my drummer, died on March 20, I believe it was. He died of a massive stroke and a massive heart attack. He died out on the road with Adrenaline Mob. [He was] one of my brothers, and, as my guitar player Jay Jay French has said, 'the 'nice one' died.' There are five of us in Twisted Sister, five original members, and he was the nice one. The other four of us are scumbags to one degree or another.”
Snider continued, "After his death, I found out information about his passing. You know, he died at 55. And that sounds old to any young people listening to this show, but, trust me, for a 60-year-old, where I am, that's not old at all. And I don't think A.J. was ready to go.”
The singer also cleared the air about his anger and initial comments following Pero’s death and the media storm that followed. "The fact of the matter is, it was the truth,” he explained. “There was quite a bit of a reaction on social media: 'Dee Snider bashes his drummer' and 'attacks.' The word 'bash' and 'attack.' And the first thing I said was, 'I love the guy.' And why would anybody be upset with someone doing what A.J. did unless they cared about them deeply and loved them deeply?”
Snider added, "People die every day, and I don't go as far as to speak out about the way they chose to go. You know, I spoke out about A.J. because I'm hurt, and his family is hurt, and world he left behind is in complete turmoil as a result of it.” He continued, "By the way, I found out his father died in his 50s -- not in his 60s. In his 50s! His father died on the same age A.J. was when he died.”
The iconic rocker explained that fans should use Pero’s death as a cautionary tale to keep their health in check. "So here I had an opportunity to remind people that, hey, heart disease is just that… it's a disease," says Snider. "Don't put your head in the sand and don't pretend that there's no problem when you know your whole family has a history of any sickness -- of cancer, of heart disease, of prostate problems… of whatever it is. I mean, everybody should get checked out, but especially if you're genetically predisposed.”
In the wake of his death, Pero’s girlfriend of 19 years has turned to a GoFundMe site to help pay the rent. The drummer's assets are completely frozen, as there was no will and no estate planning. Snider said, “Until it's all figured out, we, as a band, can't even funnel money to his girlfriend and his daughter, or his other children. Our hands are tied as well. So here she is on social media essentially begging for money to feed her child and pay the rent. That is just grotesque ... and that makes you angry at your friend, at your dear friend, A.J. Pero. It made me angry.” He concluded, “The minute you start getting married, having kids, creating that responsibility to others… that’s exactly what it is: responsibility. You’ve lost your right. Yes, you have lost your right to be cavalier, or casual, with things like your health, and your estate, and your economics. I’m sorry … you have lost your right.”
Pero died at the age of 55 while on tour with the band Adrenaline Mob. He passed away on the tour bus and was taken to a Poughkeepsie, New York hospital where he was pronounced dead of an apparent heart attack.
Twisted Sister heads overseas to kick off a European tour starting June 27, in Piestany, Slovakia. Check out all their tour dates here.
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