D.H. Peligro, Dead Kennedys Drummer, Dead at 63 | Revolver

D.H. Peligro, Dead Kennedys Drummer, Dead at 63

Punk pioneer died in an accidental fall
D.H. Peligro GETTY, ullstein bild/Getty Images
photograph by ullstein bild/Getty Images

D.H. Peligro, best known as a drummer for punk-rock firebrands the Dead Kennedys and, briefly, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, died Friday from a head injury. He was 63.

"Police on the scene stated that he died from trauma to the head caused by an accidental fall," a statement from the Dead Kennedys read. "Arrangements are pending and will be announced in the coming days. We ask that you respect the family's privacy during this difficult time."

Peligro, who was born Darren Henley, joined the Dead Kennedys in 1981, playing on the studio albums Plastic Surgery Disasters, Frankenchrist and Bedtime for Democracy, as well as compilation Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death, until the band's breakup in 1986. Two years later, he made a short stint with the Chili Peppers, helping to write some songs on the group's fourth album, 1989's Mother's Milk, though Peligro did not perform on the LP.

"My dear friend, my brother I miss you so much," Flea wrote on Instagram. "I'm devastated today, a river of tears, but all my life I will treasure every second. The first time I saw you play with the DK's in '81 you blew my mind. The power, the soul, the recklessness. You are the truest rocker, and a crucial part of rhcp history. D H P in the place to be, you live forever in our hearts, you wild man, you bringer of joy, you giant hearted man."

Peligro's playing had a wide and deep influence on drummers across hard rock, punk and metal. One of his longtime fans, Dave Lombardo paid tribute. "Sad to hear of the passing of D.H. Peligro," the revered thrash drummer commented. "His drumming on those early D.K. albums inspired my playing in Slayer. Sending my deepest sympathies to his family, bandmates and all those affected by this tragic, untimely loss. Rest peacefully."