POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., March 20 (UPI) -- Twisted Sister drummer Anthony "A.J." Pero died of a heart attack Friday in a Poughkeepsie hospital, the band said. He was 55.
Pero was in New York for a performance with another band he plays with, Adrenaline Mob. The band was scheduled to perform hours after he died.
Twisted Sister announced his death on Facebook, along with statements from members of the band.
"Today I lost a brother," lead singer Dee Snider wrote. "His sledgehammer assault on the drums helped drive Twisted Sister and I 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."
Pero joined Twisted Sister in 1982, 10 years after the band formed. As such, "he was always affectionately known as 'the new guy,' " guitarist Jay Jay French said.