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Dead Kennedys Drummer D.H. Peligro Passes Away

31 October 2022 | 8:21 am | Mary Varvaris

"I’m devastated today, a river of tears..."

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Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro has passed away, aged 63, from head trauma caused by an accidental fall.

In a statement shared by the band, they wrote, "Dead Kennedys' drummer D.H. Peligro (Darren Henley) passed away in his Los Angeles home yesterday, October 28th. Police on the scene stated that he died from trauma to the head caused by an accidental fall.  

"Arrangements are pending and will be announced in the coming days. We ask that you respect the family's privacy during this difficult time. Thank you for your thoughts and words of comfort."

D.H. Peligro joined the band in 1981, replacing the original Dead Kennedys drummer Ted (real name Bruce Slesinger).

He made his recorded debut with the American punk rock band on the 1981 EP In God We Trust, Inc. and recorded the albums Plastic Surgery Disasters, Frankenchrist, Bedtime For Democracy, and the singles and rarities collection, Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death.

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After Dead Kennedys broke up in 1986, Peligro played with Red Hot Chili Peppers for a short time. He co-wrote songs from their Mother's Milk album, including Taste The Pain, Sexy Mexican Maid, and Stone Cold Bush. Peligro was forced out of the band due to his drug and alcohol issues.

Peligro also played with the bands Nailbomb, The Hellations, Jungle Studs, Lock-Up, The Two Free Stooges, SSI and The Feederz. He was the frontman of his band, Peligro. He released three albums: a self-titled album released in 1995 on Dead Kennedys original singer Jello Biafra's record label, Alternative Tentacles, which was deleted from the catalogue in 2001, Welcome To America (2000), and 2004's Sum Of Our Surroundings which won Rock Album Of The Year from the American Independent Music Awards. 

Peligro reunited with Dead Kennedys in 2001, and after a brief hiatus in 2008, he rejoined and was a band member until his death.

Tributes to the drummer have begun on social media, with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea calling him the "funnest, kindest and the rockingest." In an Instagram post, he wrote, "My dear friend, my brother I miss you so much. 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 became my beloved friend, so many times of every kind. We had so much fun, so much joy, having each other’s backs. I love you with all my heart. 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. I will always honor you. Rest In Peace and freedom from all that restrained you."