AJ Pero, the drummer for the heavy-metal band Twisted Sister, died today at age 55. The band said Anthony Jude Pero died of an apparent heart attack while touring with Adrenaline Mob, a group with which he played in between engagements with Twisted Sister. Jay Jay French, Twisted Sister guitarist, said Pero was on a tour bus this morning when Adrenaline Mob band members tried unsuccessfully to awaken him, then called an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he was declared dead shortly after 11am. "His drive was the heart and soul of the band's sound, the engine that drove us," French said. "We lost a friend and a legend."
Twisted Sister singer Dee Snider, not one for modesty, called Pero "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." Pero was well-known for a scene in the video for 1984's "We're Not Gonna Take It" in which he struck a snare drum covered with glitter, sending it spraying into the air. He joined Twisted Sister in 1982, right before the Long Island bar band exploded onto the burgeoning heavy metal scene after nearly a decade of slogging through small clubs. Wearing makeup and glam costumes, the band was a perfect match for the fledgling MTV network and become one of its mainstays with hits that included "I Wanna Rock."