As early reports indicated, Pero died of a “massive heart attack.” And according to Snider, it wasn’t out of the blue: Pero had been suffering from “advanced heart disease.”
— Dee Snider (@deesnider) March 22, 2015
“A.J. was 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,” Snider said in a statement following Pero’s death. “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. I will always remember that smile.”
Pero joined Twisted Sister in 1982 and played on their classic Stay Hungry album (1984), which peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200. He drummed on every one of the group’s albums except Love Is For Suckers (1987).