Dead Kennedys Drummer D.H. Peligro Dead At 63

The veteran punk rocker died "from trauma to the head caused by an accidental fall"

D.H. Peligro of Dead Kennedys
D.H. Peligro of Dead Kennedys, photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images

    Longtime Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro died Friday (October 28th) at the age of 63.

    According to a statement from the band, Peligro died “from trauma to the head caused by an accidental fall” in his Los Angeles home. “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,” the statement added.

    Update: According to an autopsy, Peligro died of a drug overdose.

    D.H. Peligro, who was born Darren Henley, replaced original Dead Kennedys drummer Ted (Bruce Slesinger) in 1981. He made his debut on the EP In God We Trust, Inc., and also drummed on the albums Plastic Surgery Disasters, Frankenchrist, and Bedtime for Democracy, as well as singles/rarities collection, Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death.

    Following Dead Kennedys’ initial breakup in 1986, Peligro joined Red Hot Chili Peppers as a replacement for drummer Jack Irons. His tenure in the band was brief, however, as he was fired after less than a year due to drug and alcohol issues. He did contribute to three songs on Chili Peppers’ 1989 album Mother’s Milk, including “Taste the Pain,” “Stone Cold Bush,” and “Sexy Mexican Maid.”


    Peligro reunited with his Dead Kennedys bandmates (minus singer Jello Biafra) in 2011 and remained behind the kit through 2008. After a brief hiatus, he returned to the punk band in 2009 and was a member up until his death.

    Peligro also played in a number of other bands, including Nailbomb and The Feederz, and released music under his own name.