Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro dies after accidental fall at 63

A picture of late Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro behind the kit
(Image credit: Photo by Nikko Myers)

Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro has died at the age of 63 from head trauma following an accidental fall.

His death was announced by the band on social media.

Their statement reads: "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."

Peligro, also known as Darren Henley, joined the band in 1981 when he replaced original drummer Bruce Slesinger, who was better known as Ted. The band split in 1986 but reformed in 2001 without founding singer Jello Biafra, and Peligro resumed his duties behind the kit.

He recorded four albums with Dead Kennedys — In God We Trust, Inc, Plastic Surgery Disasters, Frankenchrist and Bedtime for Democracy. He also appears on the DK singles and rarities collection Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death.

In 1988, Peligro had a brief spell with Red Hot Chili Peppers when he replaced Jack Irons. He was fired for drug and alcohol issues.

Chili Peppers bassist Flea was among the first to pay tribute to his former bandmate. He says: "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 DKs 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. DHP 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."

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Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.