R.I.P. Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro

DH Peligro in 2003

DH Peligro in 2003
A photo: Giulio Marcocchi (Vadivelu Comedy Getty Images)

DH Peligro is dead. Long time drummer powerful punk band Dead Kennedys, Peligro-born Darren Henley-played off-and-on with the band for over 20 years, producing several of their albums (along with some of their ongoing game former president Jello Biafra). Peligro was also briefly drumming for his friends inside the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a short-lived band in 1988. According to DeadlinePeligro died yesterday, too The LAPD says he suffered a headache after the fall. Peligro was 63 years old.

He was born in St. Louis, Peligro was, and his historyhe was living out of a van in San Francisco, immersing himself in the punk scene, when he met Biafra and Dead Kennedys guitarist East Bay Ray in the beginning ’80s. (In interview in 2015he talked about jumping Greyhound to San Francisco at age 17 with nothing but his drum kit and one bologna sandwich to his name.) When original drummer Bruce “Ted” Slesinger left the band in 1981, Peligro was one of more than a dozen drummers to be auditioned; clicking easily with Biafra, Ray, and bassist Klaus Flouride, Peligro signed with the band shortly before the creation of their 1981 EP. In God We Trust, Inc.which featured a turn to hard, fast punk rock, driven in part by Peligro’s drums.

Drunkenness

In the next five years, The dead Kennedys would gain worldwide fame, releasing three more albums—and the climate of high-profile experimentation associated with 1982’s release. Frankenchristand especially the installation of HR Giger’s paintings, The penis, as an album poster. The end came in 1986, when, according to Peligro, East Bay Ray announced that he was leaving the band. After a brief discussion about the possibility of finding a new player, the group members decided to go their separate ways, with Peligro moving to Los Angeles.

In the next several years, Peligro would play with many groups, as well as his own, also called Peligro. (He, too, when he’s into free music, he became addictedto heroin that he would struggle with for the rest of his life.) One of his top gigs was attended ’88, when he was introduced by his longtime friends in The Chili Peppers replaced founding drummer Jack Irons, who had left the band after the death of his high school friend Hillel Slovak. heroin overdose. Although Peligro is said to have co-written a few songs that would end up on the group’s fourth album. Mother’s milkhe only had Pepper for a short time before he was fired, allegedly because of his drug abuse issues. (“I was second-guessing myself,” he said in 2015, bitterly admitting that if he had stayed with the group during their rise to fame, it would have killed him.)

In the late 1990s, Peligro and other members of the Dead Kennedys discovered that they were being underpaid by Biafra’s label, Alternative Tentacles. In response, Peligro, Klaus, and Ray reunited with a series of new musicians beginning in 2001, with Biafra taking several potshots at the group for what he saw as selling the band’s name and image. Despite these accusations—and the support of the successful court case, which the Kennedy members won, including gaining rights for many the back of the bandthey continued to tour together until this year.

In his last years, Peligro has spoken openly about his struggles with addiction, in interviews, and in his personal life memoir Dreadnaught: King of Afropunkseeing that he was a to go back again as recently as 2015. (His description of the ways he often encounters discrimination when Touring like a A black person in the punk scene of ‘80s contributed to his struggle with addiction was one of the poignant moments in Dave Grohl’s latest documentary. What Guides Us.) But Peligro they continued to play, write, and even act in a few short filmsmaking art until his death this week.

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