LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A coroner’s examination is expected to be performed in the next day or two to determine the cause of death for ex-Dead Kennedys and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer D.H. Peligro, who possibly died from head trauma in an accidental fall at his Los Angeles home, authorities said Sunday.
Peligro — born Darren Henley — died on Friday.
“Dead Kennedys’ drummer D.H. Peligro (Darren Henley) passed away in his Los Angeles home yesterday, Oct 28th,” the punk band tweeted Saturday. “He died from trauma to his head from an accidental fall. Arrangements are pending will be announced in the coming days. Thank you for your thoughts and words of comfort.”
The 63-year-old St. Louis native played off-and-on for the Dead Kennedys for more than 20 years and was living out of a van in San Francisco when he met Jello Biafra, the band’s front man, and East Bay Ray, the band’s guitarist, in the early 1980s.
When original drummer Bruce “Ted” Slesinger departed the band in 1981, Peligro was one of more than a dozen drummers to audition.
The Dead Kennedys broke up in December 1986, and Peligro moved on to a short gig with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, replacing Jack Irons. He helped write some songs on the band’s 1989 album “Mother’s Milk,” but did not perform on the album. He was responsible for introducing front man Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea to a young John Frusciante, who later became the group’s guitarist.
The Dead Kennedys reunited in the 2000s, and Peligro stayed with the band through several changes in front men. He took a hiatus in 2008, but rejoined in 2009.
The group announced via Instagram that “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.”
Flea tweeted: “D.H. Peligro forever and ever. The funnest, kindest and the rockingest. My dear brother I’m so grateful for our time I love you forever.”