The surviving members of the DEAD KENNEDYS have released a statement in response to a report from the Los Angeles medical examiner regarding the death of the band's longtime drummer D.H. Peligro.
According to the report, which was obtained by TMZ and the Los Angeles Times, Peligro — born Darren Henley — died last October due to "combined effects of fentanyl and heroin." The report says he also suffered from non-small cell lung cancer, but the medical examiner's pointing toward the combination of drugs as the official cause. Peligro was 63.
Earlier today (Wednesday, May 3),the DEAD KENNEDYS released the following statement via social media: "DH Peligro had his battles. What [the TMZ and Los Angeles Times] articles leave out is that he was battling cancer and the chemo and radiation treatments did not get it all, his health was failing.
"When the police on the scene called [DEAD KENNEDYS guitarist] East Bay Ray [Raymond Pepperell], they told him it looked liked he died from a fall in the bathroom, and said that's usually caused by a stroke or an accidental trip. Ray told the officer about DH's cancer and his failing health. Now we know more was involved.
"Peace brother, you will always be in our hearts. Rest in Power".
According to the Los Angeles Times, D.H.'s landlord conducted a welfare check on the drummer and found him unresponsive in the bathroom of his Los Angeles home. Peligro also had a "repeated history of lung cancer," but it was unknown if he was seeking treatment at the time of his death, the report said.
The news of Peligro passing was shared by the band in a social media post on October 29, 2022. At the time, DEAD KENNEDYS said that "police on the scene stated that he died from trauma to the head caused by an accidental fall."
"I am heartbroken," East Bay Ray wrote on Instagram.
Peligro joined the DEAD KENNEDYS in February 1981, replacing original drummer, Ted, and made his recorded debut with the group on the EP "In God We Trust, Inc." which was released in December of that year. He would go on to record the studio albums "Plastic Surgery Disasters", "Frankenchrist" and "Bedtime For Democracy", as well as singles/rarities collection "Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death". DEAD KENNEDYS broke up in December 1986.
In 2001, DEAD KENNEDYS, along with Peligro, reunited without former frontman and primary songwriter Jello Biafra following a civil fraud complaint against Biafra, accusing him of withholding royalties. DR. KNOW singer Brandon Cruz would replace Biafra on vocals and they played under the name DK KENNEDYS for a few concerts, but later reverted to DEAD KENNEDYS permanently.
In early 2008, Peligro took a hiatus from DEAD KENNEDYS, citing the need for time off from touring. The brief hiatus lasted until June 2009 when Peligro rejoined the band.
In 1988, Peligro joined the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, replacing Jack Irons, before being fired for drug and alcohol issues. He has released three albums with his band PELIGRO: "Peligro" (released in 1995 on Biafra's Alternative Tentacles record label); "Welcome To America"; and "Sum Of Our Surroundings", which won "Rock Album Of The Year" at the 2004 American Independent Music Awards. He also recorded a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze", which was nominated for a Grammy Award.
In response to the recent LA Times and TMZ articles.
DH Peligro had his battles. What these articles leave out is that...
Posted by Dead Kennedys on Wednesday, May 3, 2023