Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro passes away at age 63

The band officially announced Peligro’s death and the reason behind it.

Flea, a musician and longtime friend, wrote a moving ode to the drummer.

D.H. Peligro, who played drums for the Red Hot Chili Peppers briefly and for the iconic punk band Dead Kennedys, has passed away. He was 63.

On their official social media pages, the band announced Peligro’s demise on Saturday night, October 29. They noted that he passed away the previous day in his Los Angeles home after suffering an unintentional fall.

Dead Kennedys released a statement on Instagram stating that drummer D.H. Peligro (Darren Henley) passed unexpectedly in his Los Angeles residence on October 28. “Police at the scene said that he passed away from a head injury brought on by an unintentional fall. Plans are still being finalized and will be revealed soon. During this trying time, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy. I appreciate your kind remarks and thoughtfulness.

After learning of his passing, Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Flea posted on Instagram, “My dear friend, my brother I miss you so much.” On RHCP’s Mother’s Milk album, Peligro has three writing credits and temporarily performed with the group in 1988.

“I’m devastated tonight, a river of tears, but all my life I will treasure every second,” Flea’s obituary claimed. In 1981, when I first saw you play with the DKs, you absolutely astounded me. The strength, the soul, and the carelessness You became my dear friend through so many different experiences. Having one another’s back brought us such joy and excitement. I adore you thousand times over. You are the ultimate rocker and an important figure in RHCP history. D H P in the place to be, you crazy man, you joy-bringer, you giant-hearted man, live forever in our hearts. I’ll always respect you. Enjoy your liberation from all that bound you while you relax in peace.


Born Darren Henley in 1959, Peligro joined the Dead Kennedys in 1981 and made his debut on the group’s In God We Trust, Inc. EP. the band’s pre-breakup studio albums Plastic Surgery Disasters (1982), Frankenchrist (1985), and Bedtime for Democracy (1986), as well as the compilation CD, Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death, featured the St. Louis native who later relocated to San Francisco (1987).

In 2001, the Dead Kennedys reformed (without original lead singer Jello Biafra), with Peligro taking over on drums and East Bay Ray and Klaus Flouride joining him.

He discussed the racism he encountered when traveling with a punk rock band in a 2018 interview with LA Weekly. When Peligro traveled across the South and the Midwest, people began to assume that he worked as security or a janitor, or that the music was intended just for white people.

“Nobody was as open-minded as they were in San Francisco, so you got to see the bigotry directly. Although it’s a little more mainstream and acceptable now, there are still some groups of people who wish to use a punk rock to make hate songs.

He stated at the time that he was writing a series script based on his 2013 autobiography, Dreadnaught: King of Afropunk. He told the outlet, “It’s about all the stuff you don’t hear about from African-American punk rockers.