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Cause Of Death Revealed For Dead Kennedys Drummer D.H. Peligro

3 May 2023 | 11:13 am | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

D.H. Peligro passed away in his Los Angeles home on 28 October 2022.

(Source: Supplied)

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The death of Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro – real name Darren Henley – last October sent shockwaves through the music world, in particular for his band members.

While police at the time originally stated that Peligro passed away from head trauma caused by an accidental fall, TMZ now reports that the drummer died from a combination of drugs, resulting in a drug overdose.

According to the autopsy report obtained by TMZ, the 63-year-old musician died from the "combined effects of fentanyl and heroin." The autopsy report also noted that Peligro had non-small cell lung cancer at the time of his passing, but the medical examiner ruled that drugs were the official cause.

D.H. Peligro passed away in his Los Angeles home on 28 October 2022. The autopsy report states that he didn’t suffer any head trauma upon his death.

Peligro joined Dead Kennedys in 1981 and made his recorded debut with the American punk rock band on the 1981 EP In God We Trust, Inc. and recorded the albums Plastic Surgery Disasters, Frankenchrist, Bedtime For Democracy, and the singles and rarities collection, Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death.

After Dead Kennedys broke up in 1986, Peligro played with Red Hot Chili Peppers for a short time. He co-wrote songs from their Mother's Milk album, including Taste The Pain, Sexy Mexican Maid, and Stone Cold Bush. Peligro was forced out of the band due to his drug and alcohol issues.

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Peligro also played with the bands Nailbomb, The Hellations, Jungle Studs, Lock-Up, The Two Free Stooges, SSI and The Feederz. 

He was later the frontman of his own band, Peligro. He released three albums: a self-titled album released in 1995 on Dead Kennedys original singer Jello Biafra's record label, Alternative Tentacles, which was deleted from the catalogue in 2001, Welcome To America (2000), and 2004's Sum Of Our Surroundings which won Rock Album Of The Year from the American Independent Music Awards. 

Peligro reunited with Dead Kennedys in 2001, and after a brief hiatus in 2008, he rejoined and was a band member until his death.