Dead Kennedys and former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, D.H. Peligro dies, aged 63

D.H. Peligro
(Image credit: Lorne Thomson/Redferns/Getty)

D.H. Peligro, drummer for the Dead Kennedys and a former member of Red Hot Chili Peppers has died following an accidental fall, aged 63.

The drummer - real name Darren Henley - joined Dead Kennedys in 1981, replacing original drummer Bruce ‘Ted’ Slesinger and recorded the In God We Trust Inc. EP, along with three studio albums, Plastic Surgery Disasters, Fankenchrist and Bedtime for Democracy.

Following the band’s split in 1986, Peligro went on to play drums for Red Hot Chili Peppers after Jack Irons left the band in the wake of guitarist Hillel Slovak’s death. His time in the band was short, but while Peligro never recorded music with RHCP, he received writing credits on Taste The Pain, Stone Cold Bush and Sexy Mexican Maid. In addition to his writing credits, Peligro performed in a promo video for the song Me and My Friends.

D.H. Peligro’s death was announced by Dead Kennedys on social media, “Dead Kennedys' drummer D.H. Peligro (Darren Henley) passed away in his Los Angeles home yesterday, October 28th. Police on the scene stated that he died from trauma to the head caused by an accidental fall. 

“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.

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, Flea, paid tribute sharing images of Peligro, saying "My dear friend, my brother I miss you so much. I’m devastated today, a river of tears, but all my life I will treasure every second. 

D.H. Peligro with Red Hot Chili Peppers

(Image credit: Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

"The first time I saw you play with the DKs in ‘81 you blew my mind. The power, the soul, the recklessness. You became my beloved friend, so many times of every kind. We had so much fun, so much joy, having each other’s backs. I love you with all my heart. You are the truest rocker, and a crucial part of RHCP history. 

DHP in the place to be, you live forever in our hearts, you wild man, you bringer of joy, you giant-hearted man. I will always honor you. Rest In Peace and freedom from all that restrained you."


Josh Freese took to social media to pay his respects, sharing a photo of him and Peligro, adding, “I’m usually not a fan of including yourself in the picture when you’re doing a tribute to someone else but I love this photo of he and I and you can get a sense of his energy from this shot. RIP DH Peligro. He will be missed.” Matt Sorum commented on the photo saying “Great guy, always loving and caring, he brough beautiful energy into a room. Sad we lost him. RIP DH.”

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.