D. H. Peligro

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D. H. Peligro
Peligro in 2019
Background information
Birth nameDarren Eric Henley
Born(1959-07-09)July 9, 1959
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
DiedOctober 28, 2022(2022-10-28) (aged 63)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresHardcore punk, funk rock, punk rock
Years active1981–2022
Formerly ofThe Dead Kennedys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Feederz, Lock Up

Darren Eric Henley (July 9, 1959 – October 28, 2022), better known by his stage name D. H. Peligro, was an American punk rock musician, most commonly known as the drummer for Dead Kennedys along with a brief stint as the drummer for Red Hot Chili Peppers.


The Dead Kennedys (1981–1986, 2001–2008, 2009–2022)[edit]

Peligro joined 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 and other tracks that appeared on the 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. Biafra was ultimately convicted of fraud, malice and breach of contract, a verdict upheld on appeal before the California Supreme Court, and was ordered to pay $220,000 in actual and punitive damages.[1]

In early 2008, Peligro took a hiatus from Dead Kennedys, citing the need for time off from touring.[2] The brief hiatus lasted until June 2009 when Peligro rejoined the band.

Red Hot Chili Peppers (1988)[edit]

In 1988, Peligro joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers replacing drummer Jack Irons. Guitarist Hillel Slovak had recently died of a heroin overdose and was replaced by guitarist DeWayne McKnight. Peligro had been friends with the band for years and had played in a comedy band called Three Little Butt Hairs with singer Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea. McKnight was fired three shows into their tour in September 1988 and was replaced by John Frusciante. Peligro would last a bit longer than McKnight, helping to write some songs on the band's fourth album, Mother's Milk, which was released the following year, although Peligro did not perform on the album. Due to his ongoing drug and alcohol issues, the band decided to fire Peligro in November 1988. Peligro did not handle his firing well. Flea said that he stayed in bed for days after making the decision to fire Peligro. Years later, Kiedis said firing Peligro was one of the toughest things the band ever had to do, although Kiedis became a major part of Peligro's road to sobriety, which began after he was fired. Chad Smith replaced Peligro a few weeks later and has been with the band ever since.

Other bands[edit]

Peligro also played briefly with The Hellations, Jungle Studs, Nailbomb, The Feederz, Lock-Up, The Two Free Stooges and SSI. Peligro was the frontman for his band called Peligro which released three albums: Peligro (released in 1995 on Biafra's Alternative Tentacles record label, but deleted from the catalog in 2001), Welcome to America and Sum of Our Surroundings, which won Rock Album of the Year from the American Independent Music Awards. Peligro's sound is known to be an eclectic combination of punk, reggae, funk and heavy metal. D. H. Peligro has also fronted the bands Reverend Jones and the Cool Aid Choir and Al Sharpton's Hair and the Hellions. He appears as an interview subject in the 2003 documentary Afro-Punk. In 2020, Peligro recorded the song "Power is Taken" with Moby, which was also included on Moby’s album All Visible Objects.


On October 28, 2022, Peligro died in his Los Angeles home. Police reported that he died from trauma to the head, caused by an accidental fall.[3] On May 2, 2023 Peligro’s official cause of death was released, revealing that his death was due to an overdose from a mixture of heroin and fentanyl. Peligro also had non-small cell lung cancer at the time of his death. [4]


Dead Kennedys[edit]

Jungle Studs[edit]

  • Jungle Studs (1986)


  • Peligro (1995)
  • Welcome To America (2000)
  • Sum Of Our Surroundings (2004)

Red Hot Chili Peppers[edit]



  1. ^ "Jello Biafra drops Kennedys suit". Associated Press. July 14, 2004.
  2. ^ "Welcome to the Official Website For Dead Kennedys".
  3. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (October 29, 2022). "Dead Kennedys Drummer D. H. Peligro Dead At 63". Stereogum. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
  4. ^ "Dead Kennedys Drummer D.H. Peligro's Cause of Death Revealed". TMZ. Retrieved May 3, 2023.

External links[edit]