Official Web Site A.J. PERO
1959 - 2015
Anthony Jude Pero in October, 1959 in Staten Island NY, A.J. epitomizes the saying “born with the sticks in his hands”. A.J. received his first drum kit at the age of 3, when his Mom and Dad realized that the kid had a way with the pots and pans. A.J. proceeded to destroy that drum set rather quickly, and received his first “real” drum set, a red sparkle Ludwig at the age of 4.
He began to take lessons and studied with a local jazz musician, and with jazz great Gene Krupa. A.J. played at family and neighborhood functions at this young age, and other professionals in his community quickly recognized his talent. Because of this, A.J. was invited to perform as a solo artist on the Mike Douglas show at age seven, and he brought the house down! At 10, he played the Jerry Lewis Telethon with two other talented young performers, covering songs from jazz icons Charlie Parker and Dave Brubeck.
By the age of 11, A.J. was fully versed in reading and writing music. A.J. continued to perform in local events and was part of his school drum corps, always under the watchful eye of his music teachers and others in the musical community. When the drummer for a college band broke his leg, A.J. was asked to join the band to perform a 3 week tour of Europe. This was a defining moment for A.J., and he quickly accepted the offer. During this tour he won 3 gold medals at the Paris Jazz Festival for the best performance as a drummer, winning the honors over musicians more than twice his age!
Returning with greater confidence and belief in his ability, he continued to play at every opportunity, further refining his technique that defines him as the masterful, ferocious, powerhouse drummer that we see in A.J. today. His high school years found A.J. a well rounded rock-fusion drummer at a time when the music world was turning its attention to rock bands such as Black Sabbath, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Yes, and other progressive heavy metal bands. A.J. had found his niche! He continued to play everyday, whether in his local “garage” band, pit bands, or in the high school drum corps. During this time, A.J developed his “technique” which A.J. describes as allowing yourself to go with the flow, be in the moment, an “effortless mastery”.
After high school, A.J. was offered the opportunity to join a well-known Tri-State area band. The band was blown away by his style and prowess and hired him on the spot. The band was Twisted Sister. During his tenure with Twisted Sister from 1982-1987, A.J. recorded 6 albums and embarked on 4 world tours. His drumming style is the driving force behind the band and he has been recognized as one of the industry’s most prominent drummers. As the drummer for Twisted Sister, A.J earned 32 gold, silver, and platinum albums and singles, most notably the triple platinum album “Stay Hungry” which spawned two gold singles.
After TS disbanded in 1988, A.J. kept busy with a band named Cities that released a best selling album and toured locally. He also began teaching and was sought after as a studio musician.
In 2001, Twisted Sister found themselves together again as a result of the tragic events of September 11th. The band reformed to host a charity show with other NY area musicians. The event, “NY STEEL”, was a benefit for the families of the uniformed men and women who lost their lives on that day. Although they had not anticipated it, Twisted Sister continues to tour today, headlining sold out arena and festival shows around the world. In 2004, A.J. went back in the studio with Twisted to re-record the “Stay Hungry” album, entitled “Still Hungry”. This album completely showcases A.J. talents as the rhythm backbone of that band. Currently, Twisted Sister and A.J.’s version of “Born to Be Wild” can be heard as the official theme song for Robbie Kneivel’s A&E realty show, “Kneivel’s Wild Ride”.
While continuing to tour and record, A.J. has will be hosting drum clinics with Tama drums, holding classes and seminars, and completing an instructional DVD. A.J. is also in the beginning stages of writing a book on his life’s journeys and lessons.
A.J. studied with Maestro Larry Laurenzano, whom he considers not only a great teacher and mentor, but “a great friend who had more confidence in me, then I did in myself”. Mike Sqroi, “a great drummer who started me and taught me well” and Nino Morreale who “made me realize who and what I was as a musician/drummer.” And of course, “my Dad who in his own right was a great Sax player who never persued it, but saw in me his dream. THANK YOU GENTLEMEN!!!!”
Copyright 2004-2018 @ ajpero.com