Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French spoke in a recent interview with Mike Brunn and recalled his final conversation with bandmate A.J. Pero one day before his death.
Drummer A.J. Pero contributed all of Twisted Sister’s records and became a prominent figure in the metal scene. Unfortunately, he had a heart attack in his sleep in 2015 and passed away at the age of 55. Following A.J. Pero’s death, the band did a farewell tour the following year and disbanded afterward.
Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy stood in for the late drummer during this tour and the community bid farewell to the metal icons. In the conversation, Jay Jay pointed out that Dee Snider decided to quit a day before A.J. Pero’s passing and told everybody that he didn’t want to continue anymore.
Therefore, Jay Jay wanted to inform other members as well and called A.J Pero. During the conversation, the drummer told him that he had been having problems with his shoulder. However, neither Jay Jay nor other members realized that A.J. Pero was experiencing a heart attack at that time. The next day, they found out that the iconic drummer had passed away.
Jay Jay French talked about the time when Dee wanted to quit:
“The Friday before A.J. died was my last conversation with A.J., which followed a conversation with Dee in which he said to me, ‘Listen, man, after this year, it’s over… I’m telling you now. It’s really over, it’s really done, I’m retiring. So call the guys up in the band and tell them that this is really it.’
So I call Eddie, I call Mark, and I call A.J., and I go, ‘Hey, man, listen, I just need to tell you, I don’t know what your plans are for next year but Dee says this is it… ‘So at the end of this run, this year, hold on to your money,do whatever you got to do. It’s over.’
We just had a royalty check and he needed the money. So rather than wait to come and get it in the mail, he wanted to come in the city and get a check. And he said, ‘OK, I’ll come in on Monday.’ I said, ‘Great.’ And then he said, ‘By the way, I’ve been having trouble on my shoulder‘”
“See, we didn’t realize he was having a heart attack at that point. He thought it was a muscle spasm, and he said, ‘I’m going to quit Adrenaline Mob this weekend to get physiotherapy for the tour for the summer. So when you hear I quit Adrenaline, don’t get freaked out.
Then I said to him, ‘I’ll see you Monday, Mr. Pero…’ And he said, ‘Thank you, Mr. French…’ Because that’s how we addressed each other, it was always this funny thing like Mr. French from ‘Family Affair.’
He used to call me Mr. French, and every time he called me Mr. French, I go, ‘Mr. Pero…’ So we end the conversation he goes, ‘I’ll see you Monday, Mr. French.’ ‘I see you Money, Mr. Pero.’ That was it. And he died the next day. I can get very emotional when I tell that story…”
You can listen to the conversation below.