Talent, energy, dedication, discipline, passion, innovation, education, drive, mind, body, spirit, vision, honor, truth, and drums make the man: Kenny Aronoff. Voted by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the greatest drummers of all time, Aronoff is arguably the most sought-after recording and touring beat master ever. Ignited by the Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, Aronoff's passion for drumming fervently grew and carried him from the kit in his childhood living room in the Berkshires to Bernstein at Tanglewood to Mellencamp, Etheridge, Fogerty, Smashing Pumpkins, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles – his heroes – and beyond.
But none of this would have been possible without his fierce work ethic and unique approach to drumming – an integration of all parts of his being, along with meticulous attention to note-for-note detail, feel, and what the song needs. Both a leader and a team player in the mission to realize a greater good – an unforgettable recording, a riveting show – Aronoff brings it every time. Through any setbacks – heartaches, failures, injuries, or plain fatigue from the rigors of the biz – Aronoff has stayed the arduous and wild rock 'n' roll course. His tale of what is possible with unrelenting dedication to one's bliss is an inspiration to all.
Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll! details Aronoff's youth in the Berkshires and the Midwest, from his early inspirations to his serious classical and jazz study, which gave him the foundation to be able to play – anything. The failure of a first rock band in his early twenties had a silver lining: it freed him up for an audition that would change his life – John Mellencamp. His work with Mellencamp catapulted Aronoff to the top of the charts with such hits as “Hurt So Good,” “Little Pink Houses,” and “Jack and Diane” and paved the way for session and recording work with droves of remarkable artists: Melissa Etheridge, John Fogerty, Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, Smashing Pumpkins, the BoDeans, Paul Westerberg, Celine Dion, Iggy Pop, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Alice Cooper, Brian Wilson, Meat Loaf, Joe Cocker, and countless others.
In addition to his work as a world-famous recording and touring drummer, Aronoff finds time to be a dedicated teacher and has shared his expertise with students all over the world, teaching clinics for Tama and Zildjian. Heading into his fourth decade of rocking hard, Aronoff shows no signs of slowing down. Featuring rare photos, testimonials from major artists and from those who know him best, a chronology of live performances, a discography, and a foreword by Neil Peart, this book is the story of one of the greatest musicians of all time.
Kenny Aronoff shares his inspirational, cautionary, and captivating story of reaching the highest levels of the music business in his autobiography Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll! Aronoff may not have the name recognition of some rock stars, but he's immensely respected within the industry as a rock drummer par excellence. Aronoff discusses his childhood, formal musical training, and his first big break with John Mellencamp, which eventually led to work with other artists in the musical who's who. As one might expect, Aronoff has a few crazy, sordid tales to tell about life on the road, but Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll! succeeds because he also shows a thoughtful, reflective side. Aronoff tries to portray personality conflicts fairly and from all sides, and his technique of including brief comments by the people in question is highly effective. Aronoff displays a striking and relentless drive to achieve his goals. From his early classical studies to competing with other drummers for work, he never gives up, always pushing himself to practice harder and do better. This aspect transcends drumming and becomes an overriding theme in his life. Of course, there's a price to one's personal relationships that goes along with flying around the country at a breakneck pace, and Aronoff is not shy about detailing his difficulties in this respect. He's blunt and honest about his own shortcomings, and about applying the same effort to improving his family life as he does to his drumming. The book consciously does not drift too far into drummer-speak; while there are a few descriptions of “triple flam-a-diddles,” a “one-hand press roll,” and the like, Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll! is always more about Aronoff's personal journey. Rock-and-roll fans will enjoy reading about Aronoff's adventures with Mellencamp, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and other big names, but in the end, what makes the book work are the same things that propel Aronoff's music: a steady beat, impeccable timing, and always hitting hard. – Foreword Reviews
“Subtitled 'The Hardest Hitting Man in Show Business,' this autobiography by versatile session and touring drummer Kenny Aronoff is a testament to the adage that 'success happens when opportunity meets preparation.'...The overall story told here is one of hard work – from hours of practice to keeping a ridiculous schedule that can involve doing a late-night session or concert in one city and then flying overnight to a different city (or country) for a morning session or rehearsal. So many rock or celebrity autobiographies only focus on the successes and glories; Aronoff has certainly had his share of those, but he balances out those stories with descriptions of the hard work and challenges, making this a valuable read for anyone wishing to nurture and sustain a career in the music business.” – Rhythm Scene Magazine
“This master drummer...writes with a fan's flair and passion for the music; the pages fairly burst with energy and Aronoff's love of rock and roll.” – Houston Press
“In colorful and conversational language, Aronoff details events throughout his rich life; the lesson here is ultimately about having a dream and working everyday to make it come true.” – Desert Star
“Whether you are a drummer, a fan of rock and roll, or just want to get off on this guy's inspiring energy and spirit, Kenny Aronoff's Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll: The Hardest Hitting Man in Show Business is a fantastic read about a kick-ass life.” – VintageRock.com
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