(WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – Stockbridge native and superstar rock drummer Kenny Aronoff returns home to sign copies of his brand-new memoir, “Sex, Drums, Rock ‘n’ Roll!: The Hardest Hitting Man in Show Business,” at No. Six Depot Café on Sunday, December 18, at 3:30pm. The memoir includes tales from Aronoff’s youth growing up in the Berkshires, playing in local garage bands, and performing under the baton of Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood, before heading off to fame first as a member of John Mellencamp’s, Melissa Etheridge’s, and John Fogerty’s bands and then as an on-call drummer recording and performing for the likes of Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Smashing Pumpkins, Meat Loaf, Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, the BoDeans, Paul Westerberg, Celine Dion, Elton John, Alice Cooper, Brian Wilson, Joe Cocker, and members of the Beatles – the group that first inspired him to play music.
Known as much for his fierce work ethic and dedication as he is for his powerful and musical technique, Aronoff is widely regarded as a member of the pantheon of utility rock drummers – those who don’t belong to a particular band – alongside Jim Keltner, Jim Gordon, Steve Gadd, Al Jackson Jr., and Manu Katche. He is included on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.
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, “Sex, Drums, Rock ‘n’ Roll!” is the story of one of the greatest musicians of all time.
Growing up in Massachusetts, Kenny joined his first band at age ten after seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. A self-taught drummer, he played in local bands throughout junior high and high school. At 16, he decided to focus on classical music and began to study seriously with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, including world-renowned timpanist Vic Firth. He went on to study at the University of Massachusetts and at Indiana University, where, among other honors, he was awarded the school’s prestigious Performer’s Certificate. During summer breaks he played in the symphony orchestras at the Aspen Music Festival (run by Juilliard School of Music) and the Tanglewood Music Festival (run by the Boston Symphony Orchestra).
After graduating from IU in 1976, Kenny was offered timpani positions in several symphony orchestras, but instead decided to head to the east coast, where he studied drum set in Boston and New York. During this time he began to concentrate on jazz and fusion music, and in 1977 he returned to Indiana and spent several years in a popular local band, playing throughout the Midwest. In 1980 he joined the John Mellencamp band, recording 10 albums and touring with him over a 17-year period. Kenny’s innovative style and solid backbeat became the driving force behind Mellencamp’s long run of definitive hit records in the 1980s and ’90s, a list that includes American Fool, Scarecrow, Uh Huh, The Lonesome Jubilee, Whenever We Wanted, Dance Naked, Big Daddy, Human Wheels, Mr. Happy Go Lucky and others.
In the mid-1980s, Kenny began to develop an enormously successful career as a studio musician. Today he’s among the world’s most in-demand session drummers, having played on hundreds of records. Recent recording projects include John Fogerty, Rod Stewart, Brian Wilson, BoDeans, Paul Gilbert and many other new artists. For a complete list of his recording credits check out his Discography. Kenny has his own studio in North Hollywood, Uncommon Studios LA, where he records drums for artists and bands.
Kenny has also performed live or toured worldwide with many artists including The Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Seger, John Fogerty, Melissa Etheridge, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Michelle Branch, Styx, Goo Goo Dolls, Billy Gibbons, BoDeans, Ringo Starr, Dr. John, Gregg Allman, and many many more.
From 1993 to 1997, he was Associate Professor of Percussion at Indiana University. The Aronoff Percussion Scholarship is awarded annually to a percussion student enrolled at IU.
Whether it’s recording, touring, drum clinics or his instructional DVDs and books, Kenny brings tremendous drive, enthusiasm and creativity to everything he does. For all the latest information about his current projects including tour dates, clinics, recording sessions and much more.