Kenny Aronoff, author of Sex, Drums, Rock ‘n’ Roll!, sat down with SALON.com sharing his journey from his love for the Beatles to working with John Mellencamp, plus his mantra to “work hard and rock harder.”
Kenny Aronoff is one of the most famous and hardest working rock ‘n’ roll drummers performing today. After four decades behind the kit playing with John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Jon Bon Jovi, and many others, as house drummer for the Kennedy Center Honors, and alongside Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on the Beatles CBS special The Night That Changed America, Aronoff is listed among Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time” and remains one of the most in-demand live and session drummers in the music business working today.
You got to work your butt off in anything. That’s what the book is about.
In Sex, Drums, Rock ’n’ Roll! The Hardest Hitting Man in Show Business, Aronoff answers these questions and more, painting the portrait of an artist, instructor, and businessman who never followed the norm, always followed his heart, and never settled for anything short of excellence.
You have to go through a lot of experience to understand how to solve problems to see the problems before they come because they’re going to come.
Sex, Drums, Rock ’n’ Roll! takes readers on Aronoff’s amazing journey from the small New England town where he watched the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 to performing alongside Paul and Ringo on a television special 50 years later. Along the way it chronicles an uncommon career in which the excesses of the rock ’n’ roll life are always tempered by his core personal and professional values.
I’ll never be as great as I want to be, but I’m willing to spend the rest of my life trying to be as great as I can be.
Check out the video here.
Susan Masino, author of AC/DC FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the World’s True Rock ‘N’ Roll Band, recently sat down for an awesome interview with Jamie Blaine!
SIMPLE IS BEST: THE SECRET OF
AC/DC’S SUCCESS — A CONVERSATION WITH BIOGRAPHER SUSAN MASINO
AC/DC biographer Susan Masino, also a longtime band friend, is perhaps the only writer to enjoy the honor of an actual shout-out in one of the band’s early tunes. (See below.) If that doesn’t give a biographer cred, nothing does.
Masino’s Let There Be Rock: The Story of AC/DC is the band’s definitive biography, but there’s always more to tell with AC/DC. Her stellar, brand new AC/DC FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the World’s True Rock ‘N’ Roll Band is jam-packed with even more stories, behind-the-scenes hi-jinx, and tasty bits from the band’s long way to the top. We caught up with Masino to get her take on the secret of AC/DC’s forty-years-and-counting success.
The Weeklings: Dirty Deeds is my favorite AC/DC record. What’s yours?
Susan Masino: Mine is Powerage for several reasons, aside from how brilliant all the songs are. I was in constant contact with Barry Taylor (roadie for the band), while they were in the studio. I actually mailed them copies of the interview I did with them prior December (1977), when they played in Milwaukee, WI. My friend Barry kept bringing up the fact that he “helped” Bon with some of the lyrics. I thought that was nice, but it wasn’t until much later that I realized Bon used my name in the song, “Down Payment Blues.”
The Weeklings: Whoa! You’re Suzy baby?
Susan Masino: Well, I’d like to think I was one of them. I’m sure Bon knew other Suzys, but he also liked to tease Barry about his affection toward me. If he was referring to me, that is the most awesome thing an AC/DC fan can achieve, along with making it onto the Jumbo Tron when they played Milwaukee in 2010.
The Weeklings: You go back with the band over thirty years. Give us a quick primer to your history with AC/DC.
Susan Masino: I was lucky enough to meet AC/DC on the first leg of their first U.S. It was August 16, 1977, and I was writing for a local paper here in Madison, WI. I was sent to the club to help out the promoter, and fell in love with the band. I became friends with Barry and he wrote and called me every week for the next three years. He left the band in 1980, right before Bon’s death, and I stayed in touch with the band over the past 38 years, seeing them on tour and writing two books about them.
The Weeklings: Some lumped AC/DC in as punk when they first began and you mention that Bon might have been influential to the early punk movement.
Susan Masino: I know during their first tour of the UK, the Sex Pistols were on their way up and the band claimed that once they (the Pistols) saw AC/DC, they started dressing like Bon with the cut off denim jackets. AC/DC hated being called a punk band, and didn’t care for the music themselves at all.
The Weeklings: Is there any band that AC/DC didn’t blow off the stage?
Susan Masino: Absolutely not! To be fair, when they were opening for bands like Aerosmith, UFO, and Cheap Trick, I chose to stay backstage after the band was done playing. Once you saw AC/DC live, you were good.
Read the rest of the interview here!