Kenny Aaronson

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Kenny Aaronson
Background information
Birth nameKenneth Aaronson
Born (1952-04-14) April 14, 1952 (age 71)
Brooklyn, New York
Years active1971-present
Member ofThe Yardbirds
Formerly of

Kenny Aaronson (born April 14, 1952 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American bass guitar player.[1] He has recorded or performed with several notable artists such as Bob Dylan, Rick Derringer, Billy Idol, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Foghat, Sammy Hagar, Billy Squier, New York Dolls, and Hall and Oates.[2] Since 2015, he has been the bass player for The Yardbirds.

Early life and career[edit]

He started playing drums at the age of eleven, following in his older brother's footsteps. Aaronson switched to electric bass at the age 14 after becoming enamored by the bass on Motown records and was strongly influenced by James Jamerson. As a teenager he played bass for Brooklyn-based hard rock band Dust, which included Marc Bell (a.k.a. Marky Ramone) and Richie Wise, which released two albums in 1971 and 1972 on the Kama Sutra label. In 1973, Aaronson joined the New York band Stories, whose single, "Brother Louie", reached #1 on the Billboard, Cashbox and Record World charts.

From 1976-1979, Aaronson played bass for Rick Derringer.

Peak success[edit]

In 1988, Aaronson was named Bassist of the year by Rolling Stone.[3] That year Aaronson also toured with Bob Dylan, but he was forced to leave the tour after developing skin cancer. Aaronson underwent surgery, which was successful in defeating the disease. Aaronson was the bassist in the house band for the MTV Guitar Greats Show where along with Dave Edmunds, Chuck Leavell and Michael Shrieve, he backed up artists such as Steve Cropper, Brian Setzer, Dickey Betts, Link Wray, Neal Schon, Johnny Winter, Lita Ford, Tony Iommi and Dave Gilmour. Kenny also auditioned for the Rolling Stones in 1994.

Aaronson has toured and recorded with a variety of artists including Billy Idol, Billy Squier, Foghat, Brian Setzer, Dave Edmunds, HSAS (with Sammy Hagar, Neal Schon, and Michael Shrieve), Mick Taylor, Graham Parker, Hall and Oates, Edgar Winter, Robert Gordon, Leslie West Band, Rick Derringer and Joan Jett among others. Aaronson was a regular member of Jett's backing group the Blackhearts from 1991 to 1995. Aaronson was one of the few Blackheart band members to co-write a track with Jett. The song, "World Of Denial", was recorded for the 1994 album "Pure and Simple" but was not released in the U.S. until 2001's Fit To Be Tied- Great Hits by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts".

Recent work[edit]

In July 2011, Aaronson supported singer/songwriter John Eddie and played with Corky Laing & The Memory Thieves. Also in 2011, Aaronson recorded with ex Bongo's singer Richard Barone on a tribute album for The Runaways. Aaronson joined the New York Dolls and toured in the summer of 2011 supporting Mötley Crüe and Poison.

More recently, 2014 recorded with Gar Francis of the Doughboys, Kurt Reil of The Grip Weeds and Bruce Ferguson of The Easy Out a self-titled full-length album under the name The Satisfactors. In June 2015 the first single of the album called Johnny Commando reached Top 10 in The Netherlands at Ned.FM Radio.

In November 2015, he joined the British band The Yardbirds.

In 2016, Aaronson was featured on former Mambo Sons guitarist/songwriter Tom Guerra's second solo album Trampling Out the Vintage, and in 2018, co-wrote three songs with Guerra, originally intended for The Yardbirds, which were included on Guerra's third solo album, American Garden. In 2020, Aaronson once again figured prominently on Tom Guerra’s fourth solo album ‘’Sudden Signs of Grace,’’ and also appeared in the video for the title track. In 2022, Aaronson played a major role in "Sentimental Junk," Guerra's fifth solo album.


With Dust
With Stories
With Rick Derringer
  • Derringer (1976)
  • Sweet Evil (1977)
  • Derringer Live (1977)
  • If I Weren't So Romantic, I'd Shoot You (1978)
  • Guitars And Women (1979)
  • Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo: The Best Of Rick Derringer (1996)
With Silver Condor
  • Trouble At Home (1983)
With Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve
With Brian Setzer
With Blue Öyster Cult
With Billy Idol
With Michael Monroe
With Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
With Billy Squier
  • Sixteen Strokes lap steel (1995)
With Graham Parker
  • Live from New York (1996)
With Ian McDonald
With Tom Guerra and Scott Lawson (Mambo Sons)
  • Mambo Sons (1999)
With John Eddie
  • Guy Walks into a Bar (2001)
  • Who the Hell is John Eddie (2003)
With Mountain
  • Master of War (2007)
With Dana Fuchs
  • Lonely for a Lifetime (2003)
  • Love to Beg (2011)
With The Satisfactors
  • The Satisfactors (2014)
With Radio Exile
  • Radio Exile (2015)
With Tom Guerra
  • Trampling Out the Vintage (2016)
  • American Garden (2018)
  • Sudden Signs of Grace (2020)
  • Sentimental Junk (2022)
With Mark Duda
  • Month of Sundays (2017)


  1. ^ "KENNY AARONSON - FROM DUST TO DYLAN". Archived from the original on July 17, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  2. ^ Wright, Jeb. "The Story of Dust - Part 1: Kenny Aaronson". Classic Rock Revisited. The Internet. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  3. ^ Alderete, Juan (August 4, 2016). "Throwback Thursday: Interview with Kenny Aaronson". Pedals and Effects. The Internet. Retrieved November 20, 2020.


  • Colin Larkin: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Third edition. Macmillan, New York, N.Y. 1998.

External links[edit]