Kenny Aronoff

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Kenny Aronoff
Kenny Aronoff.jpg
Aronoff at a signing in 2005
Background information
Born (1953-03-07) March 7, 1953 (age 62)
Genres Rock
Instruments Drums
Years active 1976–present
Associated acts John Mellencamp, BoDeans, John Fogerty, Chickenfoot

Kenny Aronoff (born March 7, 1953 in Albany, New York) is an American drummer who has been the sideman for many bands both live and in the studio. He is most associated with the John Mellencamp band, also known as "John Cougar Mellencamp", who he has worked with from 1980 to 1996. He is also known for his recorded drums and percussion with many recording artists.


Early career[edit]

Aronoff went to music school for one year at the University of Massachusetts and spent four more years at The Indiana University School of Music (presently known as Jacobs School of Music) as a performance major in classical music as well as spending a summer at the Aspen School of Music run by Juilliard School of Music. He also spent one summer at Tanglewood in the Fellowship program (now Tanglewood Music Center), which at that time was managed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra where he worked with conductors Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Arthur Feidler. While studying at Indiana University from 1972 to 1976 Aronoff studied under tympanist George Gaber. He also studied under private tutor with Vic Firth and Arthur Press, both formerly with The Boston Symphony Orchestra.[1] After graduating in 1976 he was offered jobs with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and Quito Ecuador Symphony Orchestra but decided instead to move to the East Coast to study Drum Set in Boston with Alan Dawson,[2] a teacher from Berklee College of Music and also with Gary Chester in New York where he began to concentrate on jazz and fusion music.

During this time he decided to return to his rock and roll roots that started in 1964 with his very first childhood band, "The Alley Cats". In 1980 he won an audition with John Cougar and promptly joined the band which led to a career with Mellencamp recording 10 albums and touring with him over a 17-year period.

Touring and recording 1985-99[edit]

In the mid-1980s, Aronoff began to develop an successful career as a studio musician, playing on hundreds of records as well as touring worldwide with many artists.

He filled in for Dave Mattacks on the second half of Richard Thompson's 1989 tour, (after Mattacks broke his arm). In 1996, Aronoff recorded with Bob Seger and then Melissa Etheridge. He has made records and toured with John Fogerty for 20 years. In 1998, he played the thirty six date Smashing Pumpkins' An Evening with... tour. Aronoff started touring with Joe Cocker in 2000 and has been touring and recording records with The BoDeans since 1988.

In 1992, Arnoff recorded on "Blaze of Glory" from the Western film Young Guns II, and in 1993, he recorded Meat Loaf's 22,000,000 worldwide comeback record Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell. He also recorded Celine Dion's 31,000,000 selling record Let's Talk About Love.

2001 to present day[edit]

Aronoff was an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards' 2001 1st Annual IMA judging panel to support independent artists.[3]

In 2005, Aronoff began touring with roots rock band The BoDeans. He performed on their two-CD live set, Homebrewed: Live From the Pabst.

Aronoff recorded on Avril Lavigne's 2004 hit single My Happy Ending[4] and her 2007 CD The Best Damn Thing.[5] featured on the track "Everything Back But You". He recorded both Michelle Branch records "The Spirit Room"[6] and "Hotel Paper"[7] and most recently on Brandon Flowers 2015 release The Desired Effect[8][9]

In 2007 and 2008 Aronoff worked with John Fogerty, performing on his 2007 US and European tours and on his 2008 Australian tour. Aronoff is one of four rotating drummers in Daryl Hall's house band for his Live From Daryl's House webcast.[10][11]

On July 26, 2011, Aronoff reunited with members of Chickenfoot and toured with the band on the heels of their second album, temporarily filling in for Chad Smith who was unable to participate on the tour due to commitments with The Red Hot Chili Peppers.[12]

Aronoff has performed at the Kennedy Center Honors Ceremonies from 2008 to 2014 as well as two performances at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards with Ringo Starr and the Highway Men. He also performed a tribute to The Beatles sharing the stage with the two remaining Beatle members Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney in "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America". During that same show, he also played drums for Stevie Wonder, David Grohl, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Joe Walsh, Keith Urban, John Mayer. Jeff Lynne, Pharrell Williams and Brad Paisley. In an interview, Aronoff told Ringo Starr, "You're the reason why I'm playing drums. You're the reason why I'm in a band. You're the reason why I decided to be a musician!"[13][14] Presently, Kenny Aronoff continues to perform live with John Fogerty and The Bodeans when he is not in the studio making records.

Music Industry Endorsement[edit]

Aronoff's distinctive style has awarded him many endorsements and celebrity branding by several musical equipment companies including Tama Drums and hardware, Yamaha DTX electronic drums, Vic Firth drumsticks, Evans drum heads, Meinl Percussion, Shure Microphones, and Zildjian cymbals.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Aronoff lives in Studio City, Los Angeles California with his wife Georgina Anouska Aronoff and has a son David Nikolai Aronoff.


He is the owner of Uncommon Studios L.A. Located in Los Angeles.[16]

List of recording credits[edit]

Aronoff's recording credits include:


External links[edit]