|Born||March 7, 1953|
Albany, New York, United States
|Associated acts||John Mellencamp, BoDeans, John Fogerty, Cinderella, Chickenfoot, Jerry Lee Lewis, Smashing Pumpkins, Joe Satriani, Jon Bon Jovi|
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, especially for John Mellencamp, with whom he worked from 1980 to 1996.
Aronoff grew up in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, with his twin brother Jonathan, a clinical psychologist. He developed an interest in music at an early age and gravitated to the drums as an instrument as "drumming was one hundred percent energy". An athlete in high school, Aronoff was a natural, earning three letters playing lacrosse, ski team and soccer.
After attending Berkshire Country Day, Aronoff went to music school for one year at the University of Massachusetts Amherst 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 Fiedler. At Indiana University from 1972 to 1976, Aronoff studied under timpanist George Gaber. He also studied privately with Vic Firth and Arthur Press, both formerly with The Boston Symphony Orchestra. After graduating in 1976 he was offered jobs with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and Quito Ecuador Symphony Orchestra but decided to move to the East Coast to study in Boston with Alan Dawson, a teacher from Berklee College of Music, and 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 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. Scott Ross, of Maven Management, secured Aronoff on the drums for his first number one single (Belinda Carlisle, "Heaven Is a Place on Earth").
Touring and recording 1985–99
In the mid-1980s, Aronoff developed a 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 1988 tour (after Mattacks broke his rib). 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 36-date Smashing Pumpkins' An Evening with... tour. Aronoff started touring with Joe Cocker in 2000 and has been touring and recording records with BoDeans since 1988.
In 1990, Aronoff recorded on Jon Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory" from the Western film Young Guns II, in 1993 on Meat Loaf's comeback record Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and in 1994 on Cinderella's fourth album Still Climbing. He also recorded with Celine Dion on Let's Talk About Love that was released in 1997.
2001 to present day
Aronoff was an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards' 2001 1st Annual IMA judging panel to support independent artists.
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" and her 2007 CD The Best Damn Thing. featured on the track "Everything Back But You". He recorded both Michelle Branch records The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper and most recently on Brandon Flowers’ 2015 release The Desired Effect.
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.
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.
In 2014, Aronoff was part of the Gregg Allman All My Friends concert.
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 Highwaymen. 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 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!"
As of November 2017, Aronoff is drumming for Rock and Roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis.
Music industry and endorsements
He is the owner of Uncommon Studios L.A. located in Los Angeles.
Aronoff's distinctive style has awarded him many endorsements and celebrity branding by several musical equipment companies including Tama Drums and hardware, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth drumsticks, Evans Drumheads, Meinl Percussion, Yamaha DTX electronic drums, and Shure Microphones.
With Alison Krauss
- Windy City (Capitol Records, 2017)
With Amanda Marshall
With Ashlee Simpson
- Autobiography (Geffen, 2004)
With Billie Myers
- Growing, Pains (Universal Records, 1997)
With Bonnie Tyler
- Bitterblue (Hansa Records, 1991)
With Brian Wilson
- No Pier Pressure (Capitol Records, 2015)
With Delbert McClinton
- Never Been Rocked Enough (Curb, 1992)
With Diana DeGarmo
- Blue Skies (RCA Records, 2004)
With Glenn Frey
- Strange Weather (MCA Records, 1992)
With Indigo Girls
- Rites of Passage (Epic Records, 1992)
With Jake Owen
With Jimmy Barnes
With Jo Dee Messina
- Jo Dee Messina (Curb Records, 1996)
With John Fogerty
- Blue Moon Swamp (Warner Bros. Records, 1997)
- Deja Vu All Over Again (Dreamworks Records, 2004)
- Revival (Fantasy Records, 2007)
- The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again (Verve Records, 2009)
- Wrote a Song for Everyone (Vanguard Records, 2013)
With John Mellencamp
- Nothin' Matters and What If It Did (Riva Records, 1980)
- American Fool (Riva Records, 1982)
- Uh-Huh (Riva Records, 1983)
- Scarecrow (Riva Records, 1985)
- The Lonesome Jubilee (Mercury Records, 1987)
- Big Daddy (Mercury Records, 1989)
- Whenever We Wanted (Mercury Records, 1991)
- Human Wheels (Mercury Records, 1993)
- Dance Naked (Mercury Records, 1994)
- Mr. Happy Go Lucky (Mercury Records, 1996)
With Jon Bon Jovi
With Kelly Clarkson
- Breakaway (RCA Records, 2004)
With Lucy Woodward
- While You Can (Atlantic Records, 2003)
With Michael Grimm
- Michael Grimm (Epic Records, 2011)
With Neil Diamond
- Lovescape (Columbia Records, 1991)
With Patty Smyth
- Patty Smyth (MCA Records, 1992)
With Rod Stewart
- A Spanner in the Works (Warner Bros. Records, 1995)
- Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of Our Time (J Records, 2006)
- Time (Capitol Records, 2013)
With Stevie Nicks
- Street Angel (Modern Records, 1994)
With Vince Gill
- When Love Finds You (MCA Records, 1994)
With Shawn Colvin
- Cover Girl (Columbia Records, 1994)
With Billy Ray Cyrus
With Rodney Crowell
- Jewel of the South (MCA Records, 1995)
With Jamie O'Neal
- Brave (Capitol Records, 2005)
With Gregg Alexander
- Michigan Rain (A&M Records, 1989)
With Jann Arden
With Gilby Clarke
- The Gospel Truth (Golden Robot Records, 2021)
With Bob Dylan
- Under the Red Sky (Columbia Records, 1990)
With Meat Loaf
- Welcome to the Neighbourhood (Virgin , 1995)
- Sad Clowns & Hillbillies (Republic Records, 2017)
With Michelle Branch
With Scott Stapp
- Proof of Life (Wind-up Records, 2013)
With Michael Penn
With Tony Joe White
- Lake Placid Blues (Polydor Records, 1995)
- Anastacia (Epic Records, 2004)
With Eddie Money
- Love and Money (Wolfgang Records, 1995)
- Shakin' with the Money Man (CMC Records, 1997)
- Ready Eddie (CMC Records, 1999)
With Gavin DeGraw
- Gavin DeGraw (J Records, 2008)
With Michelle Shocked
- Arkansas Traveler (Mercury Records, 1992)
With Alanis Morissette
- So-Called Chaos (Maverick Records, 2004)
With Richie Sambora
- Undiscovered Soul (Mercury Records, 1998)
With Mick Jagger
- Goddess in the Doorway (Virgin Records, 2001)
With Céline Dion
With Trace Adkins
- The King's Gift (Caliburn Records, 2013)
With Jesse McCartney
- Right Where You Want Me (Universal Republic Records, 2006)
- Stones in the Road (Columbia Records, 1994)
With B.B. King
- Deuces Wild (MCA Records, 1997)
With Belinda Carlisle
- Heaven on Earth (MCA Records, 1987)
- Runaway Horses (MCA Records, 1989)
- Live Your Life Be Free (MCA Records, 1991)
With Brandon Flowers
- The Desired Effect (Island Records, 2015)
With Tony Iommi
With Michael Sweet
With Rob Thomas
- Cradlesong (Atlantic Records, 2009)
With Avril Lavigne
With Melissa Etheridge
- Your Little Secret (Island Records, 1995)
- Breakdown (Island Records, 1999)
- Skin (Island Records, 2001)
- Lucky (Island Records, 2004)
With Joe Cocker
- Organic (550 Music, 1996)
- Across from Midnight (CMC International, 1997)
- Respect Yourself (EMI, 2002)
With Joe Satriani
- Shapeshifting (Sony Music, 2020)
With Marshall Crenshaw
With Bob Seger
With Robert Mirabal
- Music from a Painted Cave (Silver Wave Records, Inc., 2001)
- "Kenny Aronoff profile". drummerworld.com. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
- "Kenny Aronoff: Part I - Interviews - The Black Page". www.theblackpage.net. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
- Herzog, Kenny (December 9, 2015). "Kenny Aronoff Is the Most Famous Drummer You've Never Heard Of". esquire.com. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
- Provenz, Jessica (October 2015). "Rock Stars From Stockbridge". Berkshire Townvibe. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
- "Kenny Aronoff - Drummer For Everyone - Glide Magazine". 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
- "Bill Burr's podcast, TAMMP, 3-1-18 with Kenny Aronoff". billburr.com. 2018-03-01. Event occurs at 08:58. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
- "Arthur Press". discogs.com.
- "Alan Dawson". Discogs.com.
- Wardlaw, Matt (February 13, 2014). "Kenny Aronoff Interview". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
- "Past Judges". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- "Avril Lavigne - My Happy Ending".
- "Avril Lavigne - The Best Damn Thing".
- "Michelle Branch - The Spirit Room".
- "Michelle Branch - Hotel Paper".
- The Desired Effect
- "Brandon Flowers' new solo album, 'The Desired Effect,' takes personal turn". Los Angeles Times. 21 May 2015.
- "Kenny Aronoff - Biography & History - AllMusic".
- "Live From Daryl's House: This Month's Episode".
- "Chickenfoot May Have Their New Drummer | Rock News | News". Planet Rock. 2011-07-26. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- "Kenny Aronoff: my best and worst gigs ever".
- "Uncommon Studios LA - Kenny's Place".
- "Artists - Vic Firth". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
- Official website
- 2012 Audio Interview with Kenny Aronoff from the Podcast "I'd Hit That"
- Kenny Aronoff Interview NAMM Oral History Library (2017)