Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer says he hopes to help those afflicted by depression and drug addiction with his new memoir. Called “Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top,”the book, chronicles Kramer’s highs and lows in his 40-year rock ‘n’ roll career, but concentrates on his battles against his personal demons. “Basically, I want to be of service and help folks out. Anybody that relates to stuff that’s happened to me along the way — my anxiety, my depression, the drugs
“I’d played my drums in front of eighty thousand screaming fans and passed out in my own puke. I’d toured in private jets, rode in limos, and had just about any girl, at any time, for anything. I also lived in rat-infested, shithole apartments, got caught in a burning car where I sustained third-degree burns all over my body, racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, and watched my father die a slow, agonizing death. But I had never felt anything like this depression that brought me to Steps. . . . This time, there was only me and my pain, and I didn’t see any way out.” –from the Introduction
In 1997, amid Aerosmith’s sold-out world tour and number one album release, word about Joey’s troubles was reported in the press. Despite the advice he had received to play it down, Joey revealed in an interview his ongoing struggles with depression. The response from fans and people battling those same internal demons was overwhelming. Joey–who has been the drummer in Aerosmith since it was founded in 1970 and is the first member of the band to release his own book–now tells the complete story: the early days of the band, glamorous drug-addled events leading up to their eventual sobriety, battles within his family and among bandmates, and the explosive internal dynamics in Aerosmith that continue to unleash a fury of endless creativity. Kramer said his father was abusive and unresolved feelings over his death helped fuel his lowest personal moments in his Aerosmith career. “I didn’t comprehend it when I was a kid, but the way he disciplined me, which was abusive, was my fuel. I wasn’t drumming to please him, but the big thing he related to was the almighty dollar, so when I started making some of those, he paid attention.”
This is not just another rock ‘n’ roll memoir. In addition to the never-before-told Aerosmith war stories that abound in the book, Hit Hard unpacks the history of a rock star who was both fragile and tough, who after years of insane wildness became willing to accept help and finally kick a serious alcohol and drug addiction, only to find that the real terrors and hard work were still ahead. It’s the story of an average kid from an average American suburb who went through physical and emotional trauma. It’s about years of depression and the nervous breakdown at the height of the band’s comeback success. Ultimately, Hit Hard is about how Joey recognized his confusion between love and abuse, awakening to the kind of self-acceptance and compassion that make relationships possible in the “real world” as a member of the biggest band in American history. .
“If I can help someone, I’ll have accomplished my goal.”– Joey Kramer