Spend 30 minutes listening to a radio, and more likely than not, you’ll hear a song featuring drummer extraordinaire Kenny Aronoff, whose list of musical collaborators reads like the history of post-Beatles rock and roll. Indeed, for the New York-born and Massachusetts-raised Aronoff, it was the Fab Four’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 that began his musical journey. After playing in teenage combos like the Alley Cats in New England, he moved to the midwest and studied classical music at Indiana University School of Music, returning home during summer breaks to study with Vic Firth and perform with Boston Symphony Orchestra members at Tanglewood.
After a post-graduation exploration of jazz, Aronoff returned to the rock and pop world, joining Indiana rock icon John Cougar Mellencamp’s band in 1980, anchoring that outfit’s rhythm section for the next 17 years on well-loved albums like American Fool, Uh-Huh and Scarecrow. That decade also found Aronoff in demand as a session and touring drummer, and over the past 30+ years he has lent his talents to recordings and performances by Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Joe Cocker, Richard Thompson, Melissa Etheridge, Marshall Crenshaw, Michelle Branch, Willie Nelson… the list goes on!
Presently, Aronoff tours with the BoDeans and John Fogerty and regularly plays on Daryl Hall’s webcast, Live from Daryl’s House. He also owns Uncommon Studios in Los Angeles.
(by Stephen Haag)