Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top

( 21 )

Overview

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 ...

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Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top

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Overview

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.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Nikki Sixx
"I love this book; this is an important book, because it’s not bullshit. Joey had the balls to see what underneath the hood, and to fix it. Being a rock star was easy compared to that."
—From the Foreword by NIKKI SIXX
“I love this book; this is an important book, because it’s not bullshit. Joey had the balls to see what underneath the hood, and to fix it. Being a rock star was easy compared to that.”
Publishers Weekly

Being a rock star in the music business oftentimes is not all it's cracked up to be, as Aerosmith drummer Kramer aptly shares in his memoir. Much of the story centers on his drug and alcohol abuse, and his love/hate relationship with his father, his wife and bandmember Steven Tyler. He delves sporadically into the discovery of his own musicianship and creation of his sound, but the main theme is recovery-as an addict and again as a sober but emotionally unhealed man who suffers a nervous breakdown: "I felt like someone was peeling back my skin, ripping off scar tissue." Having been with Aerosmith since its inception and naming the band himself, Kramer recounts climbing to the top of the musical ladder, the fall from grace and virtual disappearance of the band to the climb back up, but this is not an autobiography of the band. It's a sideman taking front and center. If "sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll' is what you want, it's what you'll get in these photo-laden pages. Although the tale is a predictable one, Kramer's style is honest, straightforward and pulls no punches. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

The story of Kramer, drummer of the legendary rock band Aerosmith, follows the familiar rock star trajectory of childhood musical talent, struggling early years, a stratospheric rise to fame, spiraling drug addiction, and the inevitable comeback and sobriety in middle age. Kramer's tale is somewhat distinctive in that during Aerosmith's resurgent years, he fell into a deep depression. Kramer focuses on his personal life—a difficult relationship with his father, dealing with fame and riches, and the near breakdown that he suffered in the late 1990s. Using the language of therapy and recovery, he writes about the "gift of desperation" that eventually led to healing and happiness and his wish to share his story with others who might be suffering from similar issues. VERDICT Readers hoping for a more comprehensive discussion of Aerosmith's songs, albums, and concerts may want to start with Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith, but devoted fans of the band will certainly want to read Kramer's book, as he is the first member to publish his own memoir (lead singer Steven Tyler's is scheduled for this fall).—Jim Collins, Morristown-Morris Twp. P.L., NJ


—Jim Collins
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061566622
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/29/2010
  • Pages: 239
  • Sales rank: 461,473
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Joey Kramer is the legendary drummer with the most successful band in American history—Aerosmith. Since 1970 he and his partners have sold over 150 million albums, and today their multigenerational, global audience is bigger than ever. In addition to the Grammys and the twenty-one multiplatinum albums, Aerosmith was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and they are the subject of several documentaries, including a film dedicated to Joey and his lasting influence, called It's About Time. Joey lives south of Boston, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Scared Shitless 1

1 Two Impostors - Love and Abuse 17

2 Is That a Belt in Your Hand or are You Happy to See Me? 37

3 Brown Rice and Carrots 61

4 Nothin' So Good There Ain't Some Bad in It 81

5 Drug Addicts Dabbling in Music 103

6 I Never Met a Drug I Didn't Like: Has Anyone Seen My Career Lately? 125

7 One Disease, Two Disease, Three Disease More 147

8 Dear Dad 173

9 Nothing So Bad There Ain't Some Good in It 195

10 Now That That's Over ... 213

11 Epilogue: From Ten 'Til Now 235

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 26, 2009

    Hit Hard....Hit home

    This book really made me see things about myself that I didn't realize until I read it. I think Joey did a great justice to himself and others by writing it. I must admit that had he not been a member of Aerosmith I most likely would not have read it. Aerosmith has always been my favorite group and I enjoy learning things about them. Well, I did learn a lot about Joey and them and myself. Joey and I have some things in common and the way he explained them was so insightful that it prevented me from putting the book down at times.
    I think a lot of people will be able to relate to his story, except for the fame and money, of course. Growing up in the 50's and 60's was a LOT tougher than it is today and Joey was a good example of that. Actions spoke louder than words when it came to discipline. His father's treatment of him had a huge impact on his life. Some parents don't realize the effects their actions have on their kids. Tough love hurts. Parents should read this as a 'how not to raise your kids' kind of book.
    I'm glad Joey lived to tell his story. The drugs and alcohol were out of control and could have taken his life. Not many people-especially rock stars- live to say they've been to the edge and returned with a mission. I sincerely commend Joey for expressing all of his emotions and sharing his rocky life with us. Fame and money are nothing compared to happiness and sanity. Joey seems to have found his and if not, he's definitely on his way. Maybe he'll have a follow up book to tell us.
    Don't expect a lot about the band itself. This is Joey's story and how his life affected the band and vice versa. If you want to know about the band itself, read 'Walk This Way'. Another good read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Joey Kramer lays it all out there.

    This was a terrific and easy read. I sat down after work one day to begin reading this book and didn't put it down until I had finished it that night. The text is interspersed with numerous photos, so it was a short 235 pages. Joey Kramer gives us an honest and open look at his life. It must have been cathartic for him to put down on paper the horrific aspects of growing up in a physically and psychologically abusive home. Naturally, as an Aerosmith fan I found the inside details of how the band started and evolved and the "war stories" of life as rock stars fascinating too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Inspiring!

    The confusion between love and abuse, seems to be a universal problem, and is certainly something I can relate to. Reading this book has helped me to get a better understanding of the importance of changing the way I see myself in the world and that, has already helped me to feel safer in the universe. THIS IS A GIFT FROM JOEY AND EVERYONE WHO IS FORTUNATE TO READ IT!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2012

    An Excellent Read!

    Great story. Very well written with a chronological flow that ties it all together for the reader. This is not a story about Aerosmith, but a story about their drummer, told from deep inside the heart and soul of the band's troubled and underated drummer. I read this book easily each night and finished in less than a week, it's that good! Kudos to Joey Kramer for laying it all out there, and congrats to him for rising out of the darkness of his past. Highly recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Amazing....

    If you are a true Aerofanatic, you will inhale this book about Joey Kramer. It is not often that you get inside of the other members of Aerosmith beside Steven. Don't get me wrong, i love Steven. This is one of my favorite books and recommend it to any rock music lover. It is a quick read and he keeps you turning the pages. I could not put it down. Kudos to Joey Kramer for letting the world and his fans inside of his world.

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  • Posted December 21, 2011

    Great Book

    Joey Kramer's book is good and his life is very interesting.
    Definitely worthy of reading.... Loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

    Wonderful book

    I liked Joey from page 1. Came across as a truly sweet sensitive guy with alot of pain. A few chapters had me in tears. A plus to this book is you start to learn so much about the process of healing. Absolutely loved it! Sorry I finished the book. I could have kept reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

    Hit Hard - Bringing Us Back To Reality

    Beneath unnecessary pofanity, this was a strongly thought-provoking story that makes us really think about life and how delicate life is. It also brings us to remember how real the problem of drug abuse is in today's society, real people go through this every day and it brings us back to the reality of why we need to be careful of what we put into our bodies, because that can affect our future forever... as well as those around us. Kramer makes it clear that there is always something to live for in life even if you may not see it and the time. Kramer goes after his dreams and refuses to give up on life and it's something we can all relate to at some low point in life.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    Great pictures and extremly enlightening on certain issues

    I was suprised as to what a hard life he had and all of the stuff he had to go through. I am a huge Aerosmith fan!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 26, 2009

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    Posted August 11, 2011

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