Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top, by Joey Kramer

Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top
by Joey Kramer
(Harper One)

And you thought the drugs were a problem? The success the guys in Aerosmith had in the late ’70s and again in the early/mid ’90s is matched only by their mythic reputation for shoving up mountains of blow in the ’70s and ’80s. In “Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top,” Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer touches a little on his troubles with drugs, but spends the bulk of the book talking about issues surrounding his depression, as well as longtime relationship troubles with his father, wife and even fellow band member and childhood hero Steven Tyler.

The book begins in 1995 with the band down in Florida to start work on a new album, when Kramer suffers a debilitating nervous breakdown and is sent off to California to deal with it. What follows is an emotional telling of his abusive childhood and the eventual founding of the band that brings with it a whole new set of ups and downs. Kramer is remarkably frank in his telling of the dealings with his band members and relatives. The book is far more honest than one would expect and his knack for story telling is just as impressive. There are plenty of villains, from sleazy managers and hangers on to the band members themselves when they were all buried under their own addictions.

By the end of “Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top,” Kramer has made peace with his since-deceased father, left his wife and moved onto a new life. He is still, however, playing drums alongside his “band of brothers,” the same guys that help contribute to some of the very problems he’s spent the past couple of decades trying to get over.