It may have been frontman Steven Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry that got all the attention in Aerosmith, but longtime drummer Joey Kramer was just as important a piece of the puzzle. Over the course of four decades, it has been Kramer’s drumming that you have heard on every one of the band’s classic hits; the group and their fearless man behind the drum stool are still going strong to this day, with a fanbase spanning the globe and multiple generations.
Hit Hard is Kramer’s authorized biography, first released in 2009. Kramer tells the story of his life from past to present, ranging from his struggles in an abusive household to trying to get a grip on rock stardom, and later on, to conquer his addictions and inner demons. A number of rare pictures are included in the book as well, from professional “on stage” shots to more personal vintage family photos.
Hit Hard is a fairly conventional rock star biography, but that is not necessary a bad thing. Kramer comes clean about struggles throughout the course of his life, with often brutal honesty. You definitely get a sense of perspective about his relationships, his professional career, and everything that has come along over the years, positive and negative alike. Thankfully, nothing in the book feels “watered down” or overly sanitized. Kramer and his co-authors hold nothing back when it comes to giving you the gritty realities of it all. The foreword from Nikki Sixx, who has dealt with many of the same issues in his life, is a nice touch as well.
The photos included in the book are a great addition, but seem to be out of order or put in completely random places in many cases. A number of them lack captions or footnotes stating who is who in said photos; slightly better organization and captions with the photos could have made the book better, but that is really a minor complaint in the long run.
Fans of Joey Kramer and/or Aerosmith will absolutely want to give Hit Hard a read. Aside from a few minor problems here and there, this is a good book overall, and one that should not disappoint!