Episode 116 – Unstoppable Drummer with Kenny Aronoff
I met Kenny Aronoff through LinkedIn and thought he would be a fairly interesting podcast guest. Boy, was I wrong! Not fairly interesting, but incredibly interesting and fascinating.
As you will learn, Kenny was named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top 100 drummers of all time. In his biography, you will see a partial list of the people and bands that have benefited from his talents.
You will get to hear how he eventually decided to start playing modern music. This story is one in a million and it, I must say, captivated me right from the outset. I hope it will do the same for you. I do hope you enjoy it. I’m not going to give it away. Listen and see for yourself.
About the Guest:
Kenny Aronoff is one of the world’s most influential and in demand session and live drummers. Rolling Stone Magazine, in fact, cited him as one of the “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time” and Modern Drummer named him #1 Pop/Rock Drummer and #1 Studio Drummer for five consecutive years. The list of artists he’s worked with on the road and/or in the studio reads like a who’s who of the music industry, and includes:
John Mellencamp, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Sting, The Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Gibbons, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Bob Seger, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Joe Cocker, Steven Tyler, Dave Grohl, Chris Cornell, Garth Brooks, Don Henley, Melissa Etheridge, Keith Urban, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Beyonce, Mick Jagger, Slash, Bonnie Raitt, Ricky Martin, Santana, Crosby Stills and Nash, Celine Dion, Lenny Kravitz, Vince Gill, The Buddy Rich Big Band, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copeland, Hans Zimmer and many others.
With a style of playing that combines power and finesse, his unique and versatile sound has been instrumental on over 60 Grammy-nominated or awarded recordings representing over 300 million in sales, with more than 1300 that were RIAA certified Gold, Platinum or Diamond.
Kenny’s winning approach to drumming and to life has given him the ability to sustain a successful career for over four decades.
In addition to performing and creating amazing music, Kenny is an inspirational speaker.He talks about Living Your Life by Your Purpose, Teamwork Skills, Innovation, Creativity, Hard Work, Self Discipline, Perseverance, and staying Relevant in your career and life. Striving to always be better have been the tools that have kept Kenny at the top of his game for over four decades.
Author is the most recent addition to his long line of credits.
Sex, Drums, Rock ‘n’ Roll! The Hardest Hitting Man in Show Business (Backbeat Books, November 15, 2016). This is not about sex; it is about the same passion that drives us all to be the best we can be doing what we love with those with whom we want to share our talents.
How to Connect with Kenny:
Uncommon Studios LA https://uncommonstudiosla.com
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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Michael Hingson 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson 01:20
Welcome once again to unstoppable mindset. I get to do something today. I have not done on this podcast before. But I’ve been looking forward to it for quite a while. I get to talk to a real live still absolutely functioning incredible man who is also a musician Kenny Aronoff has been a drummer for four decades he has played with basically anyone that you can imagine, although I’m going to try to stump him with one in a second here. But he’s played with all of the people in the who’s who have music no matter who they are. And and I’m so really excited to have the chance to talk with with him today. So Kenny, welcome to unstoppable mindset.
Kenny Aronoff 02:08
Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here.
Michael Hingson 02:11
All while stump you right at the outset. Have you ever played with George Shearing
Kenny Aronoff 02:14
is that the guitar player who
Michael Hingson 02:16
does know George Shearing was a blind jazz pianist? He died?
Kenny Aronoff 02:20
Okay, I know. I’m thinking is that your is another guy had a close name? No, I never did. Well, there
Michael Hingson 02:25
you go. Oh, well, I found one. Well, I don’t know he had a trio that he worked with. But I don’t know how much he worked with a number of people primarily he played on his own. So it’s not too surprising. But that’s okay. But Stevie Wonder John Mellencamp Mellencamp. And have you ever. Oh, I gotta ask Have you ever played with Michael Buble? A.
Kenny Aronoff 02:51
Singer, I think he came onstage for one of these big events. Well, I play with everybody. I think I did play with Michael Boulais. He was one of the guests shows we were honoring whoever was, you know, I’ll play with 25 artists in one show. Yeah. Might have. He may have been paired up with somebody else singing. Yeah. So I think I did.
Michael Hingson 03:11
Well, you know, we finally got to see him in Las Vegas. He’s been my wife’s idol for a long time. And I don’t I enjoy him too. He’s He’s a singer who is saying the Great American Songbook, a lot of the old songs and all that. And he was in Vegas earlier this year. And so we got to go see him. And we actually really were very fortunate because we, we were escorted in early because my wife was in a wheelchair. And so they brought us in. And then the Azure came about five minutes before the show started and said, I’ve got two tickets that haven’t been used down in the orchestra pit and they said I could give them to someone. Would you guys like them if the seats accessible? So of course, we said, Sure. Well, it was and we ended up being 18 rows from the stage, actually two rows in front of his family. And we got to see it was it was great. It was a wonderful concert. So
Kenny Aronoff 04:04
yeah, he’s very, very talented. He’s created his own niche in his own style. And that’s a hard thing to do.
Michael Hingson 04:09
It is. But but he has done it. Well with you. Let’s start like I love to start. Tell me a little bit about growing up and where you came from, and all that kind of stuff. Well, I
Kenny Aronoff 04:19
grew up in a very unique little town in western Mass, a group and like an old country farmhouse in the hills of Western Massachusetts to be whatever town was Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Maybe 3000 people but what was unique about that town, it was basically a slice of New York City. I mean, New York City was three hours away. Boston was two hours away. And there was a lot of arts. A lot of you know you had theater people there you had the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the next town over Atlanta, Lenox mass, which is three miles away. You had, you know, Sigmund Freud’s protege, Erik Erikson, the wintertime Norman Rockwell, the illustrator lived in our town and he I used to go over to his house and me my twin brother. We I think we were in second grade. We should still cigarettes from him. We had a, you know, let’s see. Norman Mailer was the next house down for me when you couldn’t see anybody’s houses where I lived. It was all woods and fields. But Norman Mailer, the great writer was right down the street from me. Another eighth of a mile was a Patty Hearst used to live in the house which they she had rented from the Sedgwick family, which is where Edie Edie Sedgwick came from that family. Down the bottom of the hill was a summer stock theatre where a lot of actors would come up from New York to get out of the city. So I met like, you know, people like Franklin Joe of Faye Dunaway and Bancroft, Arthur Penn, the movie director lived in our town, and so he would direct some place there. Goldie Hawn, which Dreyfus, they went on and on it. And this, this seemed normal to me. I didn’t realize Daniel Chester French, who, whose was the sculptor, who did you know, the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, he he at one point did our area. And when I went to Tanglewood, which is the most elite student orchestra in the country, if not the world, took me four years to get in there. But it’s won by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. They only take seven percussionist in the whole world, when you when you audition, I literally failed three years in a row. And in my fourth attempt, I got in, but on that property is Nathaniel Hawthornes house. And he wrote The Scarlet Letter. I mean, I can just go on and on this area was just an extraordinarily extraordinary place to grow up with it was so many arts and intellectual people. But the thing that was amazing about this town was that it didn’t matter. If you had money or had lots of money, everybody, you know, houses one locked keys were left in cars. It was a community. It was a it was a community where people support each other. So it’s a great place to grow up.
Michael Hingson 07:13
That’s one of the things I’ve always liked about Massachusetts. I lived in Winthrop for three years back in the well, late 1970s, early 1980s. But I always enjoyed the camaraderie and it was really hard to break into the community. If you were from the outside and I was viewed as an as an outsider, though I worked as hard as I could to, you know, to try to be involved. But if you weren’t from there, it was really tough. By the same token, people were very kind to me, so I can’t complain a whole lot. Yeah. Yeah. It was pretty good. And I was you actually beat me to the question I was going to ask you if you had ever made it over to Tanglewood. I never got to go up in here the symphony in in the winter in the summer. But I did needless to say get over to hear the pops on several occasions and and that was fun. And there’s nothing like the Boston Pops. There’s other than a Boston Symphony for that matter, either.
Kenny Aronoff 08:13
Well, I got to perform timpani on that stage. And with Leonard Bernstein, conducting Sibelius Fifth Symphony Orchestra, which is a feature of the timpani in and it’s, it was incredible. So you know, my parents saw Easter dragged me to the concerts I didn’t really want to go. And I ended up then being in we actually did Fourth of July with Arthur Fiedler. And apart from mingled in with
Michael Hingson 08:40
the half shell. Yeah. So you went to school, went to high school and all that, how long did you live there?
Kenny Aronoff 08:48
Well, I lived in non stop until I was 18. After 18, I went to one year at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which is about an hour down the road. And then I transferred Well, what I did was I got into the Aspen School of Music, one by Julliard after my freshman year. And that’s where George gave me the professor of Indiana University School of Music, now called the Jacobs School of Music. He was a he went to the percussion department at the school and this is the number one school of music in the country, if not the world. Yeah. And I wanted then I liked this guy. He was so deep. He was more than just a percussionist. He’s a philosopher and a well rounded man. Anyway, I wanted to follow him and go to Indiana University. You have to realize I mean, Indiana was the best school and so I wanted to be in that school. And I demanded an audition up there and he tried to talk me out of it. Try to come back in January and will audition then. Then I said, Absolutely not. I want to audition. Now. I don’t want to come to Indiana University, from the Aspen School of Music. It was a summer program. I convinced him I did audition, you had to audition for four different departments to get in. And it just so happened that they had people from four different departments that are you teaching up there like brass, woodwinds, violin percussion. And I auditioned, got in and spent four years at Indiana University. Now, that’s when I started to spend more time away from home. Because you know, I was gone. You know, I come home for Christmas and summer, but that was pretty much it. Yeah. And it was an incredible education.
Michael Hingson 10:35
What? So, you, as you said, were dragged kicking and screaming to concerts and so on What changed your mind?
Kenny Aronoff 10:46
When I started to actually study classical music and start to perform in orchestras, I, I appreciate every style of music, and especially if it’s done, right. And I’ve really, really enjoyed classical music. I mean, it was even though when I was a kid, and once rock’n’roll came out, it was like, you know, how was the classical music, but it was still on the soundtrack. To my upbringing, my parents had classical music and jazz on the turntable. They were from New York City. And that was very popular in that that time for them. So I didn’t most keep the kid I had too much energy to sit and watch a concert, but performing it, you know, it was a different story. And then I became really good, eventually got into the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra after I graduated Indiana University. And I actually turned it down, which was a shock to everybody. Because I’d spent five years becoming great at classical music. And I turned it down. Because I mean, and thank God I did is because I was following my heart, my deepest desires, my bliss, or your, you know, whatever you want to call it, I wanted to still be in rock bottom open. Now, let me back up a little bit when I was 10 years old, playing outside of that country farmhouse. And there was nothing to watch on TV back then. There was no case not
Michael Hingson 12:12
much more now, either. But yeah, with the so what year was that?
Kenny Aronoff 12:17
That was 19. I want to say 1950 1963 or 64. And maybe mom yelled at me, my twin brother come in the house. And we were like, Oh my God, what do we do wrong? You know, like, we thought we’d done something wrong. And what it was that we come running across the lawn, and we’ll get to the family room, she’s pointed a black and white RCA TV set with the rabbit ears to get better reception. And on TV. Also never, you know, for guys playing rock and roll music, you know, electric cars and bass, that long hair, and I don’t know who they are. But I heard rock and roll on radio, but I’d never seen it live. And I. I mean, I was at that very split second, I realized what my purpose in life was before I even knew what those words meant. And I just knew I wanted to be doing that. I wanted to be part of that. I want to be part of a team of guys that’s playing music, like they are and I said to my mom, who are these guys said, Well, they’re the Beatles, The Beatles, I want to be in the Beatles call him up, get me in the band. And give me a drum set. I don’t want to play piano anymore. Anyway, she obviously didn’t call the Beatles up and didn’t get me a drum set. So that was where I was really blown away and realize this is what I want to do. So when I turned on the Jews from Symphony Orchestra, I turned out certainty for possibility or turns down certainty for you know, complete uncertainty. And that was that one we wanted to it’s what Yeah, to do. Exactly. And thank God, I followed my heart because obviously it paid off. But it was a struggle, man, it was like took a long time for me to eventually run into a guy like John Mellencamp, who he took a chance with me, and then took a long time for me to, you know, plan a song, play a drums on a song that got on the record, you know, when I first got in the band that I had only and the reason why I got in the middle of combat is because I got the last record that they had, and they were looking for a drummer, and I just memorized everything that all these other drummers did on the record. And well, in that case, it was just wondering what but they I memorize him he played in so I won the audition. And five weeks later, we were making a record in Los Angeles. And I realized that you know, or the producer basically fired me after two days, because I had no experience with making records, you know, to get songs on the radio to be number one hits, and I was devastated. You know, I was like hey, but I played with Bernstein and Bernstein and didn’t matter. I had No experience. I didn’t understand the value of teamwork the level of it’s not about me it’s about we it’s not about what I’m playing. It’s about what can I play to make that song getting the right record that will eventually be played on radio and become a one hit single.
Michael Hingson 15:18
Usually got to add value.
Kenny Aronoff 15:21
Well value to the team
Michael Hingson 15:22
that was the most that’s what I mean by adding Yeah,
Kenny Aronoff 15:25
yeah. Because you know, when you try to be great at anything, it’s all about you. It’s all about me. But to be Tom Brady are a great you know, a leader and be a great you know, do something great for the team. It is about the team. It’s not about you serve the band, serve the song serve, whoever’s in there. You know, serve, what can I do to get that song to be elevated to be a number one hit single? Because if you if you become an if you have a number one hits, surely you’re gonna make millions dollars. It’s the way it was when I was a kid.
Michael Hingson 16:00
So for you starting out more doing the I oriented kinds of things, but then moving to the we mentality, which is essentially what I hear you say, how did your style change? How did you change? How did it affect what you did?
Kenny Aronoff 16:17
Well, I wasn’t thinking about just what I want to play. I was thinking about what can I do to get this song on the radio so in and I had to think about how I can be the greatest drummer I can be for John Cougar Mellencamp songs. So I started don’t my plane down and made it simple and started to simplify what I was doing. And that really worked. I started this into Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater, Bad Company, groups, where the drummers were playing with authority. They had they pick the right beat, they kept time, they made it groove. But ultimately, it was to make those songs that song better, you know, and that’s what I started changing. I simplified my playing. And I remember thinking, Man, I gotta learn to love this. Because if I don’t love this, I’m gonna suck at this. If I suck it this, this, just get another drummer. And so I had to learn how to pivot into serving songs serving the artists.
Michael Hingson 17:15
Did you ever meet Buddy Rich? Absolutely. I’ve kind of figured, or that other great drummer Johnny Carson.
Kenny Aronoff 17:23
And never met Johnny Carson.
Michael Hingson 17:25
I remember I remember watching a Tonight Show where the two of them Oh, yeah. Did drums together?
Kenny Aronoff 17:32
Oh, it was incredible. But he was tribute record. And that was an such an honor. Playing you know, to to blazing. Well, one was the medium tempo song, big swing face, which was title of an album, and the other was straight, no chaser blazing fast. And it was it was a very meaningful experience for me.
Michael Hingson 17:54
You know, and clearly, you respect that and just listening to you. You, you respect that, that whole mentality and you’re approaching it with a humility as opposed to just being conceited, which is, which is great, because that really is what makes for a good team person.
Kenny Aronoff 18:15
Yeah, I mean, yeah, I mean, once again, at that point, I understand a student serving, you know, serving the song serving the artist, serving you know, whoever, whatever it is, what can I do to be great?
Michael Hingson 18:28
That’s cool. So you know, you, you’ve done that you say you started playing, so was your first maybe big break in the whole rock world with John Mellencamp, or Yeah, it happened after you turn down the Jerusalem symphony.
Kenny Aronoff 18:45
Well, after a turn on juicing shift and went home, I started practicing eight hours a day, seven days a week at my parents house, I humbly moved back home, and still didn’t know how I was going to break into the Rock and Roll scene. And after a year, I after a year, I decided to move to Indiana and start a band with a bunch of guys and somebody and one of their dads invested a lot of money into getting as a band truck lights, PA, and the business model was to write songs, get a record deal, record those songs, and then go on tour. And after three years, we didn’t get a record deal. And I was like, Man, I don’t know what what I’m going to do. So I decided I was going to move to New York City, which is one of the top three centers of the music business. And I ended up a week before moving to New York City. I have lunch with the singer songwriter, woman Bootsy Allen, who asked me what I was doing. I said you have gone to New York. Are you going to crush it good luck. And they said you know there’s a guy in town I don’t know if you’ve heard of him is John Coogan guy. He’s on MTV, this new network and he’s made records, you know, who is this? Yeah, for whatever. I wasn’t a big fan of his music. It was very basic. And at that point, I was born to technique and chops, which is something you know, usually when you’re young, you’re like, you want to do more as more. But she said, yeah, man, he’s they just got off tour, they were opening up for kiss. And he fired his drummer last night. And I was like, what, and I was in my head of going thinking the meaning of a god, that’s records touring, MTV, oh, my God, this this is like being in the Beatles. This is what I dreamed about. I went running out of the restaurant, went to a payphone and called up books, there was no cell phones, and I call up my buddy Mike, and in the band and said, Look, I hear you might be looking for a drummer that got audition. He said, Call me back in two weeks, and we’re going to try to sort some things out. And eventually, I do get a call, oh, he called me back. And I did audition. And long and short of it is I, I won the audition, because I prepared intensely practicing six, eight hours a day, trying to learn all the drum parts that were on the last record, a winning audition. And five, we say well, now Nellie making the record which I got fired on, as I mentioned,
Michael Hingson 21:20
then what happened after you got fired?
Kenny Aronoff 21:23
Well, that was crucial. That was a life changing moment, when John said, with a producer, I thought it was John, but it was a producer wanted to get this record done. And I had no experience making records. So he wanted to get it done in eight weeks, which is not a very long time to go toward a new band and do overdubs, get vocals and mix and master. So he wanted to bring in his drummers. And when we had a band meeting, and I kind of knew I could tell something wasn’t right, my my spidey sense that something’s not right. We had a band meeting and John told me I’m not playing on the record. And the words came out of my mouth and life changing. And he said, You go home at the end of the week, I said, No friggin way. Am I going home. And I remember the band looking like Oh, my God. Can’t believe K Dick. Because you know, John was pretty tough guy is pretty tough. And so they felt what’s gonna happen next. See what happened was happening there. As I was overwhelmed. I felt like a loser. I felt like a piece of crap. I felt like just I was every negative thing sad, you know, depressed, and I was bummed. He was stealing my purpose, my whole deepest desires. My whole reason that I’m alive. He was taking that for me. I just said, There’s no way and I told them, I’m not going home. And that’d be like me telling you, you’re fired. And you go, No, I’m not. I’m like, Dude, you’re fired. And like, No, I’m not. And What don’t you understand about the words you’re fired? So I just, I mean, I am. I said, Well, due to my studio drummer, what? And he goes, Well, yeah, but you’re not playing on the record. And I started scrambling, I said, Well, I’ll go in the studio and watch these other drummers play my drum parts on your record, and I’ll learn from them and I’ll get better. And that’s good. Fuchs, I’m your drummer. He was silent, didn’t say a word. Shit. We’re okay. You don’t have to pay me, I’ll sleep on the couch. And then he said, perfect. And that’s what happened. And that was a life changing moment. Because if I had gone home, who knows what would have happened, maybe you’ve gotten another drummer. So that was a jaunt. To me in my autobiography, sex, drugs, rock and roll, he was saying, Wow, he really respected me for that, at that moment, he didn’t realize I had that, you know, that I cared that much. And I would, you know, stand up to him and demand to be there. And he respected me for that. So how, yeah,
Michael Hingson 24:02
how much of it was ego and how much of it was really following your heart at that moment?
Kenny Aronoff 24:07
It was more about fear. And about following my heart, okay. No, I was like, I see what you mean about ego. I didn’t want to go back home and I would have been ashamed to go back home and, and but but the fear of losing this gig and the fear of the unknown and what comes next was making me want to fight for what I had.
Michael Hingson 24:31
Yeah, um, you know, when there are a lot of people who are excellent in their fields, and they think very highly of themselves, which is fine, except that really detracts from the the team orientation which I know you understand full well. And so, it it’s great to hear that it was really more following your heart and really you wanting to do the right thing. and having the courage of your convictions?
Kenny Aronoff 25:03
Well, yeah, I mean, I didn’t see any other way out. And I’ve been banging my head trying to make it for four years after turning down the Jerusalem symphony orchestra. And I was 27. And I thought, Man, I don’t know any options. So I want to do this, if I’m going to make this happen. And, you know, if I look back at my life, when I’m passionate about something, I make it happen, you know, it’s easy to get along with me, I’m a great team player. But there is definitely a point where I will like, draw a line in the sand. And I might be very nice about it. But um, you know, I this is, I will fight for what I want. And it’s usually backed by passion, and desire, and when anything is backed by passion, desire, or purpose, or bliss, or whatever you want to call it, you know, you’re gonna, you know, you’re gonna get what you want, and it’s gonna be hard for people to convince you otherwise. And so yeah, that’s pretty much, you know, when John was taking away my, my job, I saw no other options, and I’m seeing torn MTV, regular TV, and making records. And being part of a band that I truly believe was gonna make it and I was like, that, there’s no way I was going to just lay down, you know?
Michael Hingson 26:29
Are you a person who reacts to things knee jerk reaction, although they may very right, or would you say that somehow you’ve internalized and when you make a decision, is because you’ve really thought it through, which doesn’t mean that you have to take a long time to do it. But do you? Do you think that you are the kind of person who when you say, I’m going to do this, it’s the right thing to do, is because you’ve really thought it through?
Kenny Aronoff 26:55
Well, it’s both I mean, there’s a lot of things I do, because I have thought it through. But there’s no question that at any given moment, if something comes across my table, and it strikes me from a place of my heart, not my brain, but my heart, and my passion, I will react. And that’s when I’ll use my brain to maybe observe and ask questions. But many times I’ve said Yes, before even, you know, get deep into asking questions when something blows me away, and I’m excited. Paul McCartney called me up and said, I want to make a record with you. I mean, it would just be a mad automatic. Yes. You know, it before it find out no, we’re gonna make it in Siberia. And there’s no heat in the building or something. And I mean, I’m just gonna say Yes, right away, because it’s Paul McCartney. And now Yeah, yeah.
Michael Hingson 27:53
Yeah. I mean, that would make sense. But you’ve also, you’ve met him, you know, him, you’ve learned to trust too. So it’s not like it is an unintelligent decision to just immediately say, yes.
Kenny Aronoff 28:07
Yeah, I guess with pa Yeah, of course. But I mean, you know, take somebody else, you know, I don’t know. Somebody. That I don’t really know that well. Sure. You know, and I would if it’s the right person, I’m gonna go Yeah, right away.
Michael Hingson 28:23
Yeah, well, yeah, exactly. But still, and the if it’s the right person, part of it is very relevant, it still means that you’ve done some thinking about it. One of the things I love in listening to you tell the stories is like with John Mellencamp, you really said look, I want to learn now, if I’m if I’m your drummer, and there’s a problem with this record, and all that, then I want to learn what I need to do. So it will happen again. And the real great part about it is that you say I want to learn, I love people who are always interested in learning and becoming better and don’t think so highly of themselves that they don’t have anything else to learn.
Kenny Aronoff 29:03
Well, no, that’s true. You know, I’ve I won’t mention names, but I remember going up to a very, very famous singer. And I remember saying I could see he was frustrated, trying to explain what he wanted me to do. I got off the drumset when went up to him, I said, Listen to there’s nothing I can do. You know, uh, you just have to be very specific about what you want me to do. And I will do it. Because I can do it. And I want to learn I want to be great. I want to and when you’re working for an artist, you’re in a place of service. So I want to get it I know I can get it. There was just a disconnect for for for the explanation. And that took took a while to work out but the bottom I saw his frustration, but I was trying to let him know dude, I can do anything you want. I’m capable. And I meant.
Michael Hingson 29:55
Again, the operative part is it sounds like you worked it out.
Kenny Aronoff 30:00
Well, I’ve worked out enough, you know, I’ve done so many big show. I mean
Michael Hingson 30:03
with with that person, you’re able to work it out. Oh, that person? Absolutely. Yep. Yeah, that’s my point. And so you do, you do explore. And that is, that’s a wonderful trading characteristic that more of us should develop. And we should have confidence in ourselves to know what we’re capable of and know what we’re capable of learning, and then go forward, which is what I’m hearing from you.
Kenny Aronoff 30:32
Michael Hingson 30:35
The first time I did a speech in public after September 11, I got a call from a pastor of a church and he said, I want you to come and tell your story he had then I’d been on Larry King Live two weeks before first time I’d ever been on CNN and Larry King Live, but it was again after September 11. And I was used to being in a in a public setting. So it didn’t bother me a lot. But this guy calls up and he says, I want you to come and tell your story. We’re going to be doing a service to honor all the people who were lost from New Jersey in the World Trade Center. And I said, Okay, I’m glad to do that. And then I said, just out of curiosity, any idea how large the service will be? How many people will be there? And he said, Well, it’s going to be outside probably about 6000. You know, I’ve never done a speech before. And my immediate reaction was, it didn’t bother me. Okay, great. Just wanted to know, and I’ve done some things in church before, and I’ve, I’ve talked in some public settings, but not to do a real speech like that. Yeah. But, you know, I knew that it didn’t matter to me if it was 6000 or six, four, for me. There were techniques to learn. And over time, I learned that good speakers don’t talk to audiences, they talk with audiences, and they work to engage people and, and when the in their speeches in various ways, and it’s so much fun to do that. But 6000 It really just worked out really well. And there were other people there. Lisa beamer was there, her husband was Todd Beamer, the guy on flight 93, who said let’s roll and, you know, it’s a pretty incredible night and I’ll never forget it. But you know, you know what you can do and when you really know your capability, but are willing to share it and grow and learn. What more can somebody ask for?
Kenny Aronoff 32:30
Yeah, I mean, I, my thing about being alive on this planet is to get the most value out of this life. I’m not I hope there’s something after this, but whether there is or not, the point is to get the most value out of this life when it’s very short. So I’m not wanting to sit, I’m just wired that way. I’m not sitting sitting on a couch, just you know, hanging out on a daily basis. You know, I I’ve played on 300 million records sold. I’ve toured with some of the greatest bands in the day, as diverse as you know, the highwomen, which is Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson whether James will Richard to Jerry Lee Lewis to the Smashing Pumpkins and Tony Iommi, from Sabbath to Boston Symphony Orchestra and Ray Charles and BB King to sting to The Beatles and The stones. And I feel fortunate that I get to play with so many different people because you get pigeonholed in my business. You’re a rock drummer, you’re a country drummer, you’re this, you’re that drummer. So and that that definitely ties into the ability to be able to connect, communicate and collaborate with people because who they want in the room with them. It’s not just the most talented musician, it’s somebody they want to hang out with. Mellencamp is to say, look at, I need people I get along with, I’m lonely on stage for two and a half hours. While the rest of the time I got to hang out with you guys. So I want people like get along with you. Right? You know, and I get I totally got that. Because the thing is, is that to get what I like about getting the most value out of life is that I’m wired to grow and learn. And the beauty it’s a building, you know, a skyscraper, you know, the top only exists because you built the foundation from the bottom, you work your way up and you get, you have to be strong and you build and I don’t believe in mistakes or failures. They’re just events that get you to the top. And if the words mistakes and failures, bring in negative energy to your body, so I don’t even use those words anymore. Everything’s an event. Something that doesn’t work out the way you want is a learning experience. It’s a gift. And I’m like, basically Tom Brady, you know, you’re always trying to get into the endzone. If you get if you fumble, you get sacked or whatever. Whatever life is filled with sacks and dropping the ball. He said where are you trying to go? What you Northstar or my North Star is the end zone. So that happened, what did I learn from it? How are we getting in the end zone? And that’s where I look at life.
Michael Hingson 35:08
Yeah. Well, and, you know, to to extend your, your thought, I agree about the whole concept of mistakes and failures for me. And people have said it. And I and I firmly agree with, like Zig Ziglar, and others who say that there’s no such thing as a mistake. It’s a learning experience. And the question is, do you learn from it? And that’s the real issue, do you learn from it, and I, I, where, after September 11, I started speaking to people and traveling the country and still do, and enjoy it immensely. But one of the things that I realized over the last three years with the pandemic is that I’ve never taught people some of the techniques that I learned along the way and used just because they came along, to not be afraid. On September 11, I had developed a mindset that told me that I can observe, I can focus and I don’t need to be afraid. So we’re starting to actually we’re, we just submitted the first draft of a book about learning to control your fear so that you don’t be an individual who when something unexpected happens, you let fear as I put it, blind you, you learn how to use that fear to help heighten your senses and direct you. And one of the things that I talk about is the whole concept of how much do you at night take time just to be introspective and look at the day? And what happened today? What what do I learn from this? How could I have done this? I was successful with this, but how could I have been even better? Or this didn’t go? Well? Why? And what can I do about it and really think about it, you know,
Kenny Aronoff 37:01
that’s good stuff that’s very valuable, that says, that’s a good way to learn, because you can learn from yourself. And, and, and sometimes we have to repeat things, many, many, many times to finally get the lesson. But if you do what you just said, and you take inventory and what went on that day, you could possibly learn that lesson way quicker.
Michael Hingson 37:24
And I’ve changed my language a little bit, I used to say that you are you’re always going to be your own worst critic. And I realized that’s negative. I’d rather say I’m my best teacher, if I allow myself to do it. And that is so true, isn’t it?
Kenny Aronoff 37:39
Absolutely. That anything negative, you should throw out the window and pivot it, flip it to the it’s always positive. And there’s definitely always another narrative. And the positive narrative is always going to serve you better than the negative
Michael Hingson 37:55
always will. There’s no great value in being negative and putting yourself down. You can be frustrated by something that didn’t go the way you thought, Well, why didn’t it? It may very well be that there’s a legitimate reason why it didn’t work out. But if you figure that out, and you allow yourself to teach you about it, you want to make you won’t make the same scenario happen again. You will be successful the next time.
Kenny Aronoff 38:22
Yeah, absolutely. Yep. I totally agree with you on that.
Michael Hingson 38:26
So have you done anything in the music world dealing with rap?
Kenny Aronoff 38:34
I’ve never been on a rap record. But when you know, I remember being in the Mellencamp band. And that was a long time ago, I left in 96. I remember I was listening to some Snoop Dogg and I was grabbing ideas from those records and bringing it to melachim. That’s what we were always encouraged to do. Back then they were budgets long we could make spend nine months making a record. And you could do a whole record sort of way and start from scratch. But I was getting ideas with ideas, loop ideas. I remember making sleigh bells on a song. Super I played sleigh bells on a whole bunch bunch of songs on early records in the 90s. And I copy that and John loved it. It’s a different thing. And so yeah, in that regard, I did learn a lot from the rap music.
Michael Hingson 39:22
I’ve I don’t know my my view of rap has always been I think it’s a great art form. I’m not sure that I view it in the same musical way that that some people do because it’s not so melodic, as it is certainly a lot of poetry and they kind of put poetry and words to to music in the background. But I also believe it’s an incredible art form listening to some of the people who do rap. They’re clearly incredibly intelligent and they’re, they’re pouring their hearts out about what they’ve experienced and what they see sometimes in ways that you don’t even hear on regular mute. Music?
Kenny Aronoff 40:01
Oh, yeah. I mean, there’s no question that it’s, it’s a, it’s a form of music. It’s a reflection of, you know, we’re societies that you know, I mean, the arts will always reflect where people are at, and is a huge audience of there’s a lot of people that can relate to this whole style of, of music or what rap is. It’s a lyrics are very powerful in that they it’s mostly centered around a beat and lyrics. And yet a lot of attention is drawn to that, as opposed to just take a band where they have, you know, two guitar players playing melodic lines and the keyboard player melodic line. And there’s none of that really going on not not to the extent of of that in rap music. And although some people have added Dr. Dre at a lot of stuff, to the people he’s worked with, like Eminem, but still, it’s more centered around the voice the person.
Michael Hingson 41:04
And message and the message.
Kenny Aronoff 41:06
Oh, absolutely. The message. But you know, the thing is, is it’s you, I guess it’s up to everybody decide. You can call it whatever you want. And then it doesn’t matter. If somebody’s digging it. They did. They don’t they don’t is that?
Michael Hingson 41:23
Well, it is absolutely an art form. And it’s an art form that should be as respected as any. In certainly it is to pardon the pun struck a chord with a lot of people and that’s fine. And it’s in it’s great that there’s so much of it going on. So what kind of tours have you been on lately? What kind of music have you done or what’s coming up?
Kenny Aronoff 41:46
But I just finished the Joe Satriani tour. He was one of the greatest guitar players on the planet. Because it was just an evening with Joe Satriani. It’s a very tech the music is very technical. It was, it was great for me because I was, you know, my, my technique excelled tremendously to play those types of songs. I’m going to Europe with him. See, April, May and how to June for nine weeks doing a thing called G four, which is a camp that he does in Vegas, which will feature the guitar players Eric Carroll, Steve Luthor, Steve Morse, C, Peter Frampton, and a bunch of other people. Basically, when I finished the Joe Satriani tour, I had 85 songs waiting for me to learn. Some of which I recorded my studio, I have a studio called uncommon studios. I tried to push back all the records I was going to make while I was on tour to when I got off tour. I did that and then I just finished doing a show maybe three nights ago with Jim Mercer and the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, who’s showing his museum is so American collect collectibles as he calls it, a collection snatches musical instruments but it could be like, you know, American cultural type stuff like Abraham Lincoln’s handwritten letters, you know, eases Wharton’s writings, Muhammad Ali’s gloves and belt from the thriller from Manila fight. I mean, it just goes on and on. And so I did a concert with him, but that featured like Kenny, Wayne Shepherd and Wilson from heart, John Fogarty, Buddy Guy, and Stephen Stills, and that was 30 songs. I had to learn and perfect. I write everything out. I know every tempo, I know all the song structure. So my goal is not just a drummer, but it’s also to kind of keep everybody in it straight. And in line. We only have 112 hour rehearsal night before and the next day. It’s, it’s the show, so it’s massive preparation. And next week, I’m going to do Billy Gibbons. So this week, on Thursday, I’m gonna do Billy Gibbons, a birthday party at The Troubadour and Swidler no songs, I’m finishing I’m starting to edit my second book. It’s a self help book. It’s about you know, living your life loud and how important time is in the short life we live. That goes into my speaking world. I have an agent and I do inspirational speaking, I’m mostly corporations. And so that book is kind of like, as a lot of the stuff that’s in that speech, but a lot more with a lot of action items and takeaways. I’m just, I just put out a drum book. During the pandemic, a transition to my studio where people send me files, I make records for them, or I play drums on the records. I turned it into a place where new virtual speaking and now I may be launching a very a podcast with I have a whole team that will be you know produced to a director and everything, and I can do that from my studio, I have a wine that just came out. Uncommon wines just won an award. It’s a cab serraj. Limited Edition. But yeah, I got a lot going on.
Michael Hingson 45:15
Well, and that keeps you busy. And it’s obviously something that sounds like a lot of fun for you.
Kenny Aronoff 45:21
Absolutely. That this point, it’s like, if it’s not fun, I ain’t doing it.
Michael Hingson 45:25
Yeah. Yeah, if you can’t have fun, then what good is the world anyway?
Kenny Aronoff 45:32
It’s up to you, man. It’s up to you. You know, this, you know? We everybody has? Well, most people have options. So, you know, some people, you know, maybe less than others. But, you know, I just said, it’s all in your mind. It’s a mindset, you know, you can make things better, or more difficult. It is up to you.
Michael Hingson 45:58
And I think you really hit the nail on the head, if you will. Everyone does have options. And a lot of times we have more options. And we think we do we undersell ourselves, we underestimate ourselves, which is why I love doing unstoppable mindset. Because my goal is to help people recognize that, in reality, they probably are a whole lot more unstoppable than they think they are.
Kenny Aronoff 46:20
Yeah, well, exactly. But only you can figure out your power. It’s up to the individual. And this is not a mental thing. This is an emotional thing. You have to feel your power. And and I think that’s like a thing I call RPS repetition is the preparation for success. And that could be anything, anything you do over and over again, you get better at because you’re doing it over and over again. And sometimes it takes longer to get somewhere with one thing then other things, but it’s you can’t just set it and forget it. You can’t just like be successful one day and think that’s it for life. No. I used to practice on the Joe Satriani tour, a song called Satch Boogie twice a day. And people go, why may you play that greatest said, because I played every day. And preparing every day? Yeah, playing it at night. That’s why it sounds so good at night. And when I don’t, then I usually learn a lesson that I need to do that I’m talking about the more technical things, you know.
Michael Hingson 47:24
Sure. Well, and that brings up the question of like, you’re preparing to do the event at The Troubadour and so on, how do you prepare? What is it you do to learn the songs? How does all that work?
Kenny Aronoff 47:36
I’ve read every single note out that I’m going to play. Check out the church right here. For the viewers, I can hold up one sheet of music, very detailed. I write every single note out I got the tempo, and know exactly what to do, then I just drill it. I run through it. I practice the songs. When we’re done. I’m going to practice that whole show tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll practice it twice. And then Thursday, I’ll practice it and then do the show.
Michael Hingson 48:05
Do you record your practice sessions? So you can listen to them? Or do you
Kenny Aronoff 48:10
know that that would be a real? That’s a good thing to do? No, I don’t. And it’s no. That’s a good, that’s a great way to learn. But it’s also time consuming?
Michael Hingson 48:24
Well, it well, it is a but you then get to hear it in a sense from the perspective of listeners.
Kenny Aronoff 48:32
So I do but I will I’m playing I’m listening to Yeah,
Michael Hingson 48:36
I understand. Yeah. And that’s why for you, it may or may not be the best thing to do. I know for me, when I do a podcast interview, I will go back and listen to it again. And I do that because I want to see how I can improve it and see easiest way for me to do it. I listened to myself when I’m talking. And I listened to the person who I’m talking with. And I do my best to interpret their reactions and so on. But still, for something like this, I get to learn a lot by going back and listening to it. And as I as I tell everyone I talked with about this, if I’m not learning and it’s the same thing with speaking if I’m not learning at least as much as my audience or my guest. I’m not doing my job. Well. Yeah.
Kenny Aronoff 49:27
Well, you don’t I mean, there’s no question listening to what you do is great. Great way to learn. I’m using is moving so fast and doing so much that just Yeah, I don’t have time. But that’s no question. I think that’s a great way to learn. You know, and when I see myself I feel myself speaking. Oh my god, that’s so humbling, right? Yeah. Oh my god. And
Michael Hingson 49:51
it’s such a when you’re speaking and you’re doing an auditory thing like that it probably is best to go back and listen to it. I remember when I was are at the UC Irvine radio station que UCI and was program director. I worked to get people to listen to themselves. And they they would record their shows. So we actually put a tape recorder in a locked cabinet, a cassette machine, and we wired it. So whenever the mic was live, the voice was recorded. And then we would give people cassettes and we would say that you got to listen to it before the next show. Yeah, it was really amazing how much better people were. At the end of the year, some people ended up going into radio because they were well enough. They were good enough that they could be hired and went on to other things. Yeah, and it was just all about, they really started listening to themselves and they realized what other people were hearing. Yeah, no, that’s,
Kenny Aronoff 50:51
that’s, that’s a great, I think that’s brilliant. You know,
Michael Hingson 50:56
it’s a it’s always a challenge. So, so for you. What was the scariest or the, the weirdest show that you ever did or performance you ever did?
Kenny Aronoff 51:10
Well, probably the most one of the more scary moments in my life was when I was 20. Barely 23 And maybe I was still 22 I for my senior recital at Indiana University. You know, I was a performance major. I got you the way we learned how to play melodies and have that type of education because we play violin music or cello music on marimbas. Well, for my seniors I pick the virtuoso Violin Concerto that Itzhak Perlman played as his encore, in his concert I saw when I was a freshman, and so beautiful, but highly technical. And I spent one year, two or three hours a day, learning that one piece one of four pieces on my senior recital. And it was I learned it so well, that my professor won me to audition for concerto competition, and I won, which meant that I performed that piece with the 60 piece orchestra in an opera Hall bigger than the New York met, which is an Indiana University. Now granted, this is the number one school music in the country for classical music. So this is there’s no handholding. There’s no coddling, there’s no trophies. This is like being I want to almost say like being a Navy Seal, especially with my teacher. But that guy helped make me and I was the right student for him become who I am. And the discipline that I learned from was extraordinary. But anyway, I’ve never, you know, usually when you’re a percussionist, you’re in the back the orchestra. So this was the hear the rolling the marimba out in front of the this big concert hall. And I’m in the wings, you know, with a tuxedo and I walk out like the solo violinists. And I was crapping my pants in the whole thing was memorized. And oh, man, I was terrified, but I crushed it.
Michael Hingson 53:14
Well, you took control of your fear.
Kenny Aronoff 53:18
I do well, I tend to I tend to take fear and use it as as a not a weapon, but I use it. It’ll alternative the power, it is power. But on the other hand, we do have the ability to sabotage ourselves. And that’s something is a child would do. Because you have self doubt you’re small. everybody around you is big. You’ve got parents, teachers, coaches, whoever telling you, Kenny, that’s wrong, bad, bad, bad. And as a little guy, you know, you’re trying to please everybody. Then maybe my teachers saying to me, sometimes when I make a mistake, he’d look at me go, Kenny, are you afraid of success? And I’m like, What is he talking about? But realize that when you’re younger, you start to think you’re gonna make I’m gonna mess this up. Oh, here it comes. And you do and you do. But now that I’m older, I realize from this, this I hate that so much that I want to be successful so much. I overpower any of those feelings. I’m like, it’s more like I got this and I’m gonna get it. And I meet believe it. But I can’t tell anybody listening. There’s a quick remedy for that. You don’t take a pill and all sudden you become that? That’s a long talk because I used to think how long am I going to end up being like this why sabotaging myself where your fear takes over. Now, I use my fear as my strength. I don’t even know if I want to call it fear. Somebody says you get nervous when you do Kennedy Center Honors or any of these shows. At this point. Hell no. I don’t get fearful As I get serious, I’m like in the Superbowl, and I know I can win. But I also know that things will not necessarily go the way you want. Because you’re not the only one on that stage. Right? People, it’s my job at any moment to be able to adapt, or die. You adapt immediately. You fix it, or you die, and I’m not about dying.
Michael Hingson 55:25
Have you ever had any experiences when you were on stage? And in a sense, you blew it? But then you recovered or anything?
Kenny Aronoff 55:34
Oh, yeah. Okay. Well, what you want to call blow it blowing, to me would be just one note in the wrong places. To me. It’s nothing I don’t like but the huge. The place I’m in now is I know very, very, very. I know how important is to forget about that. And to stay focused and stay in the game. It’s like Tom Brady getting sacked. And his two minute drill to win the game. He gets sacked. He’s got to be you can be pissed off for a second but he’s immediately focuses on endzone, touchdown, endzone touchdown. One thing I learned from that experience, we aren’t run in place that direction, the more we’re doing this, you take it and you flip it, it becomes your power. So when something goes wrong, there’s a part of me Of course, it’s like really pissed off. But I also understand deeply in my gut, that you’ve got to blow that off and focus on how you’re going to be a bad mofo. And I don’t talk about my mistakes. A No, I don’t have mistakes, I don’t talk about the things that don’t work out. Because you don’t want to talk about them, you’re giving it too much power, you just move past it. If somebody brings it up to you, you then can have a discussion. But unless somebody brings it up to you, you just move on, you don’t think about it, and you don’t dwell on it, because that will weaken you
Michael Hingson 57:00
every time. Absolutely every time. And you know, it’s as we said, it isn’t No, it isn’t a mistake, you you did something, you played a wrong note, but you really spend so much time practicing, you do get it to be and I don’t use this as a way to negate it, it becomes very rote. By the time you’re playing in the actual performance, you have really worked to make sure that you truly understand what the event is, what the music is that you’re supposed to be playing. And you’re used to it. I would also wager that no matter how much you practice, when you get up on stage, now you’re in a dynamic where you have the whole orchestra or the band or whatever. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are times that you adapt on the fly as well.
Kenny Aronoff 57:54
Absolutely you do. I mean thing is, like this concert I just did with all these great artists, they were, you know, people, I have everything written out. But people would drop in courses are dropping parts. And I adapt and I direct, I help people, you know, or if I if I, if there’s something I space out or something, I’m very quick at self correcting. And, you know, making it work out.
Michael Hingson 58:22
That’s what it should be.
Kenny Aronoff 58:24
That’s what exactly that’s what it should be. Yeah. And and you, you you will let yourself down, if you get sucked into this bloody ego in, in getting drawn into Oh, woe is me and failure and all that. You got to push that aside, you got to be centered, like, like a Navy Seal or a warrior king, you know, or warrior queen, where you people are looking to lead and looking to you for strength and wisdom. And I want to be that person, I am that person.
Michael Hingson 59:03
And at the same time you also know when you’re leading, if you’re a good leader, you know when to let somebody else take the lead because they have a skill that works in that particular moment.
Kenny Aronoff 59:15
Absolutely. I call it lead them to lead. Hmm. Help them lead assist them to lead without saying anything. You do this your job to help them feel like they can lead.
Michael Hingson 59:30
So how did you get involved now in starting to do public speaking kinds of things and travel around and do some of that?
Kenny Aronoff 59:38
Well, I wrote an autobiography called Sex, Drugs, rock and roll and people were asking me to speak a little bit. I had done about 30 years of drunk, drunk clinics masterclasses where I would speak it was a show so but to speak. Like we’re talking about I had to really work develop a craft it wasn’t you know, I I worked to some writers, I built websites and got rid of them got different ones, I went and spoke to an agent and he told me what it really means to be a speaker what you need to do, I did what he told me doing, came back to him two years later, and showed him what I had done. And he was blown away. He said, I want to work with you. So he started, we started working together, and he started telling mentoring me and I started to put together a show. So filmed, you know, and I kept developing it and honing it down. And, and now you know, I’ve got, you know, teamwork, leadership, innovation, creativity, connecting communication, collaboration, realize your purpose, staying relevant speech. And it’s I do perform. During the speech, I have a set of drums there, that’s the entertainment part. People want to see me perform, because I’m a drama. But the the message is very powerful. And it’s it. It’s not just, I mean, I’ve done this, my success in the music business is a proof of, you know, how to go from this little kid from a town of 3000 to 40 years. Well, not 40 years later, it’s a lot years later. And after that, at this point, it’s 60 years later, how I became what I had, how they became successful, successful, and they’ve stayed successful. And a lot of those skill sets. And what I learned in the music business applies to these other businesses I do, which also applies to other people’s businesses. So I speak about that. And just to answer your question a little bit more specifically, I just, I put together a show I have an agent, and we’ve been building off of that. And I just am doing more and more of that.
Michael Hingson 1:01:48
Tell me about your book a little bit.
Kenny Aronoff 1:01:50
Well, sex One immediate the autobiography, the one one,
Michael Hingson 1:01:53
now the firt. Right now, the autobiography The first one.
Kenny Aronoff 1:01:57
Yeah, that’s basically my life story. It’s about how I came from that middle town of Western Mass Stockbridge and how I went to, you know, how I went from there to where I am now, basically, in a nutshell, and there’s all kinds of stories, you know, Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones, meeting Bill Clinton, you know, there’s a little bit of funny stuff, there’s little bit of drama, is a little bit of rock and roll wildness. But the bottom line is the big message that the thread through the whole book is, I’ve worked my ass off and still working my ass off.
Michael Hingson 1:02:36
And I hear you stay in great shape. I must be from all those beating of the drums.
Kenny Aronoff 1:02:41
It is. But it’s also I in my new book, I have the healthy life as a wealthy life, which is a basic eight step program on how to stay healthy, which affects you mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, you know, I won’t go through all the details of it. But it’s, it’s definitely a setup. And you know, I’m aware of what I’m eating. And you know, I’m not perfect, but I’m aware of everything I put on me. So in other words, if I have a day one, eating not as well, as I, as I usually choose to, then I know how to make up for it the next day, and I do exercise every day. And of course, playing the drums. I mean, you’re doing a three hour show. You’re burning 1000s calories. Yeah. So there’s that, you know,
Michael Hingson 1:03:24
which is, which is really pretty cool. And so you’re, you’re in a profession that keeps you active anyway, which is which is good. You cannot it’s hard to tough to, to argue with that, isn’t it?
Kenny Aronoff 1:03:38
Yeah. It’s great. It’s phenomenal. I love that unit.
Michael Hingson 1:03:42
Did you self published the first book? Or did you have a publisher,
Kenny Aronoff 1:03:45
I have a publisher for that was a hell, Leonard backbeats, which is now there now is Rowan and Littlefield did an audio version, this new book I have is is going to be self published. I am working in writing it for the second time. And it will be they have a marketing team. And but I own the book. And I may possibly look for a publisher after that. But this new book is more self help book. It’s basically as I think I mentioned earlier, it’s taking what I’m seeing in my speech, but with a lot more information, extending you know that information. So people can you know, if they want to hear more about what my my philosophies are, and you know, how I made it and how I’m staying successful. They can read that book with action items, exercises. And then if they want to take it a step further, then we there will be a website eventually where people can reach out to me and I will coach him
Michael Hingson 1:04:45
well, and when you make that website, I’d love to help make sure that it’s accessible with accessibe and the company that oh, cool, and we’d love to to make sure that it’s a website that’s available to everyone to use, as well. You know, this has been a lot of fun. And we have done what I love to do, which is lose a little bit of track of time. So we’ve even gone over an hour. And I have a cat in the other room who’s yelling at me to come. But you know, we all have our crosses to bear. But if people want to reach out to you, or reach out and learn more about you where to get the book, maybe find one of your speeches or whatever, how would they do that?
Kenny Aronoff 1:05:25
Well, the first thing they can do is go to my website, www dot Kennyaronoff.com, would you, please it’s K E N N Y A R O N O F F.com. And the books are on the on that website. There’s a little bit of me speaking, if you go to the speaker page is a little button you can click, you can see me speaking, there’s a forum where you can reach out to me if you want me to record drums on your record, or just connect with me. And I think if you want to hire me to speak I think the I believe on my website. This my agents, you know, email address how to hire me. And then of course, I’m on every all social media on Tik Tok and on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. On LinkedIn. Yeah,
Michael Hingson 1:06:24
well, it’s good to be connected. Well, Kenny, I’ve absolutely enjoyed this. It’s everything I expected and more and have really learned a lot. And I’m very grateful for you being with us today. So I really appreciate that. And I hope everyone that you who are listening, find this as enjoyable as I did, and that you will give us a five star rating when you’re done listening. And please let us know what you think about it. We’d love to hear from you. You can reach out to me at Michaelhi at accessibe A C C E S S I B E.com. So hope you’ll do that. Or you can go to our podcast page, which is www dot Michael hingson h i n g s o n.com/podcast. Definitely love to hear from you. Hope you enjoyed all that Kenny had to say. And we’re looking forward Kenny to having you back to talk some more about some of this stuff.
Kenny Aronoff 1:07:19
Well, maybe I’ll come back when my book comes out next year. And then we can talk about that.
Michael Hingson 1:07:24
We can and that would be a great thing to do. And I I’m going to hold you to it. So let us know because we want to let everyone else know when it comes out. But let us know so we can have you back. But again, thank you for being here with us. And we are looking forward to you coming back again.
Kenny Aronoff 1:07:41
All right, man. Thank you so much, Michael. And I’ll see everybody down the road I guess.
Michael Hingson 1:07:52
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.