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Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top Hardcover – June 30, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From 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)
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“If ‘sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll’ is what you want, it’s what you’ll get in these photo-laden pages. Kramer’s style is honest, straightforward and pulls no punches.” (Publishers Weekly)

“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, author of The Heroin Diaries) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1st edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061566608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061566608
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About 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.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Laura on June 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I don't know exactly what I expected when I began to read "Hit Hard," Joey Kramer's "Story of Hitting Rock Bottom from the Top." As an avid Aerosmith fan, I assumed there would be a fair dose of fascinating Aerosmith history, including various tales of overindulgence in sex, drugs and whatever else comes with being a huge rock star. While the book does not disappoint in that respect, it is so much more. No question Joey is an interesting guy who seemed to have had a great life, but you would have no idea how truly difficult his life was, or how real and honest he is, until you read this book.

I never knew very much about Joey Kramer personally, as other band members tend to take center stage and news about the band is often news about them. He is obviously an incredibly talented drummer, who carries the band forward in a hard rocking style that is pretty much unmatched by any other band I have ever heard. In live performances by Aerosmith, you can't fail to notice how central Joey's role is: every band member at one time or another gravitates over to stand by Joey, as if to more closely connect to the center of the band's power. But other than knowing that Joey, as all the other "bad boys" of Aerosmith, had abused drugs and alcohol, that he was responsible for the band's name, and seemed to have been married forever to his lovely wife April, I knew virtually nothing about his backgound or his life.

The book begins with a stunning foreward by Nikki Sixx (whose own recent memoir, "Heroin Diaries," was as raw and painful as it gets), which helps to prepare one emotionally for what is to follow.
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Format: Hardcover
Before I read "Hit Hard: A Story Of Hitting Rock Bottom At The Top" I always thought of Joey Kramer as the drummer of the band Aerosmith and I didn`t think much more of him, his bandmates Steven Tyler and Joe Perry always got the attention so Kramer was never really in the spotlight. He was pretty much just there and we rarely heard anything about him. When Kramer`s biography came out in 2009 I read it out of curiosity, wanting to learn more about Joey and read what his life was like. I was shocked at how hard and painful his life must have been, I just assumed he was happy because he looked happy, it wasn`t necessarily the case. Kramer has been emotionally troubled since he was a child and for a long time lived a life of addiction and lies. He`s a rockstar today but underneath the success, recognition and fame was a sad and miserable clown still affected by the emotional and physical damage his family and more specifically his father did to him as a child and a teenager. Kramer will be the first to admit that he didn`t know how to deal with his problems so he hid them in drugs and alcohol for most of his life. Hit Hard is an interesting story and Joey had a lot of courage just writing this book, as Motley Crue`s Nikki Sixx said "Joey had the balls to see what`s underneath the hood and fix it. Being a rockstar was easy compared to that".

Kramer goes into important events of his life and how they affected him. He talks about his childhood and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his dad, his teenage years when he discovered music, girls, alcohol and drugs and drumming. Then he goes into the relationships he had with various people and how he left home as a teenager, went to College in Boston became the drummer for Aerosmith and made it big.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Garyzeppelin2003 on January 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
I listened to this on audio book that I checked out of my local library. One thing I learned is, Joey Kramer and Aerosmith deserve every bit of success that they have.

Somewhere on the first CD he says something like "The difference between me and every other guy that wanted to do this is, I was committed to doing whatever it takes." (to become a successful musician) By the way, the audio book has a narrator. It's not Joey Kramer's voice.

The other thing I learned is, Aerosmith did what they did for the 'right reasons'. Their primary focus was on the music they love to play and sharing that with other people. It wasn't on fortune and fame or money.

Most of this book isn't about Aerosmith; it's about Joey Kramer and his dealing with his family and bandmates, his depression and his drug use, and learning to deal with himself. I learned a lot about myself from listening to this book and looking at key issues in my own life.

You don't have to be an Aerosmith or even a music fan to get something out of this book. You could be dealing with depression, abusive behavior, codependency or drug addiction.

It's the type of thing that needs to be shared because countless human beings are facing the same issues and I'm glad Joey Kramer put this forth for everyone to read.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By cheesygiraffe on September 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Very interesting. Not the best written but I learned some stuff about Aerosmith and about drumming. Plus I got some insight into how someone else copes with anxiety and depression.
I did notice he barely mentioned his accident where he was burned at a gas station. Other than mentioning it was very painful. He also didn't mention a lot about his son. What kind of father he is since he got off drugs. He mentioned a lot about his dad because that's where his issues were at. It did make me cry a little. I can understand it's hard to forgive someone when they are dead and you can't talk it out. He did try to forgive his dad before he died but with his dad having Parkinson's he couldn't communicate. Sometimes you just got to let it go and move on. I think he's finally doing that.
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