Aerosmith drummer writes of "Hitting Rock Bottom"
By Gary Graff
DETROIT (Billboard) - Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer says he wrote his new book, "Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top," in order "to be entertaining, but at the same to ... help people."
Kramer tells Billboard.com that "Hit Hard," which was published Tuesday (June 30), is the result of a four-year process with writers William Patrick and Keith Garde. The book, which includes a forward by Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx, chronicles the drummer's substance abuse problems, his psychologically scarring relationship with his father and a similarly tumultuous, "co-dependent" battle with Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. Kramer hopes that the book will shed some light for those dealing with the same issues in their lives.
"My desire to help people plays a strong part in my character," Kramer says. "Because I've been allowed to do what I've done via Aerosmith, I'd like to be able to carry it on as I get older, on another level. Whatever that may be is really unbeknownst to me -- maybe some sort of a lecture series or circuit or whatever -- but I know that it will come."
Kramer says that Tyler -- whose own autobiography, "Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?," has been pushed from an October publication date to the summer of 2010 -- was supportive during his bandmate's book-writing process. "When I was trying to tell him about some of the stuff that was in the book, his comment was ... 'Hey, man, as long as it's the truth, I don't care,'" Kramer recalls. "And that's pretty much where Steven is at. He's about the truth."
Bassist Tom Hamilton, who Kramer portrays in "Hit Hard" as perhaps his closest friend in Aerosmith, calls his rhythm section partner's tome "pretty amazing. It's a really hard-hitting book ... but there's also a lot of neat references to people that we knew when the band started and things that happened that I forgot about. So it has some real entertainment value, too."
Aerosmith as a band collaborated with author Stephen Davis on 1997's "Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith," but Hamilton says he does not anticipate each member of the Boston quintet bringing out his own book.
"Right now my passion is expressing myself through music," Hamilton says. "I think the thing to do is to be the last one to write a book. That way you can let everybody else put things in their book that are gonna make you mad, and then you can answer back and (have) the last word."
Aerosmith is on the road with ZZ Top until mid-September and performing its 1975 album "Toys in the Attic" during the shows. The group plans to return to work on its next album with producer Brendan O'Brien after the tour.
(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)
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