The Untold Truth Of Aerosmith's Joey Kramer

Aerosmith has garnished a lot of attention over the years, which is expected of a rock band of their magnitude. If you factor in that they've been playing for around 50 years, it's no mystery how "Aerosmith" became such a well-known name. The band has become more than a band, branching into what may as well be considered a franchise at this point. Steven Tyler's face is as recognizable from television as his voice is on the radio. Even his daughter, Liv Tyler, has secured fame with an acting career. Aerosmith's songs are part of American culture, heard on the soundtrack of more movies than we can count and blasting on equally as many radio stations. Let's face it: This band from the '70s is one of the most famous rock bands in history.

With outlandish members like Steven Tyler in front and Joe Perry on guitar, it might be hard for other bandmates to get noticed, but that doesn't mean the other musicians in Aerosmith aren't equally as interesting. When it comes to Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer, it's a story of turmoil and struggle, and the truth is quite worthy of being told.

Kramer's damaging relationships

Kramer wasn't shy about laying out the rough parts of his life in his autobiography Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top. One of the topics he touches on is the abusive relationship he had with his father. In an interview with Courant (found via Brave Words), the Aerosmith drummer talks about the abuse he faced as a child. While he didn't go into detail, it's pretty clear that it was something a child shouldn't have to suffer.

"I never told anyone because while the abuse was in progress, I wasn't really conscious that it was abuse," Kramer admits. "I just thought that was the way it was between my father and me. I think back then there were a lot of kids like me who were getting physically abused by parents who thought it was the way to discipline them. There was a confusion between abuse and love, and later I forgave my father because I think it was all he knew. He was trying to do the best he could."

Apparently, that wasn't the only strained relationship that Kramer had in his life. Kramer and Tyler didn't have the healthiest relationship either. Kramer describes it as a type of co-dependent relationship that often became confrontational. According to an interview with Billboard, Tyler gave Kramer the go-ahead to tell the story — as long he told the truth. So, that's pretty cool.

The drummer's struggles with addiction

Kramer wasn't the only member of Aerosmith to struggle with addiction. Drugs were a big part of the band's persona. Heroin, cocaine — it didn't matter. Those guys liked to party. Steven Tyler has passed out on stage, and Joe Perry kept a roadie at hand whose job was to feed them cocaine during sets, according to NME. Surely, their addiction problems had an effect on Kramer's.

"... I combined the drug addiction, alcoholism, depression and everything else I've been through into this book," Kramer told Backstage Axxess (also posted on Brave Words). He certainly succeeded. The drug use that Kramer talks about had him feeling like he "was about to hear a fatal diagnosis" every moment of the day. So what did Kramer do? He checked himself into rehab a couple of different times, according to myRECOVERY, and got sober. The guy still finds some days harder than others, as comes with the territory, but he seems to be doing pretty okay in the "not on drugs" department.

He keeps a positive outlook after the turmoil

When you've gone through the types of hardships that Kramer has survived — growing up in an abusive household, struggling with addiction — it can be difficult to keep your outlook positive and chin up. Hard things are hard. They're traumatic, and that can change you in unexpected ways. For Kramer, it's made the rock star want to help other people.

"My desire to help people plays a strong part in my character," Kramer told Billboard. "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."

Coming forward in his autobiography, speaking with painful honesty about his hardships, will surely help readers know they're not alone. Kramer is already achieving his goal.