Rock drummer Kenny Aronoff. Photo by Shannon Zahnle


November 11 will mark a homecoming for a Bloomington music icon when the Buskirk-Chumley Theater hosts “An Evening With Kenny Aronoff.” The one-man show is part performance and part meditation on personal and professional success.

Best known for his 17 years with the John Mellencamp Band, Aronoff, 63, has worked with most of rock’s aristocracy, including the two remaining Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. He has continuing commitments to several bands and performers, including the BoDeans, John Fogerty, and Supersonic Blues Machine, and owns a recording studio in Los Angeles.

Mentoring is an increasingly passionate interest for Aronoff, too. His autobiography, Sex, Drums, Rock ’n’ Roll! The Hardest-Hitting Man in Show Business, hits bookstores in November. Not just another memoir of a decadent touring life, it’s one of several ways Aronoff shares a personal philosophy, encapsulated in his talk, “Seven Keys to a Successful Life and Career.”

Aronoff’s visit to Bloomington will include a November 10 book signing at the Indiana University Bloomington Bookstore from 5–6:30 p.m. The performance on November 11 is free, sponsored by the Stone Age Institute (Aronoff has raised funds for the Institute and played with its rock band).

A 1976 IU graduate with a degree in classical music, Aronoff joined Mellencamp’s band in 1980. “Mellencamp was my biggest concern writing the book,” Aronoff says. “In 1997, John took a needed break from the music business. He put the band on retainer to hold it together, but I went to L.A. and established my recording career, and I couldn’t let it go. The breakup was tense. We were young. But we got past it, and we’re still friends. John was the first person I interviewed for my book.”

Aronoff lives in Studio City, California, with his third wife, but two ex-wives and his son, an IU graduate student, are here. “I can’t wait to get back to Bloomington,” Aronoff says. “I was there for 35 years. My Indiana roots are deep.”

For ticket information, contact the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Box Office at 812-323-3020.