DERRY — It may be only rock 'n' roll, but for Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer it's also about helping others.
Aiming to help future musicians, Kramer stopped by Pinkerton Academy on Thursday to donate some of his Rockin' & Roastin' coffee to the school's Astro Cafe.
Kramer donated two cases of the whole bean organic coffee as part of the Music Drives Us program. The coffee will be sold in the cafe, with a portion of each sale going to the nonprofit foundation that supplies grants for music programs throughout New England. The project was founded by auto dealership magnate Ernie Boch Jr.
"This is an example of the private sector coming to the rescue," Kramer said, moments after arriving at the school.
Pinkerton Academy learned Kramer would be in town and could make the donation from his friend Frank Cimler, a member of the Pinkerton Class of 1974, said Anne Paker, alumni relations director. Cimler, who is Kramer's business partner, is a Boston-based attorney who has worked with rock stars for a number of years.
"One of the things we are interested in is music education," Cimler said. "We are interested in young people and trying to help out when we can; that's a big part of why we are here."
The cafe is part of the school's Career and Technical Education Program. Students make up most of the cafe's staff, and many were familiar with Kramer and Aerosmith, Parker said.
Looking the part of a rock star, Kramer sported a leopard-skin coat and black boots as he arrived with Cimler at the school. He met with some students and chefs in the cafe and posed for photos.
Before donating the coffee, Kramer and Cimler briefly discussed how the business is growing and some of the plans for the coffee line. Rockin' & Roastin' is now in a variety of stores throughout New England and other areas, including Stop & Shop, Costco, McKenna's, and Mr. Steer. The coffee also will be sold at Hannaford supermarkets in the next two weeks, Cimler said.
"It's in around 1,700 stores now," he said.As for Aerosmith, the band will be touring Europe later this year, with a stop in Russia, before heading back to the U.S. and a nationwide tour scheduled for July and August, Kramer said.