Black Keys Salon Essay

Just days after leaked emails from divorce documents revealed that Jack White called Dan Auerbach an “asshole” who copies him all the time, it turns out that the Black Keys frontman is going through a nasty split of his own.

According to TMZ, Auerbach accused his wife, Stephanie Gonis, of attempting suicide twice in one day, first by slashing her legs and ankles in front of their young daughter, and then by attempting to burn their house down. Gonis copped to the first attempt, saying it was due to years of spousal abuse — it’s unclear if this means Auerbach was violent toward her — but said the fire was an accident. She committed herself after the incident.

Auerbach was granted temporary custody of their daughter, Sadie Little Auerbarch, who was born in 2008. Gonis can visit under supervision, with the judge saying it’ll stay that way until he’s convinced she’s stable.

The couple’s split came to light back in February, when Auerbach attended the Grammys alone and not wearing his wedding band. Us Weekly confirmed the “unfortunate” split with an anonymous source.

Auerbach will have some support from Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, who went through a grueling divorce in 2009. Following that, his ex, Denise Grollmus, wrote an article for Salon in which she revealed their mutual infidelity, constant fighting, and cast Auerbach in a particularly unflattering light.

Meanwhile, White — Auerbach’s fellow Nashville resident who also found fame by singing and playing guitar in a garage-blues duo in the 2000s — is countersuing his wife, singer and model Karen Elson, in their ongoing divorce saga. She recently filed a restraining order against him, claiming he’s a threat to their kids and used emails, including the one where White insults Auerbach in a discussion about their kids’ school arrangements, while he’s fighting back, saying she’s still in love with him and left their children in his care after the court filings.

At least, as far as we know, Carney is happily remarried.

Patrick Carney

Carney performing in 2014

Background information
Birth namePatrick James Carney
Also known asThe Salesman, Chilli con Carney
Born(1980-04-15) April 15, 1980 (age 37)
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
GenresBlues rock, garage rock, alternative rock
InstrumentsDrums, guitar, bass guitar, keyboard
Years active2000–present
Associated actsThe Black Keys, Blakroc, Drummer, The Sheepdogs, The Rentals, Dan Auerbach, Michelle Branch

Patrick James Carney (born April 15, 1980) is an American musician and producer best known as the drummer for The Black Keys, a blues rock band from Akron, Ohio. He also has a side-project rock band called Drummer.

Early life[edit]

Carney's father, Jim, is a retired longtime reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal and music lover whom Carney credits with introducing him to various genres. His mother, Mary Stormer, is an Akron Municipal Court deputy clerk and is a former member of the Akron Board of Education. His stepmother, Katie Byard Carney, is a longtime reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal. His stepfather, Barry Stormer, owns B. A. Stormer Construction Services. Carney has two brothers, William, who is an Amtrak supervisor, and Michael, a graphic artist who has created the art for each of the Black Keys albums and in 2017 launched the Central High Tshirt line. Carney's uncle, Ralph Carney, was a professional sax player, and played with Tom Waits, among others. Ralph died in December, 2017, after falling down steps in his Portland, Oregon, home. After Carney's parents divorced when he was 6, he lived part of the time with his mother, Mary Stormer, and part of the time with his father, Jim Carney, who had moved to a different neighborhood in West Akron, Ohio. Dan Auerbach lived around the block in this neighborhood, and the two met and played tag football with Auerbach's friends, although Patrick and Auerbach did not become friends until high school. Carney stated in an interview with Modern Drummer that he never took drum lessons as a kid, but learned by mimicking friends that were also drummers, using a $150 drumset that he bought using money earned from a job washing dishes at the Mustard Seed grocery and cafe in an Akron suburb, Bath Township. [1] As a teenager, Carney was musically influenced by bands such as Pavement, Captain Beefheart and fellow Akron band Devo.[2]

Music career[edit]

In 2001 Carney and Auerbach, lead singer and guitarist, formed The Black Keys, releasing their debut album The Big Come Up less than a year later. This was followed by Thickfreakness in 2003 and Rubber Factory in 2004. The band's fourth album Magic Potion was released in 2006. Attack & Release, their critically acclaimed fifth album was released in 2008, with a follow up in 2010 titled Brothers. In 2011, the band released the album El Camino. The band's latest album is Turn Blue, released in 2014.

Both Carney and Auerbach record with Nonesuch Records. In 2009, Carney joined the 9th annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to support independent musicians' careers.[3][4][5] Carney has produced records for Beaten Awake, Houseguest, Churchbuilder, and The Black Keys. He is the founder of Audio Eagle Records.


In 2009, while fellow Black Keys member Dan Auerbach was on his solo tour, Carney formed a new band called Drummer in which he played bass. Each of the band's members had played drums in another band. They released Feel Good Together, their debut album in the same year.

Other ventures[edit]

In 2012, he produced the self-titled album for Canadian rockers The Sheepdogs. Atlantic Records released it on September 4 of that year. In 2011, he produced the second studio album by Tennis, titled Young & Old, which was released on Fat Possum Records on February 14, 2012. Carney also contributed the main title music to the 2014 Netflix show BoJack Horseman.

Carney is the drummer on The Rentals' 2014 album Lost in Alphaville.[6]

Audio Eagle Records[edit]

In 2005, Carney created Audio Eagle Records, an independent record label. It signed acts such as Houseguest, Royal Bangs and Carney's own side-project Drummer. Carney shut the label down in 2010.

Vice News Tonight[edit]

Carney had a segment on HBO's news show, "Vice News Tonight", titled "Patrick Carney's High Standards Music Corner" where he listens to and judges new songs.

Personal life[edit]

Carney, living in Akron, Oh., married writer Denise Grollmus, in 2007.[7] The two had dated for several years, since Grollmus was a student at Oberlin College in Ohio and Carney and Dan Auerbach launched the Black Keys. The couple divorced in 2009. Both talked about the messy breakup in the media, Patrick in Rolling Stone's May 27, 2010, issue and Grollmus in an essay - "Snapshots From a Rock 'N' Roll Marriage", published in Salon on March 3, 2011.[8] Today, (2018 - and before!) Grollmus and Carney are on good terms.

In 2010, Carney and his bandmate, Dan Auerbach, moved from Akron, OH, and purchased homes in Nashville, TN.[9] They recorded their El Camino album at Auerbach's newly completed Nashville studio, Easy Eye Sound Studio.

Carney married Emily Ward, whom he had met while living in New York City, on Sept. 15, 2012, in the backyard of their Nashville home.[10] The wedding ceremony was officiated by actor Will Forte.[11] Karen Elson, a singer and ex-wife of Jack White of the White Stripes and a Nashville resident who was friends with Carney and Ward, sang at the wedding. The wedding party included Ward's siblings Danielle Shuster and Henry Ward, Carney's brothers Will Carney, Michael Carney, and step-brother Barry Stormer, and the couple's Irish wolfhound, Charlotte. Wearing Carolina Herrera, Ward walked down the aisle to Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells. Carney and Ward invited 350 guests, including bandmate Dan Auerbach and professional snowboarder Shaun White, who was later arrested and charged with vandalism and public intoxication at a hotel in Nashville after the wedding reception.[12][13] Carney and Ward divorced in January 2016. Emily Ward, a California native, had moved to Los Angeles by that time.

In 2015, Carney met Michelle Branch at a Grammy party, and the two started dating during the production of Branch's album Hopeless Romantic, which Carney produced.[14] On Michelle's birthday, July 2, 2017, he proposed and Branch accepted.[15] On February 11, 2018, Michelle Branch announced that she and Carney are expecting their first child. Carney and Michelle live in Nashville with Branch's daughter and two Irish wolfhounds, the aforementioned Charlotte, and Darla.


For a more comprehensive list, see The Black Keys discography.

The Black Keys
The Rentals



  1. ^[1]
  2. ^[2]Archived February 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^"9th Annual Judges". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  4. ^MicControlArchived June 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^"". Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  6. ^"The Rentals Sign to Polyvinyl for First Album in 15 Years". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC. December 5, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  7. ^Grollmus, Denise. "Snapshots from a rock 'n' roll marriage". 
  8. ^"Snapshots of a Rock n' Roll Marriage". Salon. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  9. ^"Music - GuideLive". 
  10. ^"Black Keys' Patrick Carney Gets Engaged | Music News". Rolling Stone. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  11. ^"Black day for Auerbach". News Limited. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  12. ^"The Black Keys Wedding: Patrick Carney Marries Emily Ward". 20 September 2012. 
  13. ^News, ABC. "Olympian Shaun White Arrested". 
  14. ^"Michelle Branch & New Boyfriend Patrick Carney Made an Excellent Pop-Rock Album: 'It Was Us Against The World'". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  15. ^"Michelle Branch Gets Engaged to Patrick Carney". 3 July 2017. 

External links[edit]

Carney playing with The Black Keys in 2010
Patrick Carney, playing at the House of Blues in New Orleans, LA, on September 21, 2010.

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