Joey Kramer loses Aerosmith lawsuit

Kramer filed a suit against his four bandmates for freezing him out of the band

A judge in The Superior Court judge in Plymouth County, Massachusetts has denied Joey Kramer’s request to rejoin Aerosmith for their upcoming weekend GRAMMY performances. The judge has ruled that there’s not enough time for the group to rehearse and pull off an adequate performance given Kramer’s extended absence.

“Given that Kramer has not played with the band in six months and the dearth of available rehearsal time before the upcoming performances, Kramer has not shown a realistic alternative course of action sufficient to protect the band’s business interests,” the ruling states.

Kramer says he’s disappointed, but will respect the judge’s decision.

“Although I’m extremely disappointed by the Judge’s ruling today, I respect it. I knew filing a lawsuit was a bit of an uphill battle considering that the corporate documents don’t reference any process for a band member returning from an injury or illness. However, the band waited until January 15th to tell me that they weren’t letting me play at the awards ceremonies this week. I can hold my head high knowing that I did the right thing – to fight for my right to celebrate the band’s success that I have dedicated the better part of my life to helping build,” Kramer says in a statement via his publicist.

“The truth speaks for itself. Ever since I injured my foot last August and went through many hours of physical therapy to heal, not once did the band in its entirety offer to rehearse with me. That is a fact. I was also sent the full rehearsal schedule on January 18th and flew to LA the next day to rehearse and have many texts and emails stating the band can’t wait for my return. That’s also a fact. When I showed up to rehearse, I was greeted by two security guards who prohibited me from entering as you can see in the video clip.

“The band’s offer to allow me to participate in this week’s MusiCares and Grammy celebrations for red carpet photo ops only, is appreciated; however, with a fill-in drummer playing on stage at two events honoring our collective musical contributions, it is extremely hurtful to me. I am a professional musician who is eager to return to my rightful place with Aerosmith.

“I want to thank my fans for the incredible outpouring of support and for sharing my goal of taking my place on stage as one of the five founding members of Aerosmith and continuing to play the music I love.”

Newly released video shows Kramer getting stopped by security the band hired before entering an LA rehearsal space. “We are asking that you not come into the property right now,” one security guard tells Kramer and his crew as they walk to the door. “We’ve been hired by the other four members of the band to ask that you not come in today.”

Kramer filed the lawsuit against Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford late last week after a “freeze out” that is causing him to miss out on major and historical events, including a performance at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, a MusiCares tribute honoring the group, and the band’s upcoming Las Vegas residency.

Kramer claims his bandmates have not allowed him back in the band after a temporary disability, something none of the other members have had happened to them when they’ve had to step aside over the years. Kramer suffered injuries in spring 2019, but states he was ready for the band’s Vegas residency in fall 2019. However, the drummer suggests he was subjected to a new band policy where he had to audition to prove he was “able to play at an appropriate level” to rejoin.

Kramer also claims he was asked to perform a series of solo rehearsals where he had to play with a “click track” at his audition, and the other four members would listen and evaluate his performance. Kramer says he begrudgingly auditioned with the click track in January, but wasn’t allowed back in because the band says he “did not have enough ‘energy’ in the recordings.”

The “freeze out” has required him to cover the salary of a replacement drummer at $10k a week for rehearsals and $20k a week for performances.

Aerosmith’s reps state they won’t be responding since they consider this a “family matter.” However, they did share, “Given his decisions he is unfortunately unable to perform, but of course we have invited him to be with us for both the Grammys and our MusiCares honor. We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage.”

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.