Kramer has been on temporary disability
Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer is reportedly suing the band after they’ve allegedly blocked him from returning following health setbacks last year. TMZ reports that Kramer is suing his bandmates of 50 years — Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford — after a “freeze out” that will result in him missing upcoming 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 was ready for the band’s Vegas residency in fall 2019. However, Kramer 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 ordeal has caused “significant repercussions” to his health, forcing him to be hospitalized in November. Kramer was required to cover the cost of a replacement drummer, Aerosmith’s drum tech John Douglas, at $20,000 a week for performances and $10,000 a week for rehearsals.
Sources close to Aerosmith claim the drummer has had multiple opportunities to rejoin the group in recent months, but has backed out on each occasion. TMZ says the sources claim the band agreed Kramer wasn’t up to par on the recordings and is filing the suit at a coincidental time to force his way onto TV.
“Being prohibited from playing with a band that I have given 50 years of my life to supporting, is beyond devastating,” Kramer tells TMZ. “This is not about money. I am being deprived of the opportunity to be recognized along with my peers, for our collective, lifetime contributions to the music industry. Neither the MusiCares’ Person of the Year Award nor the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement honors can ever be repeated.”
He continues, “I hope our fans can understand that all I’m trying to do is get back to playing with the band that they love – and that’s Aerosmith with all five original members. The greatest magic and success of Aerosmith happens when all the band’s founding members are together in the house. To be removed from my rightful place on stage to celebrate our success – a success that acknowledges my own life’s work, is just plain wrong.”
Kramer’s legal team has made a request to allow him to rehearse with the band for the GRAMMYs performance. No outcome has been reported as of press time.
The band shared a statement to People, claiming they’ve tried working with Kramer since his absence.
“Joey Kramer is our brother; his wellbeing is of paramount importance to us. However he has not been emotionally and physically able to perform with the band, by his own admission, for the last 6 months. We have missed him and have encouraged him to rejoin us to play many times but apparently he has not felt ready to do so,” the statement reads.
It continues, “Joey has now waited until the last moment to accept our invitation, when we unfortunately have no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week. We would be doing a disservice to him, to ourselves and to our fans to have him play without adequate time to prepare and rehearse. Compounding this, he chose to file a lawsuit on the Friday night of the holiday weekend preceding the Grammys with total disregard for what is our limited window to prepare to perform these important events. 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.