Joey Kramer has filed a lawsuit against his bandmates after claiming that he is being excluded from performing with the group during their upcoming appearance on the Grammy Awards this weekend.
TMZ reports Kramer suffered minor injuries last spring that sidelined him from the band’s Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas residency shows, and that he’s been covering the cost of a replacement drummer – his tech, John Douglas – at a rate of $20,000 a week for performances.
As Aerosmith prepare to be honored with the 2020 MusiCares Person Of The Year Award during an event in L.A. on 1/24/20, Kramer reveals he was forced to perform a solo audition – alongside a click track – earlier this month that was recorded and reviewed by his fellow bandmates so they could determine if he was "able to play at an appropriate level" in order to regain his role on stage.
Joey was told that he could not perform at the MusiCares event or the Grammy Awards on January 26 because he "did not have enough 'energy' in the recordings."
“Being prohibited from playing with a band that I have given 50 years of my life to supporting, is beyond devastating,” says Kramer. “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.
“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 case is being heard in court this week ahead of the Grammy events and the band’s return to Las Vegas for more residency gigs at the end of the month.
“Joey Kramer is our brother; his wellbeing is of paramount importance to us,” Aerosmith tells People in response to their bandmates' claims. “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.
“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.”