Published Jan 22, 2020Ahead of a scheduled performance at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards this weekend, Aerosmith have found themselves subject to some nasty in-fighting.
Last Friday (January 17), drummer Joey Kramer filed a lawsuit claiming that the rest of the band were intentionally excluding him from their Grammy performance and 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year honour. His lawsuit further claimed that the stress of the situation has caused him to seek medical care.
UPDATE (1/23, 12 p.m. EST): A judge has now officially sided with Aerosmith and denied Kramer's request to rejoin the band for the Grammys. You can learn more here.
Last year, Kramer had to take medical leave from Aerosmith for a period of roughly six months, leaving him unable to perform at several concerts in 2019. He claimed the band aren't allowing him to rejoin after they made him audition for his return.
Now the rest of the band have responded in a statement. Here's what they had to say about the lawsuit:
Joey Kramer is our brother; his well-being 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.
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 honour. We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage.
Kramer was forced to take a break from the band as a direct result of injuries he sustained that prevented him from performing for six months in 2019. When the drummer was ready to come back, he said the band made him audition for his place — and later told him he wasn't up to their standards.
"Being prohibited from playing with a band that I have given 50 years of my life to supporting, is beyond devastating," Kramer told 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. 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."
He later told Rolling Stone, "The fact that I would be asked to audition for my own job, demonstrate that I can play at 'an appropriate level' and play better than my temporary fill-in with a moving target of made-up standards is both insulting and upsetting."
The band are set to celebrate their 50th anniversary this summer with a European tour. Whether or not Kramer will play a role in the celebrations remains unclear.