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 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 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 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 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 my life to supporting, is beyond devastating,” Kramer tells TMZ. “This is not about money. I am being deprived the opportunity to be recognized along with my peers, for our collective, lifetime contributions to the music industry. Neither the MusiCares’ Person 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 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. No outcome has been reported as press time.