Aerosmith has remained largely intact for the majority of their decades-long career, but drummer Joey Kramer could be absent when the band performs at two high profile GRAMMY events this weekend.
The drummer has filed a lawsuit against his longtime bandmates that alleges they unfairly excluded him from rejoining Aerosmith after he recovered from a few minor injuries he suffered last year. Kramer sat out some dates of the band’s Vegas residency, but apparently even though he says he’s ready to return, the band doesn’t agree.
“This is not about money,” the 69-year-old said in a statement. “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.”
Kramer says he suffered an injury, rehabbed, but instead of simply returning to Aerosmith, he was forced to audition for his own job to prove his worthiness.
“I did everything they asked — jumped through hoops and made both a recording of playing along solo to a recent live recording of the band — one I had never heard before, and that process was videotaped. But I did it, and I did it well," he said.
But Aerosmith has responded with a statement of its own and says it's nothing personal. The band would love Kramer to attend, but just doesn't think he's ready to perform.
"We would be doing a disservice to Joey, to ourselves and to our fans to have him play without adequate time to prepare and rehearse," Aerosmith said in a statement to TMZ. 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."
Kramer, frontman Steven Tyler and bassist Tom Hamilton have all been members of Aerosmith since the band formed in Boston in 1970, Guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford briefly left the band in the late 70s and early 80s, respectively.