All is not well between longtime bandmates in Aerosmith. According to new reports shared by TMZ, drummer Joey Kramer has filed a lawsuit against the rest of the rock band saying they’ve unfairly blocked him from rejoining after taking time away for medical reasons in 2019. This comes just days ahead of the MusiCares “Person of the Year” concert in Los Angeles this weekend, where they’re set to appear and perform as the honored recipients.
According to the report, Kramer, who’s been with Aerosmith since they formed within the Boston music scene in 1970, claims the rest of the band refuses to let him rejoin for live performances after he took brief time away from their Las Vegas residency last spring for minor, non-music related injuries. Kramer claims he never approved of the new band policy which requires an audition and solo rehearsals alongside a click track to prove he’s “able to play at an appropriate level” to earn his job back.
The 69-year-old Kramer also claims the stress of all this had “significant repercussions” to his health and even hospitalized him this past November. The hospitalization was the cause for Aerosmith to find a replacement drummer for their Vegas residency shows at $20k per week–a bill that Kramer had to pay.
The band has yet to give Kramer the green light to rejoin playing with them, saying he “did not have enough ‘energy’ in the recordings.” The band is set to appear and perform at the MusicCares “Person of the Year” awards in Los Angeles this weekend where they are the act of honor.
The band has yet to comment on the lawsuit.
Kramer shared a statement on news of the suit in saying:
“Being prohibited from playing with a band that I have given 50 years of my life to supporting, is beyond devastating. 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.”
Classic rock star egos never fail to grab a headline, even in 2020, and who doesn’t love some extra drama heading into Grammy Week? Let’s hope the Aerosmith guys can patch this up and get it together for a 50th-anniversary (and possibly, a farewell) tour in 2020.
The winter dates for the band’s DEUCES WILD Vegas residency are also set to pick up at the end of the month on January 29th. Head to Aerosmith’s website for tickets and concert info.