Aerosmith is set to be honored as the Recording Academy’s MusiCares Person of the Year this weekend, but it appears all is not right with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. Drummer Joey Kramer has filed a lawsuit claiming the other members,Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, and Brad Whitford, won’t let him rejoin the group.
Kramer was forced to sit out some of the band’s Las Vegas residency shows after suffering minor injuries last Spring. He claims he was ready to return in the Fall but the band made him prove he was “able to play at an appropriate level” before he could come back, something no other band member ever had to do.
He says the stress of all of it put him in the hospital in November, which delayed his return (and cost him $20K a week for a replacement drummer), and when he finally auditioned to return the band wouldn’t let him back, noting he “did not have enough ‘energy’ in the recordings.”
Kramer is asking a judge to force the band to let him back, especially in light of this weekend’s honor, and the band’s upcoming GRAMMY performance.
- “Being prohibited from playing with a band that I have given 50 years of my life to supporting, is beyond devastating,” Kramer said in a statement. “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." He adds, “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."
- Aerosmith eventually released a statement, sharing, "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," adding, "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." They add that while Joey won't perform, "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."
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