Aerosmith Drummer Joey Kramer Sues Bandmates

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Things are a little crazy in Aerosmith.

Drummer Joey Kramer, who stepped away from the band last year due to injuries, filed a lawsuit Friday against his bandmates, alleging that Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford are preventing him from rejoining the group.

Kramer wanted to be behind the drums when Aerosmith performs a medley of its hits Sunday at the Grammy Awards, where the band is being honoured.

“I am being deprived of the opportunity to be recognized along with my peers for our collective lifetime contributions to the music industry,” Kramer fumed, in a statement. “Neither the MusiCares’ Person of the Year Award nor the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement honours can ever be repeated.”

The 69-year-old founding member of the band said he had to audition this month to earn his spot back, despite there being nothing in Aerosmith’s contract requiring them to “take any action to ‘prove’ or otherwise demonstrate his ability to perform after a period of temporary disability.”

Kramer claims after his Jan. 15th audition, without the band present, he was told he lacked the “energy” needed and that his playing wasn’t “technically correct.” The lawsuit alleges he was told he didn’t perform as well as his replacement, his drum tech John Douglas.

“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,” read Kramer’s statement. “Other band members and their lawyers will likely attempt to disparage my playing and claim that I am unable to play the drums right now. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

In a statement of their own, Aerosmith’s other members described Kramer as “our brother” and said his wellbeing is “of paramount importance.”

But, they added, “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.”

Aerosmith said Kramer 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.”

The band said filing a lawsuit on the Friday before a long weekend shows “total disregard for what is our limited window to prepare to perform these important events.”

Kramer, they said, has been invited to be present for both the Grammy and MusiCares honours. “We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage,” the statement read.

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