Aerosmith have responded to their drummer Joey Kramer’s lawsuit, saying that their bandmate “has not been emotionally and physically able to perform with the band, by his own admission, for the last 6 months”.
Kramer sued his bandmates last Friday (January 17) after claiming that he was forced to audition upon his return from disability leave, alleging that he has not been allowed to rejoin Aerosmith since.
Kramer, who has served as the band’s drummer since they formed in 1970, was forced to take time off last year for what he described as “minor injuries”. According to the lawsuit (obtained by TMZ), Kramer was ready to rejoin the group for their upcoming performances but was asked to audition to a click track to prove he was “able to play at an appropriate level.”
The band are due to reunite with Run-DMC for a live performance at the Grammys on Sunday (January 26), while several other gigs, including a Glastonbury slot and a UK tour, are also lined up for the rest of the year.
Kramer claims that, following the click-track audition, Aerosmith allegedly fed back that his performance was acceptable but lacking “energy”. Kramer is now hoping the lawsuit will force Aerosmith to let him back in the band in order to avoid “irreparable harm”.
Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford responded to Kramer’s legal action with a statement (via People) issued last night (January 21).
“Joey Kramer is our brother; his well-being is of paramount importance to us. However 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.”
The statement continues: “Joey has now 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.
“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. Given his decisions he is unfortunately unable to perform but of course we have invited him to be with us for both the Grammys and our MusiCares honour. We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage.”
The drummer also claims the stress has led to “significant repercussions” that affected his health, forcing him to miss previous shows. Aerosmith allegedly required Kramer to pay his replacement, costing him $20k per week for performances and $10k per week for rehearsals.
“This is not about money,” Kramer said in a statement about his lawsuit. “I am being deprived of the opportunity to be recognised 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 honours can ever be repeated.”
Last month Aerosmith singer Steve Tyler revealed that he spent ”many years” feeling angry at being forced into rehab by his bandmates as they went on vacation.
“They thought, ‘Get the lead singer sober, and all our problems would be over,’” Tyler said in an interview with Haute Living. “So, I got sober, and you know it took me many years to get over the anger of them sending me to rehab while they went on vacation.”