There’s a bit of uneasiness in the Aerosmith camp these days. The latest stemming from a lawsuit, by drummer Joey Kramer against his band, in which he alleges that the band is preventing him from joining the band for their upcoming performances in conjunction with this weekend’s Grammy Awards.
The other four band members have issued a statement via People: “Joey Kramer is our brother; his wellbeing 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 six months. We have encouraged him to rejoin us to play many times but apparently he has not felt ready to do so.”
The statement continued, “Joey has now waited until the last moment 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.”
Aerosmith’s statement made it clear that they were not happy that Kramer in their words, “chose to file a lawsuit 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 honor. We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage.”
The discontent started when Kramer sued the band after being asked to audition – an audition which he failed – which the other four members required in order to see that he was fully healed from an injury he sustained last spring.
Kramer’s response to the audition was, “I am being deprived of the opportunity to be recognized along with my peers, for our collective, lifetime contributions to the music industry. 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. In Aerosmith’s 50-year history, no other band member has ever been subjected to this scrutiny, let alone be asked to audition for his own job!”
Aerosmith is being celebrated this weekend by the Recording Academy, first as the recipients of MusiCares’ Person of the Year Award, followed by a performance during the Grammys telecast.