Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer sues band and claims to having been forced to re-audition
In a rather strange twist of events, drummer Joey Kramer is suing the band that he has been a part of for more than 50 years on the basis that essentially the remaining Aerosmith band members are not letting him play in the group anymore.
This comes just before Aerosmith are scheduled to perform at the upcoming Grammy Awards on January 26, 2020 and have more dates limed up for their Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas residency for 2020.
In a nutshell, Kramer has alleged that: (1) he sustained a number of injuries that sidelined him last spring (2019) and rendered him unable to participate in the band’s Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas residency; (2) in the fall (2019), Kramer was ready to rejoin the band but he was rebuffed in a way that was inconsistent with the terms of his contract; (3) the remaining band members wanted him re-audition but not at an actual rehearsal and rather by recording himself playing solo along with a click track; (4) in order to “defuse the situation”, Kramer agreed to pay his replacement John Douglas for the remainder of the 2019 Deuces Are Wild residency dates; and, (5) Kramer finally relented and agreed to re-audition on January 15, 2020 following which the remaining band members concluded that his playing was not up to par on the basis that he did not display enough “energy” in the recordings.
Both sides have released statements outlining their position.
RollingStone indicates that Kramer has indicated: “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… 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. I did everything they asked — jumped through hoops and made both a recording of playing along solo to a recent live recording of the band — one I had never heard before, and that process was videotaped. But I did it, and I did it well. 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!”
On the other hand, Aerosmith‘s statement states: “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 honor. We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage.”