Aerosmith have responded to drummer Joey Kramer‘s lawsuit, in which he alleges that the band are preventing him from joining the band for their upcoming performances in conjunction with this weekend’s Grammy Awards.
In a statement to People, the other four members said, “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 missed him and have encouraged him to rejoin us to play many times but apparently he has not felt ready to do so.”
“Joey has now waited until the last moment to accept our invitation, when we unfortunately have no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week,” the statement continued. “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.”
Earlier today, it was learned that Kramer was suing the band after having failed an audition, which the other four members required in order to see that he was fully healed from an injury he sustained last spring. The band 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.
“I am being deprived of the opportunity to be recognized along with my peers, for our collective, lifetime contributions to the music industry,” he said in a statement. “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. … 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!”
An unnamed source confirmed to People that Kramer had to audition, but only because he had failed to appear at rehearsals.
“They had been inviting him to come back for the last six months since he’s been away for whatever medical situation he’s been dealing with,” the source revealed. “He said ‘Yes, I’ll come and rehearse’ and kept not showing up. On the eve of the Grammys and MusiCares, he wanted to be back.”
Kramer complied with the request to audition, but, the source added, “They all got on the phone with him after they heard the demo and talked it through with him. They voted as a band, which they do with every decision, and it was four to one. They said, ‘Please come to MusiCares and Grammys. We’ll take photos and celebrate. You’re our brother. They just don’t want to risk a performance because he hasn’t been with them in six months.”