AEROSMITH members Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass) and Brad Whitford (guitar) have issued a statement in response to the lawsuit filed by the group's drummer Joey Kramer, who claims he is being blocked from performing with his bandmates at the Grammys.
An original member of the legendary rock group, Kramer last performed with AEROSMITH in April 2019 before suffering what was described at the time as a "shoulder injury." Other reports have indicated that he also injured an ankle.
For the past eight months, AEROSMITH has been performing with a stand-in drummer, Kramer's drum tech John Douglas.
After celebrity gossip site TMZ reported earlier today that Kramer had filed a lawsuit against his bandmates claiming they are refusing to allow him to perform with them when they appear on Sunday night's Grammy Awards telecast, the drummer issued a statement, saying that being "removed" from his "rightful place on stage to celebrate" AEROSMITH's success "is just plain wrong."
Tyler, Perry, Whitford and Hamilton responded to Kramer's suit in a statement to People, saying: "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 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 honor. We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage."
A source close to the band confirmed to People that Kramer had to "test" for AEROSMITH's performances this week, but says it was a result of the drummer failing to attend multiple planned 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 says. "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."
According to the source, the band felt Kramer "wasn't capable" of performing at a level their fans were used to after listening to his demo.
Last year was not the first time AEROSMITH performed without Kramer. Back in August 2014, AEROSMITH canceled a California concert because Kramer was dealing with "heart complications" that required immediate surgery. The musician later revealed that he had an angioplasty, explaining that it was "just strictly a hereditary thing. There's a family history, and I was the victim. But no more." Kramer missed a week's worth of AEROSMITH shows after his 2014 surgery — his son Jesse filled in on drums — before getting back to work.
AEROSMITH is among the artists that will perform at the 2020 Grammy Awards on January 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. AEROSMITH will also be honored as the 2020 MusiCares Person Of The Year. The tribute will take place during the 30th-anniversary MusiCares benefit gala, two nights prior to the 62nd annual Grammy Awards telecast.
AEROSMITH recently extended its "Deuces Are Wild" Las Vegas residency with 15 more dates in early 2020 due to "extraordinary demand."