Drummer Joey Kramer sues Aerosmith after being told he needed to audition in order to rejoin band

Kramer was asked to audition to a click track to prove he was "able to play at an appropriate level"

Aerosmith's Joey Kramer, photo via Getty
Aerosmith’s Joey Kramer, photo via Getty

    Aersomith are set to be honored at this weekend’s Grammy Awards as the recipients of the 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year. It should be a celebratory occasion for the veteran rockers, but instead it’s led to an inner band lawsuit.

    Joey Kramer, Aerosmith’s lifelong drummer, is taking legal action against his bandmates, accusing them of preventing him from participating in this weekend’s festivities (via TMZ). Kramer says he was forced to take a brief disability leave after suffering “minor injuries” last spring. Upon his recovery, Kramer was informed that he had to audition to a click track to prove he was “able to play at an appropriate level.”

    In the lawsuit, Kramer claims the stress associated with the audition caused him “significant repercussions” that put him in the hospital and forced him to miss Aerosmith’s residency gigs in Las Vegas. He says he was then required to pay his replacement $20,000 per week for the Vegas performances.


    When he finally did audition earlier this month, Kramer says Aerosmith again prevented him from rejoining, this time citing his lack of “energy.”

    Kramer is asking a judge to force Aerosmith to allow him back in the band in order to avoid “irreparable harm.” The band is set to perform with Run-DMC at the Grammy Awards.

    Update: The rest of Aerosmith have addressed the situation with Kramer in a statement.

    “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. 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.”

    Update #2: A judge ruled against Kramer’s request to be reinstated in Aerosmith, plus video has emerged of the drummer being turned away from an Aerosmith rehearsal by security guards. Full details here.