Judge Rejects Joey Kramer’s Lawsuit Against Aerosmith
A judge has rejected Joey Kramer’s efforts to be reinstated as Aerosmith’s performing drummer in time for this weekend’s Grammy Awards.
The judge’s ruling noted the short amount of preparation time leading up to scheduled Aerosmith performances at Saturday night’s MusiCares event and Sunday’s Grammys as the main factor behind the decision. "Given that Kramer has not played with the band in six months and the dearth of available rehearsal time before the upcoming performances, Kramer has not shown a realistic alternative course of action sufficient to protect the band's business interests," the ruling declared.
Kramer had sued his fellow Aerosmith members following a band vote to exclude him from the Grammy-related performances. “This is not about money,” the drummer asserted in a statement released at the time of the lawsuit’s announcement. “I am being deprived of the opportunity to be recognized along with my peers, for our collective, lifetime contributions to the music industry. Neither the MusiCares’ Person of the Year Award nor the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement honors can ever be repeated.”
The drummer has been recovering from a shoulder injury suffered last April. In an attempt to prove he’d healed enough to perform, Kramer auditioned for the band by playing to a click-track -- a process he later described as "both insulting and upsetting." In the opinion of his Aerosmith bandmates, the drummer was too rusty to perform, though they insisted he was still invited to attend this weekend's events. "Of course we have invited him to be with us for both the Grammys and our MusiCares honor," the band said via statement. "We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage.”
While Kramer says Aerosmith's invitation to attend the events in a non-performing capacity "is appreciated," it appears the drummer will decline. In response to the judge's ruling, Kramer issued the following statement via his publicist:
"Although I’m extremely disappointed by the Judge’s ruling today, I respect it. I knew filing a lawsuit was a bit of an uphill battle considering that the corporate documents don’t reference any process for a band member returning from an injury or illness. However, the band waited until January 15th to tell me that they weren’t letting me play at the awards ceremonies this week. I can hold my head high knowing that I did the right thing – to fight for my right to celebrate the band’s success that I have dedicated the better part of my life to helping build.
The truth speaks for itself. Ever since I injured my foot last August and went through many hours of physical therapy to heal, not once did the band in its entirety offer to rehearse with me. That is a fact. I was also sent the full rehearsal schedule on January 18th and flew to LA the next day to rehearse and have many texts and emails stating the band can’t wait for my return. That’s also a fact. When I showed up to rehearse, I was greeted by two security guards who prohibited me from entering.
The band’s offer to allow me to participate in this week’s MusiCares and Grammy celebrations for red carpet photo ops only, is appreciated; however, with a fill-in drummer playing on stage at two events honoring our collective musical contributions, it is extremely hurtful to me. I am a professional musician who is eager to return to my rightful place with Aerosmith.
I want to thank my fans for the incredible outpouring of support and for sharing my goal of taking my place on stage as one of the five founding members of Aerosmith and continuing to play the music I love."