BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer is filing a lawsuit against his bandmates.
Kramer, 69, claims he is being frozen out of the group and excluded from performing at the Recording Academy's Aerosmith tribute show on Friday—where the band will receive the 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year Award—as well as the band's upcoming performance at Sunday's Grammy Awards.
The drummer took a hiatus from Aerosmith's Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas residency last year to recover from minor injuries, with drum tech John Douglas filling in for him.
Kramer claims that when he was ready to return to the stage, he had to re-audition for his spot and demonstrate that he could play at "an appropriate level."
"This is not about money," Kramer said in a statement. "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.
"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. To be removed from my rightful place on stage to celebrate our success—a success that acknowledges my own life’s work—is just plain wrong."
Aerosmith have responded to Kramer's lawsuit, releasing a statement saying that Kramer "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," the band's statement continued. "Joey has now waited until the last moment to accept our invitation, when we unfortunately have no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week.
"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."
Despite the acrimony, Kramer's bandmates have invited him to be with them at the Grammys and the MusiCares ceremony.
"We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage," the band's statement concluded.
WBZ's Jeff Brown (@JeffBrownWBZ) spoke with WZLX's Carter Allen about the ordeal