TMZ cameras were rolling the moment Kramer arrived at a rehearsal studio in Los Angeles, where two apologetic security guards informed him that the other four members of the band hired them to make sure he didn’t enter the venue.
A visibly frustrated Kramer reluctantly accepts the news, noting that the guards were simply doing their job. The awkward moment comes after the 69-year-old drummer filed a lawsuit against the band for telling him that he can’t perform with them at the Grammys as well as a Person of the Year honor from MusiCares this weekend.
“The band waited until January 15th to tell me that they weren’t letting me play at the awards ceremonies this week,” Kramer told the outlet. “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 lawsuit stems from Kramer’s outrage at being asked to audition for the band following some minor injuries last spring that prevented him from performing for roughly six months.
According to People, which obtained the court documents, Kramer’s lawsuit insists that he recovered from his injuries in the fall of 2019 and was “willing and able to return” to the band for their residency shows in November and December. However, bandmates Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford insisted that Kramer prove he’s “able to play at an appropriate level.”
Kramer eventually sent a demo recording to the band, which determined that he was not at a performance level he needed to be at to play with them at the Grammys and their upcoming MusiCares honor.
“Joey Kramer is our brother; his wellbeing is of paramount importance to us,” a statement from the band provided to Fox News reads. “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.”
It 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.”
Speaking to TMZ, Kramer responded to his bandmates' statement, saying: “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."