A Massachusetts judge has rejected Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer's lawsuit against his bandmates. Earlier this week, Kramer filed suit against the band claiming he was forced to audition to keep his job following surgery and was deemed too weak to perform. Kramer specifically took umbrage at being not permitted to play at the band's MusiCares honor on Friday (January 24th) or the Grammys on Sunday (January 27th). TMZ posted footage of Kramer being turned away from an Aerosmith Grammy rehearsal.
Ultimate Classic Rock reported that the ruling specifically cited that despite Kramer's claims, he is not entitled to perform, stating in part: “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 . . . As Kramer concedes, nothing in the parties’ Agreement creates specific rights or obligations with respect to the procedures to be followed when a member of the band desires to return from a temporary incapacity or disability. The Agreement is simply silent on that issue.”
It went on to read: “Notwithstanding Kramer’s assertion that the band’s past practice has been to permit a member to return with no questions asked, the parties’ affidavits suggest a good faith dispute whether it’s in Aerosmith’s best interest to allow Kramer to participate in the unique MusiCares and Grammy Award performances, which will occur in mere days. The defendants have expressed a willingness to allow Kramer to return to the residency performances in the spring, following an adequate opportunity for the band to rehearse.”
Joey Kramer said in a statement:
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.”