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Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer loses legal bid to rejoin band for Grammys

A judge has rejected Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer’s legal bid to rejoin the band when they perform at the Grammys this weekend.

The 69-year-old, who helped found the group 50 years ago, suffered an ankle injury last year which kept him out of action and meant he missed a large part of the band’s residency at a Las Vegas casino.

He sued the American rockers, arguing breach of contract, after he was told to re-audition for his place and prove he could play “at an appropriate level”, and apparently failed.

Image: Joey Kramer suffered an ankle injury last year which kept him out of action

Aerosmith said they had invited Kramer to join them at the music awards, but there was not enough time to rehearse together for him to play on stage.

Kramer argued the “artificial, made-up and undefined” requirement was “insulting and upsetting” because no other band member had been asked to do it before.


He said singer Steven Tyler, guitarists Joe Perry and Bradley Whitford, and bassist Tom Hamilton had all recently been sidelined with injuries and illnesses and had not been asked to re-audition for their jobs.

“This is not about money,” he said in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s court hearing in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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“I am being deprived of the opportunity to be recognised along with my peers, for our collective, lifetime contributions to the music industry.”

But Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Mark Gildea denied Kramer’s legal challenge to be reinstated as Aerosmith’s performing drummer.

“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 stated.

Image: Aerosmith said there was not enough time to rehearse with Kramer before the Grammys

Kramer said he was “extremely disappointed” in a statement afterwards.

“I knew filing a lawsuit was a bit of an uphill battle,” he said. “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.”

Aerosmith did not comment on the ruling, but had said in a previous statement: “Joey Kramer is our brother; his well-being 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 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.

“Joey has now waited until the last moment to accept our invitation, when we unfortunately have no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week.”

The four-time Grammy winners are due to perform a career-spanning medley at the show with a replacement drummer.

The band are being honoured with the 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year award for their achievements in the music industry, to be presented at a separate ceremony on Friday ahead of the Grammys.

MusiCares is the charity arm of The Recording Academy, which distributes the Grammy Awards.

Alice Cooper, Foo Fighters, Jonas Brothers, John Legend and John Mayer are among the artists set to be performing at the Grammys.


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