Fans Slam Aerosmith for Ongoing Legal Battle That Prevents Drummer From ‘Grammy’ Performance
The 62nd annual Grammy Awards airs soon. One band will celebrate 50 years in music. Aerosmith is set to take the stage. They’ll reunite with ’80s legends, Run DMC. However, the performance won’t include the band’s original drummer, Joey Kramer. Amidst an ongoing legal battle that’s tearing the band apart, Kramer is prevented from joining them. Here’s what we know.
Aerosmith set to reunite with Run DMC at the 2020 ‘Grammy Awards’
The band, which includes Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford, and Joey Kramer, hasn’t stopped since their 1973 hit, “Dream On.”
Over the span of their five-decade career, Aerosmith has received 14 total Grammy nominations and four wins. They made their Grammy stage debut in 1991 where they performed “Come Together.”
The 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute will honor Aerosmith ahead of their performance. Unfortunately, ongoing legal drama subdues the glory.
The remaining band members won’t allow Kramer to perform at the ‘Grammy Awards’ after injury
In April 2019, drummer, Joey Kramer, suffered a shoulder injury that left him unable to perform. Kramer said he was fully healed by the fall of 2019 and “willing and able to return to Aerosmith” for the remainder of their Las Vegas residency shows.
Remaining band members asked Kramer to “prove he was able to play at an appropriate level” before they’d allow him back.
The longtime drummer obliged and auditioned by playing to a click-track. He described the process as “both insulting and upsetting.” Aerosmith unanimously decided Kramer is not fit to perform. They still invited him to the celebratory events of the Grammys weekend.
“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.”
Tension brewed for months amongst the band
A source told People that the “test” came after Kramer “failed to attend multiple planned rehearsals.”
“They had been inviting him to come back for the last six months since he’s been away for whatever medical situation he’s been dealing with,” the source said. “He said ‘Yes, I’ll come and rehearse’ and kept not showing up. On the eve of the Grammys and MusiCares, he wanted to be back.”
The source said they talked it out over the phone after hearing Kramer’s demo.
“They voted as a band, which they do with every decision, and it was four to one,” the source added.
Kramer filed a lawsuit against the band and fans stand with him
In return, Kramer filed a lawsuit. In it, he claimed “being prohibited from playing with a band that I have given 50 years of my life to supporting, is beyond devastating.”
“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.”via CNN
The suit said other band members “have suffered periods of injury and illness, including physical injury and treatment for addiction and substance abuse” and weren’t asked to audition before their return.
Kramer insists the lawsuit isn’t about money and only wants to perform with his band at the Grammys.
What did the other members of Aerosmith say?
The remaining members released a response via People.
“Joey Kramer is our brother; his wellbeing 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 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.”via People
The statement added that letting Kramer perform now would be “a disservice to him, to ourselves and to our fans to have him play without adequate time to prepare and rehearse.”
And, because Kramer filed this lawsuit the weekend of the Grammys, he showed “total disregard for what is our limited window to prepare to perform these important events.”
A judge denied Kramer’s request on Wednesday, noting the shortage of time before the performance as the deciding factor.
“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.
Kramer said he’s “extremely disappointed,” but “respects” the decision.
“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,” Kramer added.
Fans support Kramer all the way
All over the world, fans have stood in solidarity with Kramer saying it’s not Aerosmith without him.
“I would’ve watched this because their still 1 of my Favorites! But after jilting & rejecting Joey Kramer from playing with them for this event I’ll have to pass. Loyalty & respect don’t seem to matter to the other mates. 50 yrs together & that’s how they treat him? Sad & sick!” a fan tweeted.
“I’m shocked & hurt to see Joey Kramer banned from playing with his band at this event & the Grammys. They should make an exception for him since they are being Honored. It speaks volumes about their Loyalty! 50 years – & “all he gets is a Gold Watch!” Shame on you Aerosmith!” another fan added.
And on and on the comments go on and on. Fans don’t hold back.
“@joeykramer said it best @IamStevenT – you are the twitch in his eye! Bring Joey back – 50 years as a band and the guys patiently wait on you every time you fight your demons – and this is the treatment he gets?!?” This fan echoed.
The point is, loyal fans of the iconic rock band aren’t thrilled with the way things are playing out and want to see Kramer on that stage with his bandmates.
It’s been a rough time for Aerosmith and The Recording Academy
The drama surrounding Aerosmith isn’t the only thing making headlines. Last week, the Recording Academy put chief executive, Deborah Dugan, on administrative leave. The events followed a “formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member” of the organization.
According to the Washington Post, Dugan responded with a counter-complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She alleged “gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unequal pay on the part of the academy.”
During an appearance on Good Morning America, Dugan touched on the need for transparency regarding the Grammy’s voting system.
“There are incidents of conflict of interest that taint the results,” she said.
Between this and Aerosmith, that’s a lot to take in. Still, music’s “biggest night” is happening with or without any of the drama.