Aerosmith is made up of many of its founding members, including frontman Steve Tyler, guitarist Joe Perry, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer. While other members have come and gone, these four have stood the test of time and performed as Aerosmith, or under other names, for the best part of 50 years. Shocking news made fans wonder if the drummer had been fired from the band – so what happened?
Aerosmith’s drummer Joey Kramer has been in the band since its inception.
He was initially a part of Joe Perry’s Jam Band, which included himself, Joe and Tom Hamilton, the bass player.
Meanwhile, Steven Tyler started up his own band Chain Reaction and the two groups would spend a lot of time together.
Soon, the bands combined with Steven moving from drummer to frontman, and Aerosmith was born.
Ray Tabano joined as the band was signed, after which he was replaced by Brad Whitford.
Aerosmith – what happened with Joey Kramer?
In 1979 and 1981, Joe and Brad left the band, before rejoining in 1984 at which point a comeback tour took place.
Their departures and returns are key, as they form part of the frustrations felt by Joey – or so he claims.
In April 2019, Joey was forced to take some time away from the band due to an injury he sustained to his shoulder.
Joey missed a few shows in their first stint and the entirety of the second part of their Las Vegas residency as drum technician John Douglas stepped in.
According to TMZ, however, Joey was not going to play in their third or fourth stints, which he claimed was due to feuding in the band.
Joey’s account of events suggested he was asked by his bandmates to reaudition for his spot in the band, to ensure he could play at “an appropriate level.”
He was frustrated at this, as he claims no other members of the band who left and rejoined have ever been asked to go through a similar process.
This was the basis of his lawsuit against the band. He began legal proceedings against in January 2020.
According to his claims, Joey said he had been ready to rejoin the band since the autumn, but was prevented from rejoining his bandmates.
In a statement made to Rolling Stone magazine, Joey said: “The fact that I would be asked to audition for my own job, demonstrate that I can play at ‘an appropriate level’ and play better than my temporary fill-in with a moving target of made-up standards is both insulting and upsetting.”
In response to his, Aerosmith released the following 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.
Aerosmith in their early days
“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.”
Joey did not perform with the band at the MusiCares event, where they were honoured, though he did go on stage with them to collect their award.
He was also not able to perform at the Grammys, where they also received an award for Lifetime Achievement.
Despite this, he performed with them in February during their Deuces are Wild residency, suggesting things were healed between them.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their residency has been put on hold, and Brad has suggested there are still tensions in the band.
Asked about the band’s future in August 2020 on Steve Gorman’s radio show, he answered: “I don’t really know what they want to do. And, I don’t really care because truthfully, I’m not interested any more.”
At present, it is believed Joey is still the band’s drummer, however, it is not clear whether the lawsuit was resolved.