Aerosmith and drummer Joey Kramer called a truce on Friday night — although he’s still not welcome to perform with the band.
Kramer, who has played drums for the band since it was founded in 1970, took a leave of absence from the band last year after suffering a minor shoulder injury just ahead of the band’s “Deuces Are Wild” residency in Las Vegas. Rather than cancel, the band continued to perform, with Aerosmith drum tech John Douglas sitting in for Kramer.
When Kramer told the band he had recovered and wanted to resume, his bandmates forced him to audition in order to prove he was “able to play at an appropriate level.” After his audition — performing along to a click track and not the band itself — the rest of the band felt that he wasn’t playing up to snuff, and refused to let him perform.
Kramer sued, but the judge ruled in the band’s favour. Following the ruling, the band responded to the suit in a statement to People, claiming that Kramer “waited until the last moment to accept our invitation” and left little time to rehearse for their upcoming performance at Sunday’s Grammy Awards. “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 honour. We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage.”
When the band accepted its MusiCares award on Friday, Kramer appeared with the band onstage, and even posed for photos backstage.
According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Kramer also delivered some brief comments from the stage. “A shoutout for love and gratitude — to MusiCares, to all our fans, to my partners, to my forever-supportive wife Linda, and to you guys out there and the music industry,” he told the audience.
However, when it was time for the band to perform, Kramer exited.
Aerosmith then took to the stage, performing four songs with Douglas behind the drum kit.