Aerosmith Drummer Joey Kramer Takes 'Temporary Leave of Absence' From Band

Aerosmith are returning from a two-year hiatus when their Deuces Are Wild Las Vegas residency resumes in June for a run of 24 shows, but the entire band won’t be along for the ride: They announced Friday that drummer Joey Kramer won’t be taking part in any of the shows.

“Regrettably made the decision to sit out the band’s concerts in 2022 so he can focus his full attention on his family during these uncertain times,” the band said in a statement to USA Today. “He and the band look forward to his future performances with Aerosmith.”

They are calling the situation a “temporary leave of absence,” and note that drum technician Jack Douglas will once again take his place behind the kit.

Kramer is a founding member of Aerosmith and has appeared on every one of their studio records, but he had to step aside in April 2019 to recover from a shoulder injury. He asked to rejoin the band in time for their Grammy Week MusiCares tribute show, but the band didn’t let him.

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“Joey Kramer is our brother; his well-being is of paramount importance to us,” the band said in a statement. “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.”

This lead to an ugly situation where Kramer filed a lawsuit against the band, and they even prevented him from entering their rehearsal facility before the Grammy’s. “This is not about money,” Kramer said in a statement. “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.”

In his lawsuit, Kramer alleged that the band forced him to audition for his own spot in the band. “Other band members and their lawyers will likely attempt to disparage my playing and claim that I am unable to play the drums right now,” he said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I did everything they asked — jumped through hoops and made both a recording of playing along solo to a recent live recording of the band — one I had never heard before, and that process was videotaped. But I did it, and I did it well. In Aerosmith’s 50-year history, no other band member has ever been subjected to this scrutiny let alone be asked to audition for his own job!”

The group somehow put all this aside just one month later and welcomed Kramer back into the fold for a couple of Las Vegas show. But then the pandemic hit and their concert calendar was cleared for the foreseeable future.

It’s unclear how temporary this “temporary leave of absence” from the band will be, but the fact they are ruling him out of shows for the remainder of 2022 isn’t a very encouraging sign for the future.

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