Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer will not be joining the band when they return from a two-year hiatus in June for their Las Vegas residency.
“[Kramer] 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 on Friday (Mar. 25) “He and the band look forward to his future performances with Aerosmith.”
The statement adds that Kramer’s departure is a “temporary leave of absence” and “he and the band look forward to his future performances with Aerosmith.” John Douglas will replace Kramer as the drummer for the upcoming shows.
Kramer, a founding member of Aerosmith, previously took a break from his drumming role in April 2019 to recover from a shoulder injury. Kramer joined the band onstage to accept the MusiCares Person of the Year award before the 2020 Grammys, though he did not play with the quintet due to the legal battle that found him suing his bandmates for making him audition to rejoin the band, which excluded him from playing with them at MusiCares, as well as the following night’s Grammys and at their recent Las Vegas residency gigs.
After the injury took him out of service, Kramer claimed that despite his recovery, and the audition to get his gig back, the other members of the band have not allowed him back into the fold.
“Joey Kramer is our brother,” Aerosmith responded in a statement. “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.
“Joey has now waited until the last moment to accept our invitation, when we unfortunately have no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week. 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.”