Original Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer is suing his former band for shutting him out just days ahead of the group's scheduled performance at the Grammy Awards.
Aerosmith will be honored Friday as the 2020 Person of the Year for MusiCares, the Recording Academy's charity for musicians in critical financial need, and will return to the Grammys stage Sunday in honor of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band's 50th anniversary.
"Being prohibited from playing with a band that I have given 50 years of my life to supporting, is beyond devastating," Kramer said in a statement to USA TODAY. "To be removed from my rightful place on stage to celebrate our success – a success that acknowledges my own life’s work, is just plain wrong."
The drummer continued: "This is not about money. I am being deprived of the opportunity to be recognized along with my peers, for our collective, lifetime contributions to the music industry. Neither … (honor) can ever be repeated."
Kramer claims he was required to audition for his drumming job to prove he could play at "an appropriate level" after suffering "minor injuries" that forced him to miss several shows in the spring, according to the lawsuit obtained by USA TODAY.
"Other band members and their lawyers will likely … claim that I am unable to play the drums right now. Nothing could be further from the truth," Kramer said. "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."
Kramer's efforts, however, were not rewarded.
"On January 15, 2020, and for the first time in the band’s 50-year-course of conduct, the other members voted to prohibit Mr. Kramer from joining the band for the once-in-a-lifetime events of MusiCares and the 2020 Grammy Awards, or the upcoming Residency,” according to the lawsuit, alleging Kramer didn’t have enough “energy” in his audition recordings.
Kramer, who says he's been trying to rejoin Aeromsith since last fall, called the entire ordeal "insulting and upsetting."
"I hope our fans can understand that all I’m trying to do is get back to playing with the band that they love – and that’s Aerosmith with all five original members," he added. "The greatest magic and success of Aerosmith happens when all the band’s founding members are together in the house."
Aerosmith's reps didn't immediately return USA TODAY's request for comment.
In addition to Grammys weekend, the group is scheduled to perform its "Deuces are Wild" residency at the MGM Resort in Las Vegas through June. Kramer is not currently involved in the residency.
Contributing: Anika Reed
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Aerosmith's Joey Kramer sues band after getting shut out of Grammys