Despite being the band’s original drummer, and enjoying a tenure that spanned more than 50 years, Kramer will not join his bandmates for their final trek.
“While Joey Kramer remains a beloved founding member of Aerosmith, he has regrettably made the decision to sit out the currently scheduled touring dates to focus his full attention on his family and health,” the band said in a statement when the tour was announced.
The reason behind Kramer’s absence can be traced back several years.
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Why Isn’t Joey Kramer Playing With Aerosmith?
In 2019, Kramer missed some shows during Aerosmith’s Las Vegas residency due to an injury suffered in a “minor accident.” The band playing shows without their drummer wasn’t unheard of – they’d done the same thing in 2014 when Kramer suffered through another ailment – but the 2019 incident seemed to start a trend.
Months later, Aerosmith was set to perform at the Grammys, where the legendary rockers were being honored. Kramer was reportedly asked to audition to prove he was “able to play at an appropriate level.” After doing so, the other band members determined that the drummer “did not have enough energy.” He responded by suing the group, claiming he was “being deprived of the opportunity to be recognized along with my peers, for our collective, lifetime contributions to the music industry.” He also noted that none of the other band members had ever been forced to audition after they suffered their own respective health problems.
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Kramer eventually did join Aerosmith on stage at the 2020 Grammys to accept their honor, but he did not perform with the group. He returned behind the kit later that year, but opted to sit out Aerosmith’s return to Vegas for another residency in 2022. Kramer’s wife, Linda, died months later, dealing the drummer another heavy blow.
When Aerosmith announced their Peace Out farewell tour earlier this year, they revealed that Kramer would not be joining them on the trek. Though the band noted that his “unmistakable and legendary presence behind the drum kit will be sorely missed,” Kramer has been noticeably absent from Peace Out promotional material. For example, Aerosmith has promised the tour will include their “biggest production ever,” utilizing “133 person crew, 22 semi trucks, 158 rigging points, 10 tour busses, over 600 lights, 67 guitars, 10 basses, 5 scarves and 4 legends of rock!” Historically, Aerosmith is a quintet.
What Aerosmith Is Saying About Joey Kramer
“That’s probably one of the hardest things. Drumming is probably one of the most athletic parts of playing in a band, so it’s really hard,” guitarist Joe Perry noted shortly before the farewell tour was announced. “It’s been mostly because physically, [Joey has] just been beating himself up over the last 50 years. So, I don’t know. I mean, he’s still officially a member of the band. But I don’t think he’s gonna be sitting behind the drums.”
Perry echoed those thoughts weeks later, explaining why Kramer wouldn’t be touring with the band.
“His heart’s in the right place, but, listen, playing the drums is an athletic event,” Perry noted. “And there’s a certain point where you’re just kind of, like,… every joint starts to give out, man.”