Joey Kramer Joins Aerosmith at MusiCares Gala, Doesn’t Perform
After a week in the headlines for their inner band legal squabble, Aerosmith appeared Friday night (Jan. 24) to accept their honor as the 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year. All five members were on hand, and drummer Joey Kramer did speak along with Steven Tyler, but was not behind the kit when their performance time came.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Kramer had taken legal action, asking to be able to perform with the group after being denied his position in the band following leave he took last year to deal with minor injuries. Kramer initially balked when asked to "audition" for his role after his layoff, and when he finally agreed to accept the request, the other band members voted against his return, citing a shortened rehearsal period and the desire for an improvement upon his audition performance.
Kramer had stated that this was not about money, but the desire to be with his bandmates as they were honored for their career achievements. In return, the band stated that Kramer was welcome to join them for the honors, but decided against having him perform at the ceremony or this Sunday's Grammys, while adding that it was their hope that Kramer would eventually return with his playing reaching its full potential again. Kramer's legal request to return was denied by a judge earlier this week.
Tyler spoke first at the ceremony, telling the crowd, "Remember, people only really get interesting when they start to rattle the bars on their cages. And the best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up." He then stepped away as Kramer proceeded to thank MusiCares, his wife and the music industry for what they've provided over the years.
As for the Aerosmith performance, drum tech John Douglas filled in, while Joe Perry's Hollywood Vampires bandmates Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper and soulful singer H.E.R. helped extend the lineup onstage as they rocked through "Big Ten Inch Record," "Dream On," "Sweet Emotion" and "Train Kept A-Rollin."
The remainder of the tribute included performances by Cheap Trick ("Rats in the Cellar"), Ke$ha ("Janie's Got a Gun"), LeAnn Rimes ("Livin' on the Edge"), Yola and Gary Clark Jr. ("Cryin'"), Sammy Hagar and Orianthi ("Back in the Saddle"), Melissa Etheridge and Nuno Bettencourt ("Walk This Way"), Foo Fighters ("Let the Music Do the Talking" and "Toys in the Attic") and more. The annual MusiCares Person of the Year gala raised $6 million for the charitable organization.
Aerosmith will next appear at the Grammys, performing with previous collaborators Run-D.M.C.
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