AEROSMITH drummer Joey Kramer has "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," according to a statement from the legendary rockers. While Kramer "takes a temporary leave of absence" from AEROSMITH, he will once again be replaced by his drum tech, John Douglas. "[Kramer] and the band look forward to his future performances with AEROSMITH," the statement adds.
Two years ago, Kramer rejoined his AEROSMITH bandmates on stage during the group's residency in Las Vegas. A month earlier, he sued the rest of AEROSMITH in a bid to perform with them at two Grammy-related events. But a Massachusetts judge eventually ruled against him and the group played without Kramer.
After Kramer injured his shoulder in 2019, Douglas filled in for a few gigs during AEROSMITH's residency. Kramer did, however, perform with the rest of AEROSMITH in July of that year at the Twin Cities Summer Jam in Shakopee.
In his January 2020 16-page complaint filed in Massachusetts state court, Kramer said the disability he suffered three years ago was minor, and insisted he was ready to return to the group's "lucrative" Las Vegas residency at the MGM Resorts a few months later, as well as its slate of "50th anniversary activities."
Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford later responded to Kramer's suit in a statement to People, saying Joey "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."
In a statement at the time, Kramer said he was "extremely disappointed" with the judge's ruling.
"I knew filing a lawsuit was a bit of an uphill battle," the drummer said. "I can hold my head high knowing that I did the right thing — to fight for my right to celebrate the band's success that I have dedicated the better part of my life to helping build."
As previously reported, AEROSMITH will bring its residency back to Las Vegas this summer. "Aerosmith: Deuces Are Wild" heads to Dolby Live at Park MGM for 24 dates beginning Friday, June 17. According to a press release, the show will be the first live concert experience presented in Dolby Atmos at Dolby Live. Dolby Live is one of the world's most technologically advanced performance venues for enjoying live music in Dolby Atmos.