‘We love you, man’: Joey Kramer awkwardly joins Aerosmith at Grammys tribute event (but didn’t play)

LOS ANGELES — Well, that was awkward. And anticlimactic.

Aerosmith (Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford and Joey Kramer) accepted the 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year award on Friday night at the Los Angeles Convention Center — but Kramer awkwardly left the stage before he could join them in a performance, the result of a recent court order.

Kramer, a founding member of Aerosmith who has played in the rock band for 50 years, wasn’t allowed to reclaim his spot when the group was honored at Grammy events this week, according to a Massachusetts judge. 

On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Mark Gildea denied Kramer’s right to play alongside Aerosmith at the MusiCares gala and the Grammys on Sunday after Kramer sued the band over breach of contract for shutting him out following an injury. 

Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer, Joe Perry, and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith attend the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo: Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images)

“They are brothers. They refer to each other as brothers and they even fight like brothers,” entertainment lawyer (and lawyer to Tyler) Dina LaPolt said before introducing the group as the night’s honoree. All five members took to the stage, but only two spoke on behalf of the band: Tyler and Kramer.

Tyler clutched Kramer’s shoulder at the podium while he doled out thank you’s, and also said this: “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.”

Kramer then shouted out MusiCares, fans, his wife Linda and the music industry at large, before awkwardly and quietly leaving the stage.

The band went on to play hits like “Big Ten Inch,” “Dream On” (featuring H.E.R.) and “Sweet Emotion,” and brought out Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper for a set.

The night’s other performers included everyone from Kesha to Gavin DeGraw to Cheap Trick to Yola and more, who increasingly brought the crowd to their feet with stunning Aerosmith covers. Russell Brand hosted, hyperbolic as ever (for example: he called Tyler “the sexiest septuagenarian in history”).

Tyler gave Kramer another shout-out before signing off for the night, when calling out members of the group as well as Cooper and Depp. “Joe Kramer where are you? We love you, man.”

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute. MusiCares is the Recording Academy’s charitable arm, ensuring that those in the music industry have somewhere to go if they are in financial, medical or personal distress.

Aerosmith was recognized on account of its philanthropic efforts over the last five decades, as well as its impact on American music history.

But if you thought the group was going to ignore the lawsuit and call a truce with Kramer and let him perform, we have two words for you: Dream on.

Contributing: Cydney Henderson; Associated Press

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