Aerosmith, one of the most successful rock bands in history, wouldn’t be what it is without its secret weapon – Joey Kramer. Joey Kramer has been Aerosmith drummer since 1970. 

Kramer has been with Aerosmith through thick and thin and has some great stories to share! As a rock legend, his personal and professional life attracts the attention of all true rock bookworms.

So without further ado, let’s take a closer look at Joey Kramer!

Who were the original members of Aerosmith?

Photo from ultimateclassicrock.com

Aerosmith is a world-famous rock band from Boston, active since 1970. They are the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, with more than 150 million records sold worldwide.

Their style varies from blues to heavy metal, with a unique character and rock star attitude, which induced them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

The original members of Aerosmith are vocalist Steven Tyler, lead guitarist Joe Perry, rhythm guitarist Ray Tabano, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer. Ray Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford early the following year.

The band’s lineup didn’t change until the period between 1979 and 1984. Perry left the band and was replaced with Jimmy Crespo in October 1979. Whitford left Aerosmith in 1981 and was replaced by Rick Dufay.

However, both Perry and Whitford returned to the band in the spring of 1984. Each of the members became a legend himself through their unique touch and incredible talent they brought into the music of Aerosmith.

Did Aerosmith fire their drummer?

Although Kramer was an essential part of Aerosmith since 1970, the rest of the band banned him from performing at Grammys in 2020.

The background of the band’s decision to disable Joey from performing was their doubts about the drummer’s ability to play at an appropriate level. Kramer suffered from an ankle injury in 2019 that left him unable to perform in several concerts.

Steven Tyler called the band’s drum tech John Douglas to step in for Kramer in that period. However, after a while, Kramer felt he was sufficiently recovered and ready to play at Grammys. The rest of the band wanted him to prove that he was really ready to play and asked him to re-audition for the Grammy performance.

Being asked to audition for his own job was insulting and upsetting for the drummer, but he proceeded with filling the demo to the rest of the band.

His bandmates agreed that he did not have enough energy to proceed with the band at the time and that there was no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week. Being refused to perform on Grammys led to the lawsuit filed by Kramer, which he didn’t win. Kramer rejoined Aerosmith after the Grammys and continued playing with the band despite the quarrel.

How old is Joey Kramer from Aerosmith?

Photo from ultimateclassicrock.com

Joseph Michael Kramer was born in the Bronx, New York City, on June 21, 1950. He is currently 71 years old, but we can still see him performing with full power. Kramer started drumming during his early teenage years.

He fell in love with the instrument right away and spent the rest of his life building his talent. Kramer says that he never took any drumming lessons and that he is completely self-taught. Before Aerosmith, he never had experience in the recording studio.

In 1970, Kramer connected with his high-school mate Steven Tyler, who had formed a band with Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton and was looking for a drummer. That’s how Aerosmith was born. Being a drummer himself, Steven helped Joey polish his talent technically and give his maximum into the band.

Joey Kramer is responsible for the band’s name, which was revealed in his memoir “Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top,” published in 2009.

In his memoir, he also revealed his struggle with abuse in childhood, depression, and problems with addictions, which he tried to set free from through music. Besides music, Kramer’s big passion is cars, which he likes to collect.

Also, in 2013 he started a business producing organic coffee beans by the name “Rockin’ & Roastin’ Coffee,” which turned out to be quite successful. 

What drums does Joey Kramer use?

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If we talk about Joey Kramer’s main weapon – drums, he currently endorses Pearl drums, Zildjian cymbals and sticks, and Remo heads.

In the past, he used sets by Tama, Ludwig, Fibes, and DW.

His Pearl Crystal Beat series includes: 

  • 24 “x18” bass drum
  • 13 “x10” mounted tom
  • 16 “x16” floor tom
  • 18 “x16” floor tom
  • 14″x6.5″ UltraCast snare

Kramer uses Avedis Zildjian cymbals, and the setup includes:

  • 15″ A Custom Rezo hi-hats
  • 19″ A Custom projection crash
  • 20″ A crash/ride
  • 21″ A mega bell ride
  • 14″ A Custom mastersound hi-hats
  • 19″ K Custom hybrid china

He has his signature sticks in green dip created by Zildjian. Kramer’s playing is easily recognizable because of his immense contribution to the Aerosmith sound. His style can be described as a combination of emotional feel and technical virtuosity, with precise timing and solid grooves.

Kramer says that hitting hard and making sounds is not what drumming is all about. It is important to feel a connection with drums.

“It’s about letting the drums speak for you and feeling them speak back,” says the drummer. He also says that besides rock and roll, the music that strongly influenced him was R’n’B, heavy rhythm, and blues.

Kramer is a perfect example of natural-born talent with a strong will to give his best and succeed, regardless of formal musical education and experience. He was in love with his instrument right from the start, and he decided to push his passion forward, which led to an amazing result.

Despite the problems and latest disagreements inside the band, Aerosmith still stands united and justifies the title of true rock legends.

It is amazing to see how Kramer holds his ground and keeps rocking after so many years, and we hope he will rock on in the years to come.