Mick Mars Sues Motley Crue, Says He Was ‘Unilaterally’ Removed From Band + ‘Gaslighted’
UPDATE (April 6, 4:45PM ET): A statement from Motley Crue was provided to Loudwire in response to Mick Mars' lawsuit against the band as well as various allegations the guitarist asserted. See the statement in its entirety at the bottom of this page.
A few months after Mick Mars announced his retirement from touring, TMZ has revealed that the guitarist is suing Motley Crue, claiming that he was "unilaterally" removed from the band despite assuring he could still record in the studio, and that his cut from their profits was significantly reduced.
A rep on behalf of Mars issued a statement to Variety in late October announcing that the rocker was retiring from touring due to his ongoing struggles with ankylosing spondylitis, but noted that he would still technically be a member of the band. Motley Crue, in turn, revealed that John 5 would be stepping in as a touring guitarist for the band, and has played during all of their 2023 shows so far.
Just a few days ago, Nikki Sixx tweeted that he and John 5 had been "writing random riffs" together in the studio, though he didn't elaborate whether the band plans on releasing new music in the future.
According to TMZ, Mars' lawsuit against the band claims that they had a meeting to discuss his future as a member following his retirement from touring, and he made it clear that he would still be able to record in a studio and play "limited performances." He asserted that his bandmates "unilaterally" removed him from the group, and reduced his cut from its profits from 25 percent to 5 percent since he'd no longer be touring.
“How did Mars’ brothers of 41 years respond to Mars’ tragic announcement [about quitting the road]?” the suit reads [via Variety]. “They noticed an emergency shareholders’ meeting for the band’s main corporate entity in order to throw Mars out of the band, to fire him as a director of the corporation, to fire him as an officer of the corporation, and to take away his shares of the corporation. When he did not go away quietly, they purported to fire him from six additional band corporations and LLCs.”
READ MORE: Mick Mars Isn't Retired From Music, Working on 'Huge' + 'Loud' New Project
The suit further alleges that Sixx "gaslighted" Mars about his guitar performance, telling him that he had "cognitive dysfunction" and that his playing was "sub-par." It added that Sixx "did not play a single note on bass during the entire U.S. tour,” as all of his parts were apparently pre-recorded, in addition to some of Vince Neil's vocals and Tommy Lee's drum parts.
Last month, drummer Carmine Appice told Ultimate Guitar that Mars wasn’t happy with the conditions of Motley Crue’s tour last year, and that he traveled separately from the rest of his bandmates.
"Basically, everything was on tape; it was all planned out and ultimately a lot of crap. And Mick is a pretty good player, and so, to now let him loose and play the way he wants, that was never going to work for him," Appice said. "The truth is that everything has been weird for a while with Motley Crue, and Mick didn't like that everything was on tape. Mick told me that people that came to see it could tell that it was all pre-recorded and that everything was on tape."
Mars' suit only demands the band hand over documents about their business to settle the dispute. This is a developing story.
Motley Crue Statement on Mick Mars' Lawsuit
Mick’s lawsuit is unfortunate and completely off-base. In 2008, Mick voted for and signed an agreement (attached) in which he and every other band member agreed that “in no event shall any resigning shareholder be entitled to receive any monies attributable to live performances (i.e., tours).” After the last tour, Mick publicly resigned from Mötley Crüe. Despite the fact that the band did not owe Mick anything—and with Mick owing the band millions in advances that he did not pay back—the band offered Mick a generous compensation package to honor his career with the band. Manipulated by his manager and lawyer, Mick refused and chose to file this ugly public lawsuit. Equally unfortunate are his claims about the band’s live performances. Mötley Crüe always performs its songs live but during the last tour Mick struggled to remember chords, played the wrong songs and made constant mistakes which led to his departure from the band. There are multiple declarations from the band’s crew attesting to his decline which are attached. The band did everything to protect him, tried to keep these matters private to honor Mick’s legacy and take the high road. Unfortunately, Mick chose to file this lawsuit to badmouth the band. The band feels empathy for Mick, wishes him well and hopes that he can get better guidance from his advisors who are driven by greed.