MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars has sued his bandmates, claiming he is being ripped off on tour profits
Mick announced back in October that he would be retiring from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE due to his ongoing struggle with Ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that causes inflammation in the spine joints and the sacroiliac joint. But in his lawsuit, which was obtained by TMZ, Mars says he made it clear he wasn’t leaving the group and was still capable of recording new music and do limited performances.
In the lawsuit, Mick, who’s real name is Robert Deal, says MÖTLEY CRÜE cut his percentage of profits from 25 percent to 5 percent after he announced he was stepping back from touring. He also claims the band’s lawyers made him feel like he should be grateful for even that small cut, because they didn’t feel they owed him anything at all. Mick also claims there was a full band meeting and they decided to “unilaterally” remove him from MÖTLEY CRÜE.
Mick also went on to accuse MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx of “gaslighting” him about his guitar abilities, despite the fact that Sixx apparently didn’t “play a single note on bass” during the band’s recent “The Stadium Tour”, with Mars claiming all of Nikki’s parts were pre-recorded.
“How did Mars’s brothers of 41 years respond to Mars’s tragic announcement [about quitting the road]?” asks the suit, according to 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.”
The suit contends: “During much of the band’s recent tenure, Sixx continually ‘gaslighted’ Mars by telling him that he [Mars] had some sort of cognitive dysfunction, and that his guitar playing was sub-par, claiming that Mars forgot chords, and sometimes started playing the wrong songs.
“Astonishingly, Sixx made these claims about Mars’s playing while he [Sixx] did not play a single note on bass during the entire U.S. tour,” the lawsuit continues. “Ironically, 100% of Sixx’s bass parts were nothing but recordings. Sixx was seen fist pumping in the air with his strumming hand, while the bass part was playing. In fact, a significant portion of [Vince] Neil’s vocals were also pre-recorded. Even some of [Tommy] Lee’s drum parts were recordings. Some fans actually noticed that Lee was walking toward his drum set as they heard his drum part begin.
“Mars, at times on the tour, did play the wrong chords, but not due to any cognitive dysfunction,” the lawsuit continues. “He was playing live, and his in-ear monitors were constantly malfunctioning, causing Mars to be unable to hear his own instrument. The fact is that Mars is rarely mocked or criticized online. He is a quiet member of the group, who shows up to play, and puts his heart and soul into each performance. Conversely, other band members are often criticized online, particularly Neil, who is routinely torn to shreds for, among other things, not remembering the songs.”
According to Variety, Mars’s attorney says he was warned by the band’s lawyers that “if your client rejects the severance package that was graciously offered to him by the band, he will get next to nothing. I suggest you think about the repercussions of this decision… There is undisputed legal cause here for Mick’s removal. Mick is unable to perform as a full-fledged band member. Among other things, as demonstrated during the last tour, he repeatedly forgets his chords, does not play the right song, plays chords of a different song while on stage, and so on.”
Mick’s lawsuit against MÖTLEY CRÜE is so that he can look at the band’s finances and determine if he’s getting what he thinks he is owed.