MÖTLEY CRÜE have replied to guitarist Mick Mars’s lawsuit against the band, calling it “unfortunate and completely off base”
Mick filed court documents this week claiming MÖTLEY CRÜE wanted him to sign a severance agreement, which would leave him holding only a 5 percent share of the band’s current tour profits, which he is not participating in due to ongoing health issues.
The guitarist also claims he informed the members of MÖTLEY CRÜE that he would be retiring from touring due to the pain he suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that affects the spine, yet would still remain a member of the group, participating in recording or the occasional one-off show.
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.”
Last night (April 6), MÖTLEY CRÜE released the following statement to the media: “Mick’s lawsuit is unfortunate and completely off-base. In 2008, Mick voted for and signed an agreement 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.
“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.”
Mick Mars (real name Robert Deal) announced back in October that he would be retiring from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE due to his ongoing struggles with ankylosing spondylitis. But in his lawsuit, he said he made it clear he could still record with the band or do limited performances.
Mars’ lawsuit also stated that the members of MÖTLEY CRÜE held an emergency shareholders’ meeting to throw him out of the band and strip him of his shares in the corporation that manages the group’s business interests.
Back in October it was announced that guitarist John 5 would be joining MÖTLEY CRÜE on the road stepping in for Mick Mars.
At the time, MÖTLEY CRÜE released the following statement: “While change is never easy, we accept Mick’s decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health. We have watched Mick manage his Ankylosing Spondylitis for decades and he has always managed it with utmost courage and grace.
“To say ‘enough is enough’ is the ultimate act of courage. Mick’s sound helped define MÖTLEY CRÜE from the minute he plugged in his guitar at our very first rehearsal together. The rest, as they say, is history. We’ll continue to honor his musical legacy.
“We will carry out Mick’s wish and continue to tour the world as planned in 2023. No doubt will it take an absolutely outstanding musician to fill Mick’s shoes so we are grateful that our good friend, John 5 has agreed to come on board and join us moving forward. We’ll see all you Crüeheads out on the road!”
John 5 added: “I’m honored to carry on Mick’s legacy and am looking forward to playing these songs.”