Nikki Sixx says MÖTLEY CRÜE never saw it coming when Mick Mars retired from touring
In a recent conversation with Guitar World magazine, Nikki Sixx delved into MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s choice to enlist John 5 as the replacement for Mick Mars, the band’s original guitarist. Mick Mars had disclosed his retirement from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE in the previous October, citing deteriorating health conditions as the driving factor behind his decision.
“We never saw it coming that Mick wasn’t going to be able to tour and was going to have to quit the band,” Nikki explained. “In the middle — not even the middle — of a huge tour, we had to ask ourselves, ‘Do we want to let the fans down? Do we want to let [concert promoters] Live Nation down? Do we want to let [tourmates] DEF LEPPARD down? Do we want to let ourselves down because an original member of our band can’t tour anymore?’ We had to have a deep, deep look into what we were going to do.”
Sixx went on to say that John 5 was the obvious choice to step in for Mars in MÖTLEY CRÜE. He added: “[With John] knowing all the members of the band, and me having this relationship with him writing and as friends, and even being in the studio with him writing stuff with the band for [the soundtrack to] ‘The Dirt’, it felt like a no-brainer in a horrible situation something we did not ask for or want.
“And then it was just kind of obvious. If there was ‘the guy’, John was the guy. Like I said, we didn’t choose this, but since we had to be put in this position, we’re very happy with where we’re at right now.”
Upon Mick Mars‘ announcement of his retirement from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE, he reassured his commitment to the band, designating John 5 to take over his touring responsibilities. However, a subsequent turn of events saw Mars pursuing legal action against MÖTLEY CRÜE, filing a lawsuit in Los Angeles County’s Superior Court.
His claim alleges that following his retirement pronouncement, the remaining members of CRÜE attempted to diminish his significant ownership stake within the band’s corporate structure and broader business interests, utilizing a shareholders’ meeting to this end.
Within his legal filing, Mars contends that he stood as the lone band member performing entirely live during their recent tour, asserting that bassist Nikki Sixx abstained from playing any notes on the bass guitar throughout the entirety of the U.S. tour. The crux of Mars‘ dispute emerged when he declined to endorse documents that would curtail his share of touring royalties to a mere 5%.
This decision catalyzed a progression towards arbitration, which the band initiated. Mars detailed that the choice to pursue arbitration instead of a public lawsuit was influenced by a desire to shield the public from the disheartening treatment he perceived from his bandmates, emphasizing the familial bond shared over their 41-year history.
An additional layer of complexity stems from Mars‘ battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), a chronic and inflammatory variant of arthritis primarily affecting the spinal column and pelvis. Years of persevering through this ailment came to a head last summer when Mars informed his fellow MÖTLEY CRÜE members that he could no longer partake in touring due to his condition. He conveyed his willingness to engage in music recording and performances localized to residencies, eliminating the arduous demands of extensive travel.
A couple of months ago, MÖTLEY CRÜE initiated fresh legal proceedings by submitting documentation urging a judge to direct their dispute with Mars towards arbitration, a path the band’s legal representatives deem appropriate. Within the filing, the legal team highlights the establishment of various entities throughout the band’s existence to manage diverse aspects of their business dealings, encompassing touring and recording.
These established agreements encompass clauses mandating binding arbitration. Consequently, the argument posits that any potential disputes among band members must be addressed confidentially through private arbitration channels, as opposed to publicly litigated in open courts.
Concurrently, CRÜE seeks the court’s intervention to expunge a selection of statements featured in Mick‘s lawsuit, particularly those of a provocative nature that touch upon former bandmates. These statements include allegations of substance misuse and physical aggression, which they deem utterly unrelated to Mick‘s case. The band contends that these assertions were included solely to tarnish the reputations of those involved, rather than advancing Mick‘s legal argument.
In direct response to the most recent filing by MÖTLEY CRÜE, Mick‘s attorney, Ed McPherson, offered a retort to TMZ, asserting, “This is another endeavor by bullies to obscure the truth!”