Mötley Crüe has responded to guitarist Mick Mars‘ lawsuit and it’s brutal.
Mars‘ lawsuit was revealed on April 6 which accuses Mötley Crüe of screwing him over financially with lowered percentages of income. The lawsuit also claims Mars was fired instead of voluntarily stepping down, accuses Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx specifically of “gaslighting” him about getting worse at guitar, and states that Mötley Crüe‘s live shows on their 2015 farewell tour were largely backing tracks.
Now Mötley Crüe has issued a statement to Loudwire saying Mars is off-base with his accusations, that Mars agreed to a lowered amount of pay after retiring from the road, that Mars owes the band millions of dollars, and that his playing wasn’t up to par on the 2015 tour.
“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 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.”
A subsequent statement also provided to Loudwire by production manager Robert Long called Mars’ performance “unworkable and very difficult to manage,” and that Mars “would consistently forget chords and songs so the band would have to stop and re-teach those parts to Mick to remind him of the arrangements.”
Mars has since fired back at Mötley Crüe after the band issued their statement. In an interview with Variety, Mars said Mötley Crüe has been trying to replace him for their whole career, and that accusations against him over not remembering songs are outright false.
“Yes, exactly. Things get twisted around sometimes from other band members. I don’t really know if I should say this, but… Those guys have been hammering on me since ’87, trying to replace me. They haven’t been able to do that, because I’m the guitar player. I helped form this band. It’s my name I came up with [the Mötley Crüe moniker], my ideas, my money that I had from a backer to start this band. It wouldn’t have gone anywhere. And then to be hearing stuff from people like Bob Daisley from Ozzy Osbourne‘s band, when we were touring with them, and Carmine Appice… [In his 2014 memoir, Daisley recounted a conversation with the other members of Mötley Crüe on a tour bus in 1984 when they allegedly solicited his advice about firing Mars, and he strongly advised against it, saying Mars was an integral part of their chemistry. Daisley retold the story in an interview four months ago with Blabbermouth.]
“The thing that they keep pushing, for many years, is that I have a bad memory. And that’s full-blown, out-of-proportion crap. Around 2012, when they first started saying that my memory was bad and I didn’t remember the songs, I came home and saw all my doctors, because I keep myself together, because I’m an old bastard. They had all the 10th Street people there [from the band’s management] — probably about five or six people — (versus) all my doctors going: ‘There’s nothing wrong with him.’ And now they’re still playing that game with me.
“So, no, the truth is: I want to retire from touring because of my AS [Ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory, arthritic disease that causes vertebrae to fuse]. I don’t have a problem remembering the songs. I don’t have a problem with any of that stuff. But I do have a problem with them, constantly, the whole time, telling me that I lost my memory. No. Wrong. That’s wrong. Absolutely wrong.
“But my stupid body is telling me ‘No, don’t do that’ [stay on the road]. You know, I’m gonna be 72 years old, and I’ve been touring with these guys 41 years, helping build the brand, helping do this and that. And you’re served with papers and going, this is crazy. This is stupid. I mean, come on.”
Mars then said he feels being knocked down from 25% touring income to 5% (7.5% if he signs off on future interests) is an insult, and that he’s sick of the “hazing, the gaslighting and all that stuff.” He adds that could continue to dredge up bad things about the band like when vocalist Vince Neil killed Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley in a car crash.
“That’s an insult to me that they’re offering me that. No. It’s my name. It’s Mick Mars, it’s Mötley Crüe, the four of us that made the band. You would have to have a good reason to be fired. I don’t. I could come back with this and go like, ‘Hey, you know what? I’m gonna counter because you assholes are felons. You (Lee) for spousal abuse; you (Neil) for manslaughter.’ [Sixx has only been convicted of misdemeanors, not felonies.] I’m not doing that. It just makes me really upset that they want to try and bully me more or less out of the band, so it’s the last man standing that collects everything. And if there’s any real justice to it, I’d be the one that would be the only one that has no criminal record. I’m pure. I’m clean as a freshly washed baby. [Laughs.] I haven’t done anything. And these guys have all gone over the top — heroin addicts, on and on and on and on. [Sixx has spoken often about overdosing and being clinically dead for two minutes in 1987. He has subsequently written about his sobriety.]
“And I’m being beat up, mentally — and I’m already physically ruined. But the hazing, the gaslighting and all that stuff, when they tell me that I’m losing my mind and I’m this, that and the other — oh my God. What’s the matter with you guys? You’re the felons, not me. In my defense. [Laughs.] hey should be pointing those fingers towards themselves, not me. That’s my opinion. You can’t be fired from your own company, unless you do something horribly bad — like, be a felon. That’s mean, but, sorry!”
Mars retired from touring with Mötley Crüe in October 2022. A representative for Mars said that the guitarist can no longer tour due to his worsening Ankylosing Spondylitis, though recent rumors from drummer Carmine Appice and former vocalist John Corabi suggested that things might be deeper than just that.
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