Motley Crue Guitarist Mick Mars Retires from Touring, Issues Statement
Motley Crue recently announced plans to take the "Stadium Tour" with Def Leppard to other parts of the world next year, but one of the band members won't be coming with them. Guitarist Mick Mars has announced his retirement from touring, though he will remain in the band, revealing the news in an exclusive statement to Variety.
The statement reads as follows:
Mick Mars, co-founder and lead guitarist of the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe for the past 41 years, has announced today that due to his ongoing painful struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.), he will no longer be able to tour with the band. Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigors of the road. A.S. is an extremely painful and crippling degenerative disease, which affects the spine.
While the statement reveals Mars' plans to no longer tour, it did not reveal who the band intends to replace him. There have been rumors circulating in recent weeks that Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 would be joining the lineup, but as stated, no official word on who would be taking over the vacant guitarist spot was revealed.
Mars is a co-founding member of Motley Crue along with the band's current lineup of Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee. The group formed in Los Angeles in 1981. The group initially played what was meant to be their final tour in 2015, but after the success of the film version of "The Dirt" memoir, they decided to come out of retirement and tour again. Though initially announced in 2019, the pandemic forced the highly anticipated "Stadium Tour" with Def Leppard and special guests Poison, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Classless Act to this summer.
Earlier this month, the band announced another leg of their co-headlining tour with Def Leppard that would take them to Latin America and Europe in the first half of 2023.
The 71-year-old guitarist has dealt with Ankylosing Spondylitis throughout his career. Speaking about it in the 2001 biography, "The Dirt," Mars stated, “My hips started hurting so bad every time I turned my body that it felt like someone was igniting fireworks in my bones. I didn’t have enough money to see a doctor, so I just kept hoping that I could do what I usually do: will it away, through the power of my mind. But it kept getting worse.”
“Then, one afternoon while doing my laundry,” he continued, “I started having trouble breathing. At first, it felt like someone had plunged a knife into my back. But as the weeks passed, the pain kept moving around my back. Next, my stomach started burning, and I worried that my whole body was about to fall apart. I thought that there was a hole in my stomach, and acids were leaking out and destroying my bones and organs. I’d grab hold of doorknobs, anchor my legs into the ground, and pull with my hands to stretch my back and ease the pressure out.” Mars was eventually able to have hip surgery that allowed him to return to the stage.
In addition to Motley Crue, Mars has been working on solo music in recent years as well.