Motley Crue Guitarist and Founding Member Mick Mars To Retire From Touring

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Motley Crue fans who look forward to seeing the group on tour will have to go without seeing guitarist and founding member Mick Mars. Mars has let the world know, through Variety, that he’s retiring from touring. The musician will remain a member of the legendary band, however. A representative for Mars relayed his decision.

According to a statement, “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.”

Motley Crue Looks To Replace Mick Mars For Road Gigs

No immediate word has come down on who will take Mars’ place as the touring guitarist. But there have been rampant rumors that John 5, the former Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie guitarist who recently stopped touring with Zombie, will take Mars’ place. This news from Mars comes just days after the group announced another leg of their co-headlining tour with Def Leppard. It is slated to cover Latin America and Europe from February through July 2023. Both groups just wrapped up a North American tour.

Motley Crue announced back in 2014 that it was embarking on a “farewell” tour. They played what was billed as a final show back on Dec. 31, 2015. But the Los Angeles-based band said in 2019 that they would reunite for another tour in 2020. That tour happened to be postponed twice before taking place this year.

Mars, 71, whose real name is Robert Deal, has struggled with A.S. since his late teens but soldiered through for many years, Ultimate Classic Rock indicated. He spoke about his first experiences with A.S. in the group’s 2001 biography The Dirt.

“My hips started hurting so bad every time I turned my body that it felt like someone was igniting fireworks in my bones,” Mars said. “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,” Mars said, “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.”