It's official: John 5 confirmed as new Mötley Crüe touring guitarist

John 5 promo pic
(Image credit: Matt Wilson)

Mötley Crüe have released a statement regarding Mick Mars' retirement from the road, and confirming the worst-kept secret in showbiz: he'll be replaced by Rob Zombie guitarist John 5.  

"While change is never easy, we accept Mick's decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health," write Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Vince Neil. "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 honour 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!"

"I'm honoured to carry on Mick's legacy," added John 5, "and am looking forward to playing these songs."

Yesterday, a statement was released to Variety magazine by Mars' earthly representatives, which read, "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 rigours of the road. A.S. is an extremely painful and crippling degenerative disease, which affects the spine."

The news came just six days after Motley Crue and Def Leppard announced The World Tour, a sequel to this year's Stadium Tour across the US. The tour will kick off in February in Mexico. Full dates below.

Motley Crue and Def Leppard: The World Tour 2023

Feb 18: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Feb 21: Monterrey Estadio Banorte, Mexico
Feb 25: Bogota Parque Simon Bolivar, Colombia
Feb 28: Lima Estadio Nacional, Peru

Mar 03: Santiago Estadio Bicentenario de La Florida, Chile
Mar 07: Sao Paulo Allianz Parque, Brazil
Mar 09: Curitiba Estádio Couto Pereira, Brazil
Mar 11: Porto Alegre Arena do Grêmio, Brazil

May 22: Sheffield Bramall Lane, UK
May 25: Mönchengladbach SparkassenPark, Germany
May 27: Munich Koenigsplatz, Germany
May 29: Budapest MVM Dome, Hungary
May 31: Krakow TAURON Arena Kraków, Poland

Jun 02: Prague Rocks, Czech Republic
Jun 03: Hannover Expo Plaza, Germany
Jun 07: Solvesborg, Sweden Rock Festival, Sweden
Jun 09: Helsinki RockFest, Finland
Jun 11: Trondheim Rocks, Norway
Jun 14: Copenhagen Copenhell, Denmark
Jun 18: Dessel Graspop Metal Meeting, Belgium
Jun 20: Milan Ippodromo SNAI San Siro, Italy
Jun 23: Lisbon Passeio Maritimo de Alges, Portugal
Jun 24: Rivas-Vaciamadrid Auditorio Miguel Ríos, Spain
Jun 27: Thun Stockhorn Arena, Switzerland

Jul 01: London Wembley Stadium, UK
Jul 02: Lytham Festival, UK
Jul 04: Dublin Marlay Park, Ireland
Jul 06: Glasgow Hampden Park, UK

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.