John Corabi: "I don't totally believe Mick's reasons for leaving Mötley"

John Corabi and Mick Mars headshots
(Image credit: John Corabi: Stephen J. Cohen | Mick Mars: Kevin Winter)

Former Mötley Crüe vocalist John Corabi has suggested that Mick Mars may not have recorded parts on the band’s later albums and that he was perhaps sacked, rather forced to retire because of his poor health. 

In late October, a statement was released announcing that the Mötley Crüe guitarist would no longer tour with the band due to his battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a condition which causes the spine to fuse. His place will be filled on the resumed Stadium Tour by former Rob Zombie guitarist John 5. 

The full statement 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, 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,” it continues. “A.S. is an extremely painful and crippling degenerative disease, which affects the spine.”

In an interview on the Life In The Stocks podcast, Corabi told host Matt Stocks that he was unsure about the truth behind the recent announcement.

“The statement that we heard was put together by Mötley and their people,” he said during the interview, as transcribed by Blabbermouth. “I’m not totally sure I believe what they're saying. So I'll just leave it at that.

"I don't totally believe Mick's reasons for leaving Mötley and I don't even know if he left Mötley,” he added. “I believe maybe he was shown the door.”

He went on to say that his former bandmates were critical of Mars’ guitar playing during the writing sessions which would form the 1997 album Generation Swine.

“They were complaining about his guitar playing then,” Corabi said. “The majority of the guitars on the Swine record, which is one of the reasons why I sued the guys, are mine. They were complaining about Mick the whole fucking time. And I don't know if he played on New Tattoo – I'm not sure – but I know on Red, White & Crüe, it was D.J. Ashba; on Saints Of Los Angeles, it was D.J. Ashba; and on The Dirt [soundtrack], it was John 5.

"I don't know," he added. "I could be totally wrong about this, so don't run around and fucking, whatever, put it in print yet, but I'm just saying I'm waiting for Mick's response. The one that we've all heard came from Mötley and their management.”

The vocalist, who left Mötley by 1997 and was replaced by original vocalist Vince Neil in time for the release of Generation Swine, also mused on the reasons behind the announcement that John 5 is to join the band in a touring capacity.

“I just know how those guys operate," said Corabi. "I would not be surprised if they didn't say, 'Mick, look. You're in pain. We've got John 5. We're gonna bring him in.' Maybe throw him a bone – like every time they tour, throw him some money – but ‘we're gonna move forward with this guy’. It wouldn't surprise me." 

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.