Mick Mars on Motley Crue: "I carried those bastards for years"

A picture of Motley Crue, with Mick Mars, on stage
(Image credit: Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation)

A day after Mick Mars launched a lawsuit against Motley Crue, the guitarist has given a detailed account of the breakdown of his relationship with the band.

Mars, 71, filed legal papers at Los Angeles Superior Court making a number of explosive claims, including that Nikki Sixx was "gaslighting" him and that Sixx, singer Vince Neil and drummer Tommy Lee all used pre-recorded backing tracks during their recent run of shows with Mars.

Hours later, Motley Crue responded with a statement denying they had used backing tracks and saying Mars was unable to perform his guitar parts properly on stage.

The guitarist stepped back from touring duties last year due to his ongoing battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).

Now Mars has given an interview to Variety in which he says he "carried those bastards for years" and vows not to give up his rights to a fair share of royalties without a fight.

He also says the band had been trying to get rid of him for years.

Mars, who came up with the band name Motley Crue, says: "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, my ideas, my money that I had from a backer to start this band. It wouldn’t have gone anywhere.

"I want to retire from touring because of my AS. 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. That’s wrong. Absolutely wrong.

"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?"

Asked what he thinks will happen next, Mars adds: "I think that those guys are hoping that I’ll just fold and lay down. Because I’ve done that many times. But this thing that I helped build for 41 years, I’m sorry, you’re not gonna take that from me. I worked very hard for that. It’s mine. I’m keeping it. You can’t have it.

"I don’t know, and I can’t say I positively know, but I have a pretty good feeling that they wanted me gone anyway. Because they’ve been wanting that since forever. It’s just frustrating for me. I’m pretty upset that they’re even pulling this crap, when I carried these bastards for years."

After his retirement announcement, Mars was replaced in the live line-up by John 5, who has been touring with Crue ever since.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.