Rumours that John 5 is replacing Mick Mars in Mötley Crüe just won't go away

John 5 and Mick Mars
(Image credit: Getty)

With Mötley Crüe having announced that they'll be taking their massive co-headline tour with Def Leppard across the UK, Europe and South America next year, the signs of the band calling it quits for good look some way off (despite Crüe's 'final tour' originally happening, erm, seven years ago. These rock stars!).

Interestingly, though, exactly who will be a part of the Mötley Crüe lineup in 2023 has suddenly come under the spotlight, courtesy of a relentless online rumour that just won't go away involving beloved Crüe guitarist Mick Mars. Mars has long battled health issues due to suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic, painful arthritic condition that has affected his movement both on and off stage. 

While Mars has masterfully managed to carve out an incredible career with Mötley Crüe regardless, rumours began to circulate online recently that the 71-year-old may be stepping back from touring with the band soon, with none other than Rob Zombie guitar maestro John 5 rumoured to replace him on the road.

Those rumours intensified when John 5 didn't play with Rob Zombie at a recent show at Aftershock Festival in California, with former Zombie guitarist Mike Riggs making a surprise return after 16 years instead. Rob Zombie himself didn't acknowledge John 5's absence when he introduced Riggs to the crowd, leading to John 5's fans to speculate on his future with the band.

According to MetalSucks, when asked directly on Instagram if John 5 was indeed joining Mötley Crüe, the guitarist gave a blunt "no" in response, adding that it was "just a rumour". However, the comment has now seemingly been deleted - and John 5 has poured fresh fuel on the rumour bonfire by since posting a photo of himself hanging out with Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. On its own merit, this isn't much to be suspicious about - 5 and Lee have been good friends for years - but the timing of the post has sent the guitarist's fans into overdrive.

"Word is that you're gonna [be] spending more time with Tommy," teased one fan. "I believe it's going to happen now. Way too many coincidences," suggested another. Another even joked: "This is the “you don’t have to worry about him” post, right before you leave Zombie for the Crüe." 

While all camps concerned are staying quiet on the rumour for the most part, LA Guns guitarist Tracii Guns - a good friend of Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx having played with him in Brides Of Destruction - acknowledged the speculation this week, posting on social media: "I have got a ton of messages about the rumor of Mick leaving Mötley and what my opinion is if John 5 replaces him. First of all it's a rumor and who knows? But, if it's Time for Mick to tap out then that's his business. John 5 in my opinion is a great choice if the rumor is true."

We guess we'll have to wait and find out. Either way, Mars remains a true rock 'n' roll legend, and if and when he does decide it's time to step back he'll leave some almighty boots to fill.

Posted by traciiguns on 

Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe 2023 tour dates

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

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

May 22: Sheffield Bramall Lane, UK
May 25: Mönchengladbach SparkassenPark, GER
May 27: Munich Koenigsplatz, GER
May 29: Budapest MVM Dome, HUN
May 31: Krakow TAURON Arena Kraków, POL

Jun 02: Prague Rocks, CZE
Jun 03: Hannover Expo Plaza, GER
Jun 07: Solvesborg, Sweden Rock Festival, SWE
Jun 09: Helsinki RockFest, FIN
Jun 11: Trondheim Rocks, NOR
Jun 14: Copenhagen COPENHELL, DEN
Jun 18: Dessel Graspop Metal Meeting, BEL
Jun 20: Milan Ippodromo SNAI San Siro, ITA
Jun 23: Lisbon Passeio Maritimo de Alges, POR
Jun 24: Rivas-Vaciamadrid Auditorio Miguel Ríos, SPA
Jun 27: Thun Stockhorn Arena, SWI

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

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Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.