[UPDATE 5 P.M. ET] Mötley Crüe has confirmed that John 5 will replace founding guitarist Mick Mars on the band’s 2023 world tour with Def Leppard. This news comes a day after Mars, 71, announced his retirement from touring due to his ongoing battle with ankylosing spondylitis.
Mars’ bandmates Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, and Tommy Lee confirmed the lineup change in a statement on Thursday afternoon,
While change is never easy, we accept Mick’s decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health. 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 honor 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!
While Mars will not tour with the band moving forward, he stated that he will remain a part of the band. The incoming guitarist’s credits include time spent with Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, David Lee Roth, and even Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx in his supergroup L.A. Rats. John 5 even wrote three songs that appear in Netflix‘s film adaptation of Mötley Crüe’s collaborative autobiography, The Dirt.
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[10/27/22, 10 a.m. ET] Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars will no longer tour with the band according to a statement published in Variety on Wednesday. The founding 71-year-old guitarist of the ’80s hair metal act cited his ongoing battle with ankylosing spondylitis as the reason for his decision.
While Mars will no longer perform alongside Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, and Nikki Sixx, a representative for the guitarist maintained that he will remain a member of the group. The full statement to Variety reads,
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.
Mars was first diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis at 17 years old and has been very public about his struggle with the rare form of arthritis. The disease has caused scoliosis in his back and, according to the band’s 2001 tell-all collaborative autobiography The Dirt, has left him “a full three inches shorter than he was in high school.”
There is no immediate word on who will replace Mars on guitar. Speculation has circulated that Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 would take over the position, though he dismissed them as “just a rumor.”
This announcement comes after Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard announced another leg of their co-headlining world tour. The joint Stadium Tour grossed $173.5 million when it traveled North America this past summer following a two-year delay due to COVID. It now appears that the final stop of that tour on September 9th in Las Vegas will mark Mars’ last concert with The Crüe.