Motley Crüe and Mick Mars feud explained
The Motley Crüe co-founder and lead guitarist has taken legal action against the rest of the iconic heavy metal band, starting a tense public feud.
Mick Mars, real name Robert Alan Deal, took the band to court in early April 2023 after accusing them of trying to kick him out of the band after he retired from touring due to ill health.
Here’s what we know so far about the Mötley Chaos.
What happened between Motley Crüe and Mick Mars?
The infamous band’s dirty laundry is being aired all over the media following Mick Mars’ lawsuit against his three bandmates.
After 41 years with the group, the guitarist retired from touring in October 2022.
Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee continued touring with a backup guitarist, John 5.
The band is now arguing about whether Mars, who owns 25 percent of Mötley Crüe’s business, is still part of the band.
Mars’ attorney Edwin F. McPherson alleges that as soon as the guitarist made his announcement after struggling with chronic pain, the other band members held a meeting to try to remove Mars.
In the legal filing obtained by the LA Times, McPherson explains, “They noted an emergency shareholders’ meeting for the band’s principal company to oust Mars from the band, fire him as a director of the company, fire him as an officer of the company and appoint him to take away his shares in the company.
His attorney also alleges that Mars made it clear that it wasn’t a full retirement and that he would make himself available for recordings, residencies and other band activities.
After Mars’ statement in October 2022, Neil, Sixx and Lee quickly issued a statement saying that Mars was indeed leaving the band.
“While change is never easy, we accept Mick’s decision to retire from the band for health reasons. We’ve watched Mick treat his ankylosing spondylitis for decades and he always pulled it off with the utmost courage and grace.
“Saying ‘enough is enough’ is the ultimate act of courage. Mick’s sound helped define Motley Crüe from the moment he plugged in his guitar at our very first rehearsal together.
“The rest, as they say, is history. We will continue to honor his musical legacy,” the statement said.
However, Mars’ attorney says he was presented with a “terribly unfair and unilateral” separation and termination agreement.
Mars hasn’t quietly walked away and the band seems stuck in a very public standoff with angry parties on both sides.
The now renegade Mars has since made loud accusations against the other members of Mötley Crüe, including allegations of gaslighting, bullying and conspiracies against him.
He also claimed that his bandmates’ performances were pre-taped.
How did Motley Crüe meet Mick Mars?
Mick Mars (born May 4, 1951) has been a member of the genre-bending band since its earliest beginnings and credits himself as a co-founder of the LA-based band.
Mars ran an ad for musicians in 1981 that brought him to bassist Sixx and drummer Lee. The legal filing also alleges that Mars brought Neil, who went to school with Lee, into the band.
The team at Mars also say that while Lee and Neil remained an integral part of the band for 41 years, he and Sixx left the band at different times, eventually returning in later years.
Mars was diagnosed with the extremely painful ankylosing spondylitis at the age of 27.
For decades he struggled with the pain of inflammatory arthritis in his spine and pelvis which ultimately led to the decision to retire from touring and in turn to the developing feud between the band and himself.
What did Motley Crüe say about Mick Mars?
Since the bombshell lawsuit and the explosive allegations that followed, the band has remained relatively quiet.
However, the band’s manager, Allen Kovac, 29, is said to have been so angry at the lawsuit that he had to go on record to refute Mars’ claims.
In a statement to Variety, Kovac said, “I am very sorry that I have to do this,” after explaining that he was forced to stop Sixx from speaking publicly.
Kovac believes Mars is “trying to pressure Motley in a smear campaign. He attacked the band and he did it in a slanderous way, with false accusations and misrepresentations of the facts to the fans.
“Mick is not the victim. The victims are Motley Crue and the brand Mick is so proud of,” he said.
Kovac then claimed that poor representation was to blame for Mick’s behavior. “He has a degenerative disease and people take advantage of him. It’s called elder abuse.”
Key members of the Crue camp have been remarkably quiet for now.