Motley Crue on the Red Carpet for their biopic series "The Dirt" on Netflix via Agents of Fandom

Mötley Crüe Guitarist Spills the Dirt on Being Kicked Out

If that’s Mick Mars with the “looks that kill,” it may because he’s in physical pain and Mötley Crüe owes him millions. So, he’s suing the band.

Since 1981, glam metal bad boys Mötley Crüe—Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars—have always been together. In 2004, they broke up, but reunited for the money…eh, once last go-round in 2015.

Following the hoopla of the Netflix documentary The Dirt in 2019, the band settled into their retirement pastures. Only, for longtime lead guitarist Mick Mars, that exit stage left was permanent, or so he heard.

Mars, 71, is suing Mötley Crüe’s remaining troika for kicking him out of the band because he suffers from ankylosing spondylitis and can’t perform any longer. Despite his diagnosis at 27 and his vertebrae fusing ever since, he is now allegedly three inches shorter, can’t turn his head, and just can’t jam like he used to do.

For years, it’s been frowned upon that Mick Mars misses chords during his solos, but he blames “faulty in-ear monitors” instead because the guy has a reputation to protect. And while we are pointing fingers, many believe Lee, Sixx, and even Lee lip-sync many lyrics.

Never mind they are all septuagenarians and should be retired anyway, Mars is suing for unlawful breach of contract, as noted in a Los Angeles Superior Court filing. This circus should be fun.

Mick Mars is shooting Mötley Crüe Looks That Kill

Mick Mars suing his former Motley Crue bandmates for being kicked out of the band--possibly for being 71 | Agents of Fandom
Quick! Someone “kickstart his heart.” Mick Mars doesn’t look like he has a pulse. Image Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

As entertainment media takes this story and questions the hell-raising bandmates for kicking Mars out on his arthritic behind, Mötley Crüe and management are fighting this lawsuit in the headlines.

In a Variety exclusive, Mars is suing for 25% of all Mötley Crüe projects and royalties. Makes sense, if you can do simple math.

The filing by Mars’ lawyer Thursday had at its core a simple request:  The musician is asking the court to compel Crüe’s team to produce records and documents they’ve been unduly sluggish about turning over, in Mars’ view, prior to arbitration that is likely to settle their core disputes. 

Variety, April 2023

But Mars is taking this alleged ouster personally and has come out swinging (even if he can’t keep his balance).

“It is beyond sad that, after 41 years together, a band would try to throw out a member who is unable to tour anymore because he has a debilitating disease,” said Edwin F. McPherson, Mars’ lawyer. “Mick has been pushed around for far too long in this band, and we are not going to let that continue.”

Variety, April 2023

While it’s difficult to feel bad for the deadest-looking rock star since Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, you can understand why Mick Mars believes the lawsuit is how to get Mötley Crüe’s attention. Although he’s been suffering from this aggressive arthritis for decades, it wasn’t until last fall that he told the band about his condition.

Last fall, Mars told his bandmates that, because of his “debilitating” ankylosing spondylitis, he couldn’t physically “handle the rigors of the road” and would no longer tour with the band, the suit says. Mars, who last performed with Mötley Crüe in Las Vegas on Sept. 9, 2022, said he would still record and perform with the band in a “residency situation.”

The New York Times, April 2023

Although the band refutes this mark, Mars claims that Mötley Crüe doesn’t agree 25% is a split for what he’s due. The band demanded Mars sign “an agreement that [Mars’] share of future touring profits and sales of merchandise featuring the band’s name and logo be reduced to 5%.”

Will he win? Who knows. But, one thing is for sure, as long as this lawsuit is in open court, Mick Mars will shout at the devil for his cut that Mötley Crüe owes him.

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