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Mötley Crüe Fire Back At Mick Mars’ Lawsuit, While Mars Claims: ” I Carried These Bastards For Years”


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Multi-platinum glam rockers Mötley Crüe have fired back at their guitarist Mick Mars in response to his newly filed lawsuit against his currently estranged bandmates. While Mars insisted that he stepped down from long-term touring activities with the group last fall, his bandmates instead stated that he retired from the road.

Mars claimed that he had intended to remain onboard as a member for any potential recording activities, while also being open to playing select shows. Mars, who has been suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis throughout the majority of his life, stepped down from long-term touring with the group due to his ongoing struggles with the condition.

However, in his newly filed suit, he alleged that upon being presented with his intentions to scale back his activities, the band forcibly moved to eject him, while also seeking to diminish his 25% stake to 5% (later upped to 7.5%) for the 2023 year of touring he will not be participating in (John 5 has since been announced as his live replacement.) That share is expected to diminish to 0% afterwards.

Mars alleged that his bandmates attempted to legally strongarm him out of the band and his shares, forcing him to divest his interests in various aspects of the band. When he decided not to agree to their terms, they filed suit against him to force him into arbitration.

He claims that upon being presented with this arrangement, he was made aware of several business ventures tied to the band he previously did not know exist. In turn, Mars opted to countersue.

Mötley Crüe‘s situation is also somewhat unique, in that the rights to their entire recorded music catalog were sold to BMG back in late 2021 for an undisclosed sum. The band had previously paid back their label $10 million to obtain the rights to those masters.

In his suit, Mars accused his bandmates of essentially gaslighting him on their 2022 tour about the allegedly deteriorating quality of his live performances.

Mars for his part accused his bandmates of all partaking in utilizing pre-recorded tracks on that tour, alleging that Nikki Sixx didn’t play a single note of bass during the entire 2022 run. He also accused both frontman Vince Neil and drummer Tommy Lee of partially relying on pre-recorded tracks as well. Mars alleged in his suit that he was the only member on the trek who performed 100% of his parts live.

He is seeking access to the band’s financial records to potentially establish any lost earnings amid his time as a fully active member of the group. Now Mötley Crüe‘s camp have fired back at the countersuit.

In a statement provided to Variety, the band’s attorney Sasha Frid offered:

“After the last tour, Mick publicly resigned from Mötley Crüe. Despite the fact that the band did not owe Mick anything — and with Mick owing the band millions in advances that he did not pay back — the band offered Mick a generous compensation package to honor his career with the band. Manipulated by his manager and lawyer, Mick refused and chose to file this ugly public lawsuit.”

While Mars‘ own statement last fall saw him assert that he intended to remain a member of the band for any potential recordings, and was open take part in select live shows, a dueling statement issued by the band at the time stated that he had essentially resigned.

The band’s camp feel that in stepping down from touring with the group, Mars has met the eligible criteria of resigning from the band, thus leading to his diminishing revenue stakes in the group.

Frid brought up the existence of an apparent legal arrangement Mars and the rest of the band had agreed to back in 2008, which is claimed to have stipulated as much. Frid commented to Variety of that:

Mick’s lawsuit is unfortunate and completely off-base. In 2008, Mick voted for and signed an agreement in which he and every other band member agreed that ‘in no event shall any resigning shareholder be entitled to receive any monies attributable to live performances (i.e., tours).'”

As for Mars‘ claims regarding the usage of pre-recorded tracks, Frid offered:

“Equally unfortunate are his claims about the band’s live performances. Mötley Crüe always performs its songs live, but during the last tour, Mick struggled to remember chords, played the wrong songs and made constant mistakes which led to his departure from the band. There are multiple declarations from the band’s crew attesting to his decline.”

Several of the group’s touring members have attested to the band’s claims in the matter, including long-time production manager Robert Long. He was quoted as saying in a signed deposition:

“When he is off, the band’s entire performance suffers. Mick’s performance during the Stadium Tour was unworkable and very difficult to manage. It began with the band’s rehearsals in April 2022. Mick would consistently forget chords and songs so the band would have to stop and re-teach those parts to Mick to remind him of the arrangements.

Mick’s performance issues continued throughout the tour. He would consistently miss notes; play out of tune; play the wrong chords during a song; stay within a chorus of a song and never come out of it; forget the song that he was playing and start a different one; and would get lost in songs. This happened at every show. … Our playback engineer put in cues for Mick so that he would stay on course but he would miss the cues.”

Further declarations were provided by numerous other members of the group, including current tour manager Thomas Reitz, who stated:

Mick was struggling, forgetting chords and songs. He was not up to speed with the songs and could not play his solos. The other band members spent hours trying to help Mick. Mick would often get frustrated and confused. I also witnessed the band and crew’s frustration with Mick’s mistakes first hand during the rehearsals.

Mick’s issues continued and got worse during the tour. Virtually at every concert, he played the wrong chords, wrong song or would forget what song he was playing. A sound technician would always need to have a backup track ready in case Mick played the wrong song or chord.”

Scott Megrath who joined the band’s team as their monitor engineer amid the aforementioned ‘Stadium Tour‘ stated in part:

“I had to make sure that the other band members would not get Mick’s feed into their earpieces because that would confuse them and potentially ruin the show. Mick’s mistakes happened on numerous occasions and at every show. In my years of experience, I have never seen mistakes like this by a guitarist on stage.”

The Mötley Crüe camp continue to assert in that stepping down from touring, Mars essentially invoked the resignation clause the group had all previously agreed to. Mars meanwhile, maintains that the group moved to oust him and the he legally remains a member of the outfit.

In a newly published interview with Variety, Mars spoke more of the current situation. In that interview, he offered:

“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 [the Mötley Crüe moniker], my ideas, my money that I had from a backer to start this band. It wouldn’t have gone anywhere…

The thing that they keep pushing, for many years, is that I have a bad memory. And that’s full-blown, out-of-proportion crap. Around 2012, when they first started saying that my memory was bad and I didn’t remember the songs, I came home and saw all my doctors, because I keep myself together, because I’m an old bastard. They had all the 10th Street people there [from the band’s management] — probably about five or six people — (versus) all my doctors going: “There’s nothing wrong with him.” And now they’re still playing that game with me.

So, no, the truth is: I want to retire from touring because of my AS [Ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory, arthritic disease that causes vertebrae to fuse]. 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. No. Wrong. That’s wrong. Absolutely wrong.

But my stupid body is telling me “No, don’t do that” [stay on the road]. You know, I’m gonna be 72 years old, and I’ve been touring with these guys 41 years, helping build the brand, helping do this and that. And you’re served with papers and going, this is crazy. This is stupid. I mean, come on.”

Regarding the claims from the Mötley Crüe camp about his performances not being up to snuff, he responded:

“I call bullshit on that. I know the songs. I’ve even said to those guys — when we were on the phone, when they were all gonna fire me — I go, “You take your drums and play this song. You take your bass and play this song. And I’ll play the song correct.” And prior to this particular stadium tour, when we rehearsed, the first thing that happened when I walked in was, Nikki Sixx was like, “Hey, Mick, how did that part go? I can’t remember it.” So that’s how our rehearsals went. I rehearsed all of these songs for three months, every day, solid, twice a day. When I walked into this rehearsal for the stadium tour and I said, “Pick a song, I know them all,” (the response was) “Uh, we aren’t gonna do it that way,” to quote Nikki Sixx.

And yes, on this particular tour, Nikki’s bass was 100% recorded. Tommy’s drums, to the best of my knowledge, there was a lot. I can’t say he did all of it recorded, but there were some reports from people in the audience that said, “Oh, I heard the drums playing, but there’s no Tommy on there. The song started, and there’s no drummer.” Stuff like that. And actually everything that we did on that stadium tour was on tape, because if we didn’t, if we missed a part, the tape would keep rolling and you’d miss it.”

He continued to explain:

“What was going in my ear wasn’t really my guitar. It was some kind of weird, out-of-phase kind of a thing. And I have it here, on my iPad. I’m telling my sound guy, Scotty, to turn up my guitar, and I go, “Wait a minute, that ain’t mine.” Because mine’s a big, huge, fat sound. And so when I started getting at it, it was a lot better.

But there was parts with that tape on my guitar that were so horrible, yes, I did lose my spot a couple of times. But not all the time. And it is very difficult. And then it’s also difficult when they have a bunch of old-school 808 bass drums going and turning up the bass guitar. Do you know what that does to a guitar frequency? It drowns it out. And that’s what was going on a lot out front. … You’d have to be me to know it was the truth.

Anyway, that was the worst 36 gigs ever had with the band. It was 36 [instead of the originally scheduled 12] because they knew I wanted to retire from it after that. [He says in the suit he did not want to do the extra two dozen dates that got added but went along with 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.”

When asked what he expects to happen going forward, he replied:

“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. Sorry. But they’re well prepared, I can already tell you, because I’ve known them that long too. But I’m not backing down. I’m not gonna fold. And we’ll see what happens. I’m most definitely not afraid of them, or intimidated or anything else.”

You can read more from Mars on the situation over at Variety.

Sixx himself responded to the suit briefly tonight (April 06th) on Twitter, offering:

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