Mick Mars

Mötley Crüe’s Manager Alleges Mick Mars’ Representatives Have Committed “Elder Abuse” With Ongoing Legal Battle


The ongoing legal war between Mötley Crüe and their estranged guitarist Mick Mars continues with another chapter. Last week it was revealed that Mars had filed suit against the band, feeling that he was forcibly being cut out of the group after stepping down from touring last fall.

The band themselves argue that per a previously signed 2008 arrangement, anyone stepping down from the group would no longer be eligible to a cut of the proceeds generated from touring and that associated business. That arrangement was originally presented in response to past departures of vocalist Vince Neil and drummer Tommy Lee from the outfit.

As the 71-year-old Mars continues to suffer from Ankylosing spondylitis, he opted to step down from the band’s touring duties, though he intended to remain a member for select future live dates and any potential recording. However, his bandmates saw him withdrawing from touring as essentially retiring from the group.

They feel that per the aforementioned arrangement agreed upon by all members prior, his decision to stop touring essentially legally cuts him out future touring profits and as a shareholder of the band.

While the group offered him as much as 7.5% of their 2023 touring in a bid to have him agree to divest himself from various aspects of the band, Mars rejected the offer. Mars continues to assert that he remain entitled to his 25% stake in the band’s revenue. While Mars would be entitled to a % of merchandise sold bearing his likeness going forward, future merchandise without him appearing would net him $0.

According to Mars, his refusal to accept the band’s offer led them to take legal action against him. He claims they are attempting to force arbitration on his aforementioned ‘severance package’, so they could legally resolve the matter of Mars‘ ‘retirement.’ However, Mars himself denies having ever retired from the outfit and feels that his former bandmates are attempting to forcibly eject him.

He also claims that he was alerted to the existence of several business associated with the band previously unknown to him upon being presented the aforementioned arrangement to formally end his tenure in the outfit.

As the group sold the majority of the publishing rights to their recorded catalog several years ago (deals for the remaining percentages are in the works,) touring and merchandise will soon largely be the only continued source of income the band generate.

Since word of the suit broke, a war of words has emerged, with Mars asserting that all three of his bandmates used pre-recorded tracks to varying degrees on the band’s 2022 reunion tour.

The Crüe camp meanwhile claim that Mars himself exhibited a pattern of poor performances on said tour, offering various written depositions from their road crew to attest to their claim. Mars‘ attorney has since disputed those claims, offering:

“Did you ever wonder why Mötley Crüe’s lawyers drafted declarations stating that Mick was unfit to perform successfully on tour, and had them signed — albeit by people whose livelihoods depend on pleasing Mötley Crüe — in response to Mick announcing that he is retiring from touring?

If Mick is so bad, isn’t it a matter of ‘problem solved’? … The bottom line is that this case is not about whether or not Mick can still play. It is not even about whether the other band members are playing anything at all. But if you are going to gather disparaging declarations from employees, and kick someone out of the band for not playing properly — ironically, after he tells you that he can no longer handle touring anymore — you better get out of your glass house.”

Mars himself is currently suing the band for access to their financial records, presumably to establish any potentially lost earnings. Now the band’s manager of 29 years, Allen Kovac, has come forward against Mars‘ claims. In a new piece with Variety, Kovac fired back at several allegations put forth by Mars.

Kovac was quoted saying that Mars made his allegations as part of a “smear campaign’ against the band.” Kovac explained:

“He’s attacked the band, and he’s done it in a slanderous way, with false accusations and misrepresenting the facts to the fans. Mick is not the victim. The victims are Mötley Crüe and the brand, which Mick is so prideful of.”

He continued:

“What’s upsetting to me is not Mick, but his representatives, who have guided Mick to say and do harmful things to the brand he cares about so much, Mötley Crüe. He has a degenerative disease and people are taking advantage of him. It’s called elder abuse.”

Mick’s representatives have no idea what they’ve created, but I’ve stopped the band from speaking about this, so they’re not gonna turn the fans against Mick. But I am going to make sure that people understand that Mick hasn’t been treated badly. In fact, he was treated better than anyone else in the band, and they carried him and they saved his life.”

The latter quote seems to be referring to Mars‘ recent interview with Variety in which he claimed):

“[The Stadium Tour] 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. 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.”

Kovac also addressed Mars‘ claims that “100% of [Nikki] Sixx’s bass parts were nothing but recordings” on the band’s 2022 tour. As well as Mars‘ claims that both drummer Tommy Lee and vocalist Vince Neil were guilty of using partially pre-recorded tracks as well.

Kovac told Variety:

“Everything is live with Nikki’s bass playing and Tommy’s drum playing. When they’ve used loops, they’re still playing. There are augmented vocals, which were (recorded) in the studio and are backgrounds behind the two ladies who are singing and (other background vocals by) John 5 and Nikki Sixx, and before that Mick and Nikki.”

He added, “you multi-track and you do gang vocals with, like, 20 people, just like all the other bands do with background vocals. They’ve got background vocals in the mix. That’s the truth.” Kovac continued:

“But Nikki played his bass and always has. Vince was singing better than he was before (on the latest tour). That was in reviews. Now, John 5 [who has since replaced Mars on the band’s touring] is playing like who John 5 is. I’ve heard John 5 perform and I heard Mick perform. Both are great guitar players.

Unfortunately, Mick is not the same. He hasn’t been the same for a long time. Which was in reviews! You see that the professionals knew. Def Leppard (which alternated headlining spots on tour) knew. And (Mars) caused a train wreck up there, because he would play the wrong songs and the wrong parts, even with the guide tracks.

When he played the wrong song, it wasn’t Nikki Sixx that had a tape; it was the soundman bringing it into the mix so the audience could hear a song, even though the guitar player was playing a different song.”

Kovac claimed that the audiences, “would hear it at first, but (sound engineers) would fix it so that we could keep the song going. I heard it. I’d go to the sound board.”

Crüe‘s litigation attorney Sasha Frid told Variety of Mars‘ legal action:

“The lawsuit that Mick filed is a petition for writ of mandate to obtain certain records. It’s a perfunctory request that usually consists of nothing more than a couple of pages. There was absolutely no need for Mick to tell a 41-year history of the band, bad mouth Nikki by claiming that ‘100% of his bass parts’ were recorded, or any of the other flurry of lies that he made. These allegations have nothing to do with his request for corporate records. It is completely irrelevant and superfluous; and no code or case law requires such allegations to be made to get documents.

The only reason these bogus allegations appeared in this legal filing is so that Mick and his lawyer would be protected by the ‘litigation privilege’ — which protects parties from statements made in legal filings. Mick and his lawyer filed this bogus lawsuit because if these statements were made in the press, the band would sue them for defamation and slander.

This lawsuit is nothing more than a malicious attempt to badmouth the band. It’s not surprising that they made no attempt to serve us with it or ask me if I would accept service. They don’t want these documents — they just used this as an opportunity to mislead the public to create leverage.”

You can read a whole lot more from Kovac and the Mötley Crüe camp over at Variety.

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