Mötley Crüe and Mick Mars Trade Barbs Over Lawsuit: “That Was the Worst 36 Gigs Ever”


When news broke yesterday that Mick Mars was suing his former bandmates in Mötley Crüe, there was one thing that kept coming to mind: “boy, this is going to get messy.” And much like a drunken college kid with a bad case of vertigo, shit got messy real quick, as both camps have since elaborated on the allegations and fired back at one another.

According to the lawsuit, Mars originally intended to remain a member of the band when he announced he was retiring from a majority of his touring duties. He said that he wanted to stick around to record new songs and occasionally join the band on stage to perform, since his life-long battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis had finally become too much for the now 71-year-old rocker to handle on tour.

Yet despite his intentions, Mars said he was summarily kicked out of the band and had his share of tour profits slashed from 25% down to 5%.

In response to Mars’ lawsuit, the band’s attorney Sasha Frid issued a statement to Variety, claiming that Mars actually resigned from the band and that the remaining members actually did right by Mars in the end.

“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.”

Since he technically resigned according to Frid, that resulted in the cut in tour profits that Mars is taking issue with. According to the attorney, this was all outlined in a legally binding band decision that Mars agreed to back in 2008.

“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).’”

If this were only about all the money issues, that would be the end of it. Yet if you’ve been following this whole clusterfuck, you know that’s not all.

For a while now, the band has alluded to and outright said that Mars’ playing in recent years has suffered, with the guitarist allegedly forgetting how songs are played and missing cues during live shows. The band blamed a decline in Mars’ mental faculties, but the guitarist said that’s simply not the case. Not only that, but he claims multiple members of the band were using pre-recorded tracks, so he says that if anyone should be criticized for their playing, it’s the other members of the band.

Once again, Variety got the scoop with a newly published interview with Mars, where he laid it all out in regards to any mistakes in his playing. In his comments, he said the band had been “hammering on me since ’87, trying to replace me,” and that the contention that his playing or memory diminished at all was “absolutely wrong.”

“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.”

Mars also claimed there was some audio fuckery going on during live shows that could be attributed to any missed cues or mistakes on his end.

“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.”

Looking to what comes next, Mars said he plans on sticking it out in his legal fight against his former bandmates.

“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.”

While the band’s legal representation responded to the lawsuit itself, Sixx took to social media to offer his two cents on the matter, claiming the band had been “propping [Mars] up.”

For a closer look at Mars’ interview, be sure to check the full thing out over at Variety. Similarly, you can read more of the band’s attorney’s response to the lawsuit over at Variety as well.

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