Mick Mars on Mötley Crüe Lawsuit: “They’re Trying to Take My Legacy Away”


Things haven’t been great for the relationship between Mötley Crüe and their former guitarist, Mick Mars. Last year, Mötley Crüe announced that Mars was stepping away from his touring obligations with the band and that guitarist John 5 would be stepping in. No statement from Mars was given at the time and, in April of 2023, he filed a lawsuit against his former band for allegedly removing him from the group and trying to cut him out of profits that he says are owed. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, he opens up about the situation, his solo album and the future.

“When they wanted to get high and fuck everything up, I covered for them. Now they’re trying to take my legacy away, my part of Mötley Crüe, my ownership of the name, the brand. How can you fire Mr. Heinz from Heinz ketchup? He owns it. Frank Sinatra’s or Jimi Hendrix’s legacy goes on forever, and their heirs continue to profit from it. They’re trying to take that away from me. I’m not going to let them.”

Naturally, bassist Nikki Sixx denies that this is the way things went down, flipping the accusations on Mars, as they’ve done before. Before the start of their European tour, Sixx said of the matter:

“We’re sitting there, coming back from retirement, and our guitar player can’t remember songs. We were there watching him physically fall apart, mentally fall apart, his memory fell apart. We really were, with kid gloves, always trying to support Mick. We’ve always stood by his side. But we couldn’t let his side of the stage just be a train wreck. And now he’s only saying these things because he’s trying to hurt us. What’s the point? He’s destroying his own legacy.”

The topic of which albums Mars played on also comes up; he claims that he hardly played on Generation Swine or New Tattoo, with Sixx disputing the second claim.

“Mick played lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and any other guitar that’s on that record. And Mick is a guy who wrote some pretty cool riffs, but he’s not a songwriter. And everyone forgets Mick’s health during this time. This is during the period that he had disintegrated into opiate addiction.”

Everyone agrees that guitarist D.J. Ashba played many parts on 2008’s Saints of Los Angeles—Mötley’s most recent music until new recordings are released—as an uncredited musician because Mars was having issues in the studio.

While that matter plays out, Mars is moving on to other parts of his life, for what he estimates are the remaining eight years he has to live. He spoke to Rolling Stone about his new album, Another Side of Mars, and told the publication that he would not be touring in support, though he is open to the possibility of one-off shows or residencies. He’s also sold his publishing rights to the Mötley Crüe catalog.

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