“While change is never easy, we accept Mick’s decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health,” Motley Crue wrote in a statement. “No doubt will it take an absolutely outstanding musician to fill Mick’s shoes, so we are grateful that our good friend John 5 has agreed to come on board and join us moving forward.” Mars, a co-founding member who had been in the group for 41 years, recently announced he was retiring from touring “due to his ongoing painful struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis.”
A statement from the band clarified that “Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigors of the road.”
“To say ‘enough is enough’ is the ultimate act of courage,” Motley Crue continued. “Mick’s sound helped define Motley Crue from the minute he plugged in his guitar at our very first rehearsal together. The rest, as they say, is history.”
Stepping in for Mars will be John 5, a guitarist with a long resume that includes work with David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. He also has an extensive history in Motley Crue’s orbit. John 5 co-wrote three of the songs for the soundtrack to The Dirt: “Crash and Burn,” “Ride With the Devil” and “The Dirt (Est. 1981).” He also shared a writing credit on the 2011 Sixx:A.M. single “Lies of the Beautiful People.” In 2021, John 5 joined Nikki Sixx, Zombie and drummer Tommy Clufetos in the supergroup L.A. Rats.
John 5 had served as Zombie’s guitarist since 2005, but he was noticeably absent from the singer’s recent performance. During an Oct. 6 set at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, John 5 was replaced by Mike Riggs, who previously served in Zombie’s band from 1997 to 2003. No reason for the change was given at the time. “I’m honored to carry on Mick’s legacy and am looking forward to playing these songs,” John 5 noted in a statement.
Mars’ departure from Motley Crue’s touring lineup leaves Sixx as the only constant member of the group since its formation. The band recently announced plans for a 2023 world tour alongside Def Leppard, who co-headlined alongside Motley Crue for the successful 2022 Stadium Tour.
Motley Crue Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide
The complete story of Motley Crue’s five lineup changes.