He was the band’s guitarist for over four decades

Motley Crue Mick Mars
Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe [Matt Bishop/The Rock Revival]

Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars has retired from touring. Mars, 71, is an original member of Mötley Crüe. He has recorded and toured with the band for their entire career since 1981. The announcement comes on the heels of the band’s reveal of The World Tour with Def Leppard in 2023. An official statement was provided to Variety.

Mick Mars, co-founder and lead guitarist of the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe for the past 41 years, has announced today that due to his ongoing painful struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.), he will no longer be able to tour with the band. Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigors of the road. A.S. is an extremely painful and crippling degenerative disease, which affects the spine. Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigors of the road.

– Mötley Crüe

Mötley Crüe wrapped up The Stadium Tour of North American with Mars last month. According to Pollstar Box Office reports, the bands’ summer-long Stadium Tour – which included support from Poison and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – grossed $176,542,805 on 1,341,035 tickets. The shows averaged 37,250 tickets for an average gross of $4,903,966.

The trek topped Pollstar’s 75Live Chart, which ranks all active concert tours worldwide by the average number of tickets sold. Through the first 11 shows alone, the tour moved 96% of available tickets for an average of 36,934 seats sold per show. The performances averaged a gross of $4.9 million, beating out acts like Billy Joel, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Halsey, and more. The tour’s top-grossing date was August 25 at Glendale, Arizona’s State Farm Stadium at nearly $6.4 million. Two days later, the tour brought in nearly $6.2 million at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

Mick Mars’ final performance with Mötley Crüe came on September 9 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Next year, Mötley Crüe will be continuing with The World Tour alongside Def Leppard. The trek kicks off on February 18, 2023 in Mexico City, MX. In May, the European leg begins with a performance in Sheffield, UK. Stream the official tour trailer below. In addition to their own headlining dates, both bands are slated to perform at some of the world’s biggest rock music festivals including Sweden Rock Festival, Finland RockFest, COPENHELL in Denmark, and Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium.

Motley Crue
Mötley Crüe [Matt Bishop/The Rock Revival]

While there’s no official word yet, but many are speculating that Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 will be taking Mars’ place on stage with Mötley Crüe. Throughout his career, John 5 has also toured and recorded extensively with Marilyn Manson, Rod Stewart, David Lee Roth (Van Halen), and others. The rumor has good merit, as John 5 has history with The Crüe.

In 2019, John 5 co-wrote the songs “The Dirt”, “Crash and Burn,” and “Ride with the Devil” for the soundtrack to Netflix’s Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt.

John 5 is also very close with Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, whom he called his “best friend.” In a 2019 interview with Outburn Magazine, John 5 said of Sixx,”We love each other. He has inspired me and taught me so much about life in general. He’s a phenomenal songwriter, lyricist, author, everything. He’s always telling me to listen to this audio book or see this movie. He has a happy marriage, a happy life, a successful band he started from the ground up. He’s one of the most inspiring people. He’ll text me all the time to read something or try something. It’s wonderful. He’s a phenomenal photographer as well. I remember him telling me that he’s going to take bass lessons again and get into playing with his fingers. He was so dedicated.”

For over 40 years, Mötley Crüe have embodied all that is excess in rock ‘n’ roll. They exploded onto the Sunset Strip in the early ’80s with their raw-as-hell debut album Too Fast For Love in 1981. The band achieved their greatest commercial success in the late ’80s with 1987’s Girls, Girls, Girls, which hit No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200. The follow-up, 1989’s Dr. Feelgood, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and spawned five huge hit singles. Both albums are now certified over 7x platinum. 

Throughout their legendary career, The Crüe have garnered three GRAMMY® Award nominations and four American Music Award nominations. They won the American Music Award for Favorite Hard Rock/Metal Album in 1990 for Dr. Feelgood. In 2006, the band received their Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mötley Crüe are one of the best-selling artists of all time, with over 80 million records sold worldwide. The band’s last album, 2008’s Saints of Los Angeles, debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums Chart. It sold approximately 100,000 copies in its first week of sales.