Carmine Appice says that Mick Mars's lawsuit against MÖTLEY CRÜE "vindicates" him when it comes to his comments about the guitarist's exit from the legendary rock band.
When Mars, a co-founding member of MÖTLEY CRÜE, announced his retirement from touring with the group last October as a result of worsening health issues, he maintained that he would remain a member of the band, with John 5 taking his place on the road. However, in his lawsuit, which was filed on April 6 in Los Angeles County's Superior Court, the 71-year-old musician said that, after his announcement, the rest of CRÜE tried to remove him as a significant stakeholder in the group's corporation and business holdings via a shareholders' meeting. In his lawsuit, Mars also alleged that he was the only bandmember to play 100 percent live on their most recent tour, claiming MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx "did not play a single note on bass during the entire U.S. tour."
Mick's lawsuit came less than a month after Carmine told Ultimate Guitar that he had been talking to the guitarist about his exit from MÖTLEY CRÜE: "Mick told me, 'When I was on 'The Stadium Tour', I was not happy,'" Carmine said. "Basically, everything was on tape; it was all planned out and ultimately a lot of crap. And Mick is a pretty good player, and so to now let him loose and play the way he wants, that was never going to work for him. The truth is that everything has been weird for a while with MÖTLEY CRÜE, and Mick didn't like that everything was on tape. Mick told me that people that came to see it could tell that it was all pre-recorded and that everything was on tape.
"When you play in a stadium like that, you can hear a lot of things come to the monitors or what doesn't. And with Vince's [Neil] vocals, bass, drums, guitars, and all the other stuff, it was obvious that it was all on tape. And Mick was pissed off and said, 'I can play these things. I want to play them. I don't want to make believe I'm playing them.' So, I think that's one of the reasons why he said, 'I'm done.' Sure, the disease that he has doesn't help, and it doesn't make life easy on tour, but Mick can play all the licks, and he was allowed to."
When Ultimate Guitar asked Appice to clarify that "Mick wasn't getting along with the rest of" MÖTLEY CRÜE, Carmine said: No, he wasn't. He had his own means of travel and would travel alone on a bus while the other guys flew everywhere. He said, 'Man, these guys are pissing their money away, flying to every gig.' They were all busy still trying to be rock stars, and Mick just wanted to play the music. Mick wasn't interested in wasting time and money flying everywhere, so he traveled by bus. Their lifestyles are different than his, and so there were a lot of disagreements. I think he was just done. They were supposed to have done their last tour, and then they came back. Then they did 'The Stadium Tour', and that was apparently supposed to be the last. So, when they came back again, he said, 'You can do it. I'm not going out with you for this.'"
On March 15, Sixx, who has not given any interviews about Mars's departure from CRÜE, apparently responded directly to Appice's comments, writing in a tweet: "Love how people talk FOR us without talking TO us. This is why the media has lost credibility. Obviously by printing BS they make money off of advertising and we're not into that clickbait game. When the truth comes out it will be FROM üs."
He added later that same day: "A washed up drummer trying to speak for us? And bottom feeder media running with it to make money off of lies? Welcome to the sad new world of LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME."
On March 17, Sixx took part in a Twitter question-and-answer session and was asked by one fan: "Is what Carmine Appice said true?" the CRÜE bassist replied: "A washed up drummer speaking for our band without any of the facts is as ridiculous as bottom feeder media running with stories without fact checking. When you hear the truth it will be from us."
Now, in a new interview with Goldmine, Carmine was asked if the reaction to his comments about Mick and MÖTLEY CRÜE surprised him. He responded: "Oh, it's been unbelievable. Did you see what came out since then between Mick and the rest of the band? I'm sure you did. It's all so sad, but it vindicates my story, which I never thought would start an entire viral Internet thing. The response that came out of it was amazing, and his [Nikki Sixx's] response of calling me a 'washed-up drummer' was pretty wild and pretty hurtful. But I got a great response from people through their comments, and a lot of people are behind me, so it's all good. That said, I did get a cease-and-desist letter from all these lawyers who work for MÖTLEY CRÜE, so I can't go into too much detail. I have to be careful with what I say, but then again, we're not really talking about details; we're just talking about what happened."
Carmine went on to say that he was "very surprised" by Nikki's reaction to his comments. "I didn't think he'd go there, all things considered," he said. "It really was a surprising thing because we were friends. And after the fact, I challenged Nikki Sixx to a jam-off, but I got no response. I'm not surprised, as I could jam circles around all of them. I'm sure of that. But yeah, what he said was sad because we were friends, but I guess we're not anymore. I got texts from Derek Sherinian saying, 'Man, what the hell is wrong with Nikki?' and Stephen Pearcy apparently said to Nikki, 'Dude, what the hell are you doing here? We're all friends.' And then I started to see a ton of responses from other musicians who said that they don't like Nikki, and the rest of those guys too much and that the fans have been getting on MÖTLEY a lot… I read that and was like, 'Oh, my God. I didn't know that.' I really didn't know about any of that stuff, so I had no way of knowing that this whole thing would get as big as it did."
In response to Mars's lawsuit, CRÜE's manager of 29 years, Allen Kovac, told Variety that Mars is coming out with a list of allegations "to gain leverage in a smear campaign on MÖTLEY. 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." But, he added, "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."
Kovac continued: "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."
Mars suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS),a chronic and inflammatory form of arthritis that mainly affects the spine and pelvis. After years of performing through the pain, he informed the other members of MÖTLEY CRÜE last summer that he could no longer tour with them but would still be open to recording new music or performing at residencies that did not require much travel.
Regarding Mick's claim that he was the only CRÜE member to play 100 percent live on their most recent tour, 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 described the pre-recorded vocal layering as where "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.
"But Nikki played his bass and always has," Kovac continued. "Vince was singing better than he was before (on the latest tour). That was in reviews. Now, John 5 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." He says 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."