Is MICK MARS One Of The Most Underrated Guitar Players Of The 1980s? He Responds

February 14, 2024

In a new interview with Detroit's WRIF radio station, host Meltdown told Mick Mars that he thinks the MÖTLEY CRÜE co-founder is "one of the most underrated guitar players of the '80s." Mick said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, that's okay. It's okay with me [if] you think I'm underrated. I think there's a lot of people who think like you, as well [as those who don't feel that way] so much. Maybe because I don't fly over the frets and do 900 — how many notes can I fit between the clicks? I don't know. Probably the guitar player that played a speed that I would have liked to play, but I never really delved into that deep was Alvin Lee [of TEN YEARS AFTER] when he did 'I'm Going Home'. That, to me, was fast playing, 'cause it was melodic and the notes were clean, and it fit the song. And so, that was where my face went, like, 'Oh, you can do that too? Okay.'"

After Meltdown told Mars that the guitar solo for MÖTLEY CRÜE's "Home Sweet Home" is "the perfect guitar solo", Mick said: "Oh, thank you. That just came up. I didn't really have anything planned. I just winged it, actually, and just played it and perfected it, of course. It was real minor things, but it is what it was when I played it. It's pretty much how it is."

Last year, Mick — who is currently in a legal battle with his former bandmates Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Vince Neil, over his removal from the band following his decision to retire from touring following decades of suffering with degenerative bone condition ankylosing spondylitis — told Rolling Stone magazine that he barely played on MÖTLEY CRÜE's last three albums: "Generation Swine" (1997),"New Tattoo" (2000) and "Saints Of Los Angeles" (2008).

"I don't think there's one note that I played [on 'Generation Swine']," Mars said. "They didn't want my guitar to sound like a guitar, basically. They wanted it to sound like a synthesizer. I felt so useless. I'd do a part, they'd erase it, and somebody else would come in and play."

According to Mars, the situation didn't improve much for the follow-up, the aforementioned "New Tattoo".

"I didn't write any of those songs, since I wasn't invited," he says. "I think I got one lick on that album."

It's an assertion that Sixx denied to Rolling Stone. "Mick played lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and any other guitar that's on that record," Nikki said.

Most of the guitar work on "Saints Of Los Angeles" was reportedly done by onetime GUNS N' ROSES guitarist D.J. Ashba, who also played with Sixx in SIXX:A.M.

"Mick was struggling to play his parts," Nikki explained to Rolling Stone. "So there's [a] mixture of D.J. and Mick, and we would always make Mick the center focus unless, of course, he couldn't play his parts or remember his parts."

Mick's debut solo album, "The Other Side Of Mars", will be released on February 23. The effort will be made available via Mars's own label 1313, LLC, in partnership with MRI.

Birmingham, Alabama rocker Jacob Bunton collaborated extensively with Mars on "The Other Side Of Mars".

Bunton had previously worked with former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Steven Adler and CINDERELLA frontman Tom Keifer, and has songwriting credits with Mariah Carey, Steven Tyler and Smokey Robinson, among others.

Bunton sings lead on all but two of the 12 songs on "The Other Side Of Mars".

Other guests on the LP include WINGER/ALICE COOPER keyboardist Paul Taylor, KORN drummer Ray Luzier, and Brion Gamboa, who handled lead vocals on the songs "Undone" and "Killing Breed".

Bunton previously fronted the Alabama bands MARS ELECTRIC and LYNAM.

When Mars announced his retirement from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE in October 2022 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, he has since filed a lawsuit against MÖTLEY CRÜE in Los Angeles County's Superior Court, claiming 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.

Mars — whose real name is Robert Alan Deal — served as MÖTLEY CRÜE's lead guitarist since the band's inception in 1981.

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