JOHN CORABI On MICK MARS's Lawsuit Against MÖTLEY CRÜE: 'This Is Playing Out Exactly How I Thought It Would'
June 11, 2023
In a new interview with Ruben Mosqueda of We Go To 11, ex-MÖTLEY CRÜE frontman John Corabi, who joined the band in 1992 as the replacement for original singer Vince Neil, was asked he has been in contact with Mick Mars since CRÜE's founding guitarist filed a lawsuit against his bandmates a little over two months ago. Corabi responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, we didn't 'talk talk'; we were corresponding via text.
"I don't wanna get into their business 'cause it always seems to end up as clickbait somewhere," John continued. "But this is playing out exactly how I thought it would. And right now, from what I can gather, Mick is pissed. I don't know if he's rightly pissed or wrongly pissed, but he's pissed. And we'll just leave it at that. That's something that they'll sort through and figure out. And hopefully they can bury the hatchet. But who knows, dude?"
When Mars announced his retirement from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE 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, 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. In his lawsuit, Mars also alleged that he was the only bandmember to play 100 percent live on their most recent tour, claiming bassist Nikki Sixx "did not play a single note on bass during the entire U.S. tour."
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.
Earlier this month, Corabi told Sofa King Cool Magazine that he wasn't surprised by all the public fighting that has been going on between Mars and the rest of MÖTLEY CRÜE. "Nope. No. Not at all," he said. "Referencing the fact that he said last fall that he didn't "believe a word" of MÖTLEY CRÜE's initial statement explaining Mars's exit from the group, Corabi continued: "I caught a lot of flak of this. And to be honest, I don't really wanna get into Mick's business or MÖTLEY's business; it's not my place. I don't know why. I caught some flak for this when I was in Europe. I was over there in November and December doing some acoustic shows, and I did a book signing in London — it was like a Q&A book-singing thing — and a fan asked me about the press release that had just come out about Mick not touring with them on the rest of this tour. And all I said was, 'That's a statement that's been prepared by MÖTLEY and their management. I haven't heard anything from Mick. And until Mick speaks, I have nothing to say about this. But I'm not necessarily agreeing with what I'm hearing.'"
John added: "So, to me, this was just something that was inevitable. It's unfortunate, but it was inevitable. So… c'est la vie. [Laughs]"
Asked if he has seen any of the performances by MÖTLEY with the band's new guitarist, former ROB ZOMBIE and MARILYN MANSON axeman John 5, Corabi responded: "I've seen a few videos… Honestly, dude, and I don't mean this as a slight or disrespect or anything to MÖTLEY, I don't care. I really don't. Right now, we had three years of COVID. I'm happy everybody's back to work. I'm happy MÖTLEY's back out on the road. I know their tour with DEF LEPPARD here in the States was highly successful. I wish them nothing but the best. I wish Mick the best. But that's between them, man."
Corabi, who recently rejoined THE DEAD DAISIES, continued: "It's hilarious. I've been out of [MÖTLEY CRÜE] for, like, fuck, 25 years. And it's crazy. I get asked these questions, and you know, obviously, if you're online at all, one of those web sites will take a sentence that I say and just cut that out and run with that story for a week or two. But it's hilarious to me. All the comments… The fans get on there and they just sit there and they go, 'Man, doesn't that guy have anything better to talk about? He's still talking about MÖTLEY. He's still talking about MÖTLEY.' Well, it's, like, I didn't bring it up. [Laughs] Somebody else did. And truthfully, I'm just happy to be back to work myself. I've got a tour with Tom Keifer and WINGER coming up, and then I'm back with THE DAISIES. And I'm just looking forward to getting my feet wet with THE DAISIES again and getting back out and just having fun and playing some fucking music. So, as far as the MÖTLEY stuff goes, I don't wanna be rude or anything, but it's, like, I really don't think about them. I don't care. I could give a shit less what's going on in MÖTLEY CRÜE world. I could care less."
Back in December, about four months before Mick filed his lawsuit against MÖTLEY CRÜE, Corabi told Backstage Pass Rock News about the guitarist's exit from the band: "Personally, my verdict is… I have an opinion, I have a thought on what transpired, but I haven't heard anything from Mick. The statement that we've all gotten was from MÖTLEY and their management and whoever's on that side of the camp.
"I know John 5. I think he's a brilliant guitar player. I am not taking [anything] away from John, because I love the guy to death. He is a guitarist's guitarist. But I can't help but think, when we were doing the 'Generation Swine' record, there was a rub between me and Mick, which transpired during… They had already told me that they were bringing Vince back, and their manager said to me, 'Can you help them finish the record?' And I said, 'Yes.' And every day they would call me at nine or ten o'clock in the morning, and it was Nikki, this guy Scott Humphrey and Tommy [Lee, drums] — [they] were producing the record — and they would call me every day, and they would go, 'Hey, can you come by the studio and play some guitar?' And I said, 'Well, as long as Mick is cool with it, sure.' Well, every day I'd get to the studio and they just complained, like, 'Oh my God. We had Mick here yesterday till two o'clock in the morning. We couldn't get anything out of him,' and blah blah blah. So, that was '95. And then they did the record. Now, I can tell you right now most of the rhythms on that record were mine. And if Mick was sitting here, he'd go, 'Yeah, most of the guitars were his.' So I played on the 'Generation Swine' record. I don't know if Mick played on 'New Tattoo' — I'm not sure — but I know it was DJ Ashba on 'Red, White & Crüe', on the new songs, and I know on 'Saints Of Los Angeles', it was DJ Ashba. And then I know on the movie 'The Dirt', the new songs that they did [for the accompanying soundtrack], [a cover of Madonna's] 'Like A Virgin' and all that shit, it's John 5. So they haven't had Mick… they haven't been using him since — fuck — '95.
"Again, I'm just looking at things the way I look at 'em and I can't help but think that they just went for the upgrade — in their minds," Corabi added. "You do have a history there; the fans are used to that history.
"And you know what? Folks, if I am wrong, I'll come back again with you and I will say, 'I apologize. I'm wrong.' But until I hear it from Mick, I don't buy any of it."
Corabi previously talked about Mars's supposed retirement from MÖTLEY CRÜE during an appearance on a fall 2022 episode of the "Life In The Stocks" podcast. Saying that there was something else that was "kind of bugging" him about the way Mars's exit from MÖTLEY CRÜE's touring lineup was announced," he added: "Because since that announcement came out, I've reached out to Mick and his wife a few times. And Mick hasn't responded at all. And I sent [his wife] — she's from Switzerland — so when I was there last week, I sent some photos of the Alps — I was in the Alps — and I wrote to her, and I said, 'Hey, I'm in your motherland.' And she wrote back. Then I came back, and I was, like, 'Hey, man, how's Mick?' And she goes, 'He's fine.' [And I said], 'Hey, what's going on?' Crickets. So that's kind of unusual behavior for Mick and [his wife]; they would normally [be] just, like, 'Yeah, dude. Everything's cool. Whatever.'"
Speculating about the possible reasons for Mick's silence, Corabi said: "I don't know if he's embarrassed or he's maybe… Who knows? Maybe he's angry and maybe he's being told not to say anything to anybody. Maybe there's gonna be a lawsuit. I don't know. But I just know how those guys operate, and I would not be surprised if they didn't say, 'Mick, look. You're in pain. We've got John 5. We're gonna bring him in.' Maybe throw him a bone — like every time they tour, throw him some money — but 'we're gonna move forward with this guy.' It wouldn't surprise me."
Corabi clarified: "Now, this is all a theory. I know about as much as you guys do. But personally, I don't believe a word of that statement at all."
Mars — whose real name is Robert Alan Deal — served as MÖTLEY CRÜE's lead guitarist since the band's inception in 1981.
Back in 2016, Mars released snippets of two solo songs, apparently called "Gimme Blood" and "Shake The Cage". The tracks, which were recorded at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, where Mars has lived for about 10 years, featured Corabi, who appeared on CRÜE's 1994 self-titled album. Corabi later said that he didn't contribute to the writing process for the two songs, but that he was open to collaborating with Mars on some brand new material.
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