MICK MARS Believes It Would Be 'Impossible' For Him To Sit Down With His MÖTLEY CRÜE Bandmates And Work Things Out

February 20, 2024

Mick Mars says that it would be "impossible" for him to get together with his MÖTLEY CRÜE bandmates and resolve their differences without getting attorneys involved.

When Mars, a co-founding member of MÖTLEY CRÜE, announced his retirement from touring with the group 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 filed a lawsuit against the band in April 2023, saying 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.

Specifically, Mars claimed he was asked to sign a severance agreement that would divest him of his 25 percent stake in the band's various business interests in return for a 5 percent stake in the band's 2023 tour. This stake, the lawsuit alleged, would be reduced to 0 percent for future tours. Mick claimed CRÜE's management later upped the offer from 5 percent to a 7.5 percent stake in the band's 2023 tour, which would remain contingent on Mars divesting himself from the band and their businesses. When Mars refused to sign the papers, the band took the dispute to arbitration "rather than a public lawsuit so that the public would not be aware of the deplorable manner in which they treated their 'brother' of 41 years," Mick claimed in the lawsuit.

Asked in a new interview with Guitar World whether it would be possible for him to sit down with his former bandmates and "hash things out", Mars responded: "I would say it's past… impossible".

Mars added that he had to be careful when discussing his dispute with CRÜE publicly due to the ongoing litigation.

"I don't have a gag order, but it's like anything you say can and will be used against you," Mick said. "I have to be pretty cautious about what I say because it could be relevant to what's going on."

Regarding whether his retirement was tantamount to a resignation, Mick said: "Two different words, two different meanings. It was just retiring from the touring part. I'd actively be involved in every entity of MÖTLEY CRÜE. I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for them. I don't regret anything we've ever done — good, bad or ugly, whatever. My body just couldn't do it anymore."

Mars, who suffers from the degenerative disease ankylosing spondylitis (AS) — a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the spine joints and ligaments and can lead to stiffness over time — said that he didn't have any second thoughts over filing his lawsuit. "I couldn't do it anymore — the traveling part," he said. "I mean, I'm 72 and I have this crap [ankylosing spondylitis]. It gets a little bit strenuous for me to travel around the world and keep doing that for months at a time with a two-week break. It's just gotten to be too much for me. So yeah, that's about it."

Last month, Mick's lawyer told Rolling Stone that the issue of whether the guitarist was illegally severed from MÖTLEY CRÜE is heading to private arbitration later this year.

Mick originally sued MÖTLEY CRÜE so he could go over all the financial books and determine if he was getting what he felt he deserves.

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

"When they wanted to get high and fuck everything up, I covered for them," Mars told Rolling Stone in an interview last year. "Now they're trying to take my legacy away, my part of MÖTLEY CRÜE, my ownership of the name, the brand. How can you fire Mr. Heinz from Heinz ketchup? He owns it. Frank Sinatra's or Jimi Hendrix's legacy goes on forever, and their heirs continue to profit from it. They're trying to take that away from me. I'm not going to let them."

Mars's lawyer, Ed McPherson, told Rolling Stone that the judge's ruling on January 16 that MÖTLEY CRÜE took too long to produce some of the documents he requested confirmed his client was mistreated by his bandmates. "Finally, somebody, somewhere told these guys they can't bully Mick anymore. We're in the middle of a huge arbitration that will ultimately decide if Mick has to give up his shares or not, if they did things properly or not. Obviously we claim they didn't do anything properly. But they feel that they're above the rules. And that's what this lawsuit was about," McPherson said.

"This was them feeling they were above the rules, and this judge saying, 'No, you're not. And you may have given all the documents now, so there's nothing left for me to do, but, you're going to pay for it," he added. "I think that's a pretty huge victory for Mick. If they want to claim a victory, that's fine. But this is someone finally telling Mick, 'No, you're not crazy. These guys are bullying you. And we're not going to let it happen.'"

Last year, a short time after Mick filed his lawsuit, MÖTLEY CRÜE's manager of 30 years, Allen Kovac, told Variety that Mars decided to publicly voice his 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."

He 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."

Regarding Mick's refusal to accept an offer from the band to give him 5% of the 2023 stadium tour that he did not participate in (the offer was later upped to 7.5% percent),Kovac told Variety: "He was offered a terrific opportunity. An offer was made to him at 5%, and then up to 7.5 percent, to avoid this. What Mick's asking for is an equal share, 25% — but there's a guy named John 5 in the band. Mick resigned from touring, and John 5's getting paid. So who's gonna pay John 5? None of this makes sense."

Allen went on to say that he couldn't understand why Mars didn't take the deal. "They've got [a 2023 tour] they're about halfway through, so let's [estimate] $150 million [in gross], and then you take off for production and commissions, and let's call it 100 or 110 million. What's seven and a half percent of that? He says it's an insult. And you've got me quoting that the other two guys got zero when they were out of the band" — meaning Vince Neil and Tommy Lee, during the periods they left the group. "So where's the insult? I think Mick is part of the 1%. Please put that on the record. … Let's say it was seven and a half percent of $110 million. Could you live on that, even if you have tens of millions already?"

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