MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars has given his first interview about his decision to file a lawsuit against the band that he was a part of for more than four decades, claiming that he "carried these bastards for years" and insisting that he is "not gonna let anybody take" away from him his "part of this company" that made MÖTLEY CRÜE what it is.
Mars's attorney Edwin McPherson filed the lawsuit on behalf of the guitarist in Los Angeles County's Superior Court on Thursday (April 6),requesting that seven corporate entities associated with MÖTLEY CRÜE hand over records related to their business dealings after he notified the band that he would be retiring from touring due to a medical condition. Mars claims the other members of the band formed a campaign to kick him out of the group and remove him from his ownership in the band's company.
In the lawsuit, Mick said MÖTLEY CRÜE cut his percentage of profits after he announced he was stepping back from touring. Furthermore, he claimed the band's lawyers made him feel like he should be grateful for even that small cut, because they didn't feel they owed him anything at all. Mick also claimed there was a full band meeting and they decided to "unilaterally" remove him from MÖTLEY CRÜE.
Mick also repeatedly accused bassist Nikki Sixx of "gaslighting" him about his guitar skills diminishing, despite the fact that Sixx didn't "play a single note on bass" during a recent tour, according to the guitarist. Mick claims all of Nikki's parts were pre-recorded.
In his interview with Variety, Mars stated about his bandmates: "Those guys have been hammering on me since '87, trying to replace me. They haven't been able to do that, because I'm the guitar player. I helped form this band. It's my name I came up with [the MÖTLEY CRÜE moniker], my ideas, my money that I had from a backer to start this band. It wouldn't have gone anywhere. And then to be hearing stuff from people like Bob Daisley from Ozzy Osbourne's band, when we were touring with them, and Carmine Appice… [In his 2014 memoir, Daisley recounted a conversation with the other members of MÖTLEY CRÜE on a tour bus in 1984 when they allegedly solicited his advice about firing Mars, and he strongly advised against it, saying Mars was an integral part of their chemistry. Daisley retold the story in an interview four months ago which was published on BLABBERMOUTH.NET.]
"The thing that they keep pushing, for many years, is that I have a bad memory. And that's full-blown, out-of-proportion crap. Around 2012, when they first started saying that my memory was bad and I didn't remember the songs, I came home and saw all my doctors, because I keep myself together, because I'm an old bastard. They had all the 10th Street people there [from the band's management] — probably about five or six people — [versus] all my doctors going: "There's nothing wrong with him." And now they're still playing that game with me.
"So, no, the truth is: I want to retire from touring because of my AS [Ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory, arthritic disease that causes vertebrae to fuse]. I don't have a problem remembering the songs. I don't have a problem with any of that stuff. But I do have a problem with them, constantly, the whole time, telling me that I lost my memory. No. Wrong. That's wrong. Absolutely wrong.
"But my stupid body is telling me 'No, don't do that' [stay on the road]. You know, I'm gonna be 72 years old, and I've been touring with these guys 41 years, helping build the brand, helping do this and that. And you're served with papers and going, this is crazy. This is stupid. I mean, come on."
Regarding his allegations in the suit that 100% of the bass parts were pre-recorded and some of the singing and drum parts were not live, Mars said: "Yes, on this particular tour, Nikki's bass was 100% recorded. Tommy's [Lee] drums, to the best of my knowledge, there was a lot. I can't say he did all of it recorded, but there were some reports from people in the audience that said, 'Oh, I heard the drums playing, but there's no Tommy on there. The song started, and there's no drummer.' Stuff like that. And actually everything that we did on that stadium tour was on tape, because if we didn't, if we missed a part, the tape would keep rolling and you'd miss it.
"Anyway, that was the worst 36 gigs ever had with the band," he added. "It was 36 [instead of the originally scheduled 12] because they knew I wanted to retire from it after that. [Mars says in the suit he did not want to do the extra two dozen dates that got added but went along with it.] I don't know, and I can't say I positively know, but I have a pretty good feeling that they wanted me gone anyway. Because they've been wanting that since forever. It's just frustrating for me. I'm pretty upset that they're even pulling this crap, when I carried these bastards for years."
As for what he expects to happen from here, now that he has filed this suit, Mick said: "I think that those guys are hoping that I'll just fold and lay down. Because I've done that many times. But this thing that I helped build for 41 years, I'm sorry, you're not gonna take that from me. I worked very hard for that. It's mine. I'm keeping it. You can't have it. Sorry. But they're well prepared, I can already tell you, because I've known them that long too. But I'm not backing down. I'm not gonna fold. And we'll see what happens. I'm most definitely not afraid of them, or intimidated or anything else."
On the topic of whether he thinks the MÖTLEY CRÜE fans will be disappointed to know for sure that he and the other CRÜE members are "not a band of brothers, per se," or that he thinks people are cynical about it and will automatically think, "Well, of course bands hate each other, Mars said: "Well, that's the way it works. Every band hates each other, right? But it's hard to predict. There's gonna be a lot of disappointed people, and there's gonna be a lot of ones who go, 'Yeah, tell me something new.' But on the stage, all the band members are like a unit, until they're off the stage and then they're not anymore.
"I can't put a number on it, but there's gonna be a lot of people going: 'What the hell is wrong with these guys? You know, Mick just wants to have some peace,'" he added. "I mean, I'm an old man! [Laughs] I think some people will really, really care and go, 'No Mick, no band.' But they say that about everybody (who leaves a group). It is what it is. And like I said, I'm a part of this company that made this name. I'm not gonna let anybody take it from me — anybody."
You can read Mick's entire interview with at Variety.com
Sasha Frid, litigation counsel for MÖTLEY CRÜE, told CNN in a statement that Mars's lawsuit is "unfortunate and completely off-base," and that Mars, and the other members of MÖTLEY CRÜE, signed a 2008 agreement that "in no event shall any resigning shareholder be entitled to receive any monies attributable to live performances (i.e., tours)."
Frid's statement continued to say that after Mars publicly resigned from MÖTLEY CRÜE, "the band offered Mick a generous compensation package to honor his career with the band" despite "the fact that the band did not owe Mick anything."
In the statement, MÖTLEY CRÜE also refuted Mick's allegations that various members performed some songs to pre-recorded tracks while on tour and that Sixx "gaslighted" Mars, creating a false narrative that Mars was making mistakes on tour because of cognitive dysfunction, calling them "equally unfortunate."
"MÖTLEY CRÜE always performs its songs live but during the last tour Mick struggled to remember chords, played the wrong songs and made constant mistakes which led to his departure from the band," MÖTLEY CRÜE said. "The band did everything to protect him, tried to keep these matters private to honor Mick's legacy and take the high road. Unfortunately, Mick chose to file this lawsuit to badmouth the band."
They concluded: "The band feels empathy for Mick, wishes him well and hopes that he can get better guidance from his advisors who are driven by greed."
According to Variety, Mars's attorney says he was warned by the band's lawyers that "if your client rejects the severance package that was graciously offered to him by the band, he will get next to nothing. I suggest you think about the repercussions of this decision… There is undisputed legal cause here for Mick's removal. Mick is unable to perform as a full-fledged band member. Among other things, as demonstrated during the last tour, he repeatedly forgets his chords, does not play the right song, plays chords of a different song while on stage, and so on."
Mick's filing claimed that MÖTLEY CRÜE filed an arbitration case against him in February, "essentially suing him" to prove that it had the right to fire him from the band.
"They clearly commenced an 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," lawyers for Mars wrote in the petition.
On Thursday, Sixx tweeted out a link to a Variety story on MÖTLEY CRÜE's response to Mick's lawsuit, and he included the following message: "Sad day for us and we don't deserve this considering how many years we've been propping him up-We still wish him the best and hope he find's lawyers and managers who aren’t damaging him. We love you Mick".