MICK MARS Refused To Believe He Would Be Confined To A Wheelchair

March 26, 2024

In a new interview with Jacqui Neal, MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars spoke about his ongoing battle with degenerative disease ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the spine joints and ligaments and can lead to stiffness over time, according to the National Institute Of Arthritis And Musculoskeletal And Skin Diseases.

The 72-year-old Mars, who began dealing with sharp pain in his tailbone starting around the age of 14, which later spread throughout his body, said: "With what I have, ankylosing spondylitis, the doctor [told] me [I would] be in a wheelchair at 25 or whatnot, and I went, 'No, I'm not.' I mean, how do doctors make their money? By keeping you sick, by telling you this or doing that. And it's, like, not to be mean to doctors because they help too, but it's, like, they don't make any money without patients. So that's kind of my feeling about it. I mean, absolutely, there's people that get so badly [physically debilitated] — let's say like Stephen Hawking [the English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who suffered from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS),commonly referred to in the U.S. as Lou Gehrig's disease], and those, of course. AS is something you've gotta fight through, for sure."

Earlier this month, Mars told Hear 2 Zen that the "worst" thing about his battle with ankylosing spondylitis, other than stupid pain, it's holding my head up. It's stiff, but still — the muscles in the back of my neck are just… It's cruddy," he said. "But I can still work. That's okay. My fingers work, my arms work, my hands work — it's all good."

Regarding the possibility of hitting the road in support of his recently released debut solo album, "The Other Side Of Mars", Mick said: "Touring, it is a beating. I wish I could. And that part comes in where I go, like, 'Ugh.' 'Cause I'd like people to hear this live."

Asked if he could see himself maybe doing a small residency in his hometown of Nashville, Mars said: "Oh, yeah, I could do that. Or just about any place, if it's a residency. 'Cause you you go a couple of days early and rest up and do that. You play your gig, take your elevator up, go back to bed, or whatever."

Mars previously discussed his health last November in an interview with Jonathan Clarke, host of "Out Of The Box" on Q104.3, New York's classic rock station. At the time, he said: "I'm fine. My AS is what it is. There's nothing I could do about that. The hard stuff, like flying here and doing this — that crap is a little difficult for me to do nowadays 'cause I'm almost a solid bone now. It got a little rough, but that doesn't mean I'm not gonna do a lot of music. As long as my brain and my hands and legs work, I'm never stopping."

In April 2023, Mars filed a lawsuit against MÖTLEY CRÜE, alleging his longtime bandmates were trying to kick him out of the group and reduce his ownership stakes because of his illness.

Mars told the band in 2022 he would be unable to tour because of his disease. The guitarist "just could no longer physically handle the rigors of the road," according to his lawsuit. But he said he would be able to perform with them in a "residency situation" and record with the band.

In response to Mick's decision to retire from the road, the lawsuit claimed, MÖTLEY CRÜE announced that Mars was "retiring" from the band and would be replaced by former ROB ZOMBIE and MARILYN MANSON guitarist John 5. Mars claimed he had no intention of retiring from the group, and accused CRÜE bassist and main songwriter Nikki Sixx of gaslighting Mars by alleging the guitarist had "some sort of cognitive dysfunction."

"The Other Side Of Mars" was released on February 23. The effort was made available via Mick'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.

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