MICK MARS Sues MÖTLEY CRÜE Over Tour Profits, Says All Of NIKKI SIXX's Bass Tracks On 'The Stadium Tour' Were Pre-Recorded

April 6, 2023

**UPDATE**: A copy of Mick Mars's entire lawsuit has been embedded below.

MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars has sued his bandmates, claiming they are ripping him off financially.

Mars, whose real name is Robert Alan Deal, announced in October that he was retiring from touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE due to his ongoing painful struggle with ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the spine joints and ligaments and can lead to stiffness over time. But in his lawsuit, which was obtained by TMZ, the 71-year-old says he made it clear he could still record with the band or do limited performances, but he just couldn't handle a full tour with his condition.

Mars lawsuit, which was filed Thursday (April 6) in Los Angeles County's Superior Court, states that his bandmates held an emergency shareholders' meeting to throw him out of MÖTLEY CRÜE and strip him of his shares in the corporation that manages the group's business interests.

In the lawsuit, Mick says MÖTLEY CRÜE cut his percentage of profits from 25 percent to 5 percent after he announced he was stepping back from touring. Furthermore, he claims 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 claims 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.

"Sixx made it clear to Mars that he believed that the [5 percent] offer was a generous one, and that Mars, after 41 consecutive years with the band, did not deserve anything going forward," Mick's lawyers wrote in the filing. "Sixx further 'gaslighted' Mars by severely criticizing his performances on the U.S. tour, and exclaimed that there is no way that the band could tour with Mars anymore."

Mars also claims that Sixx would make "band decisions" without telling the other musicians and would ask his bandmates to sign documents "immediately" on Fridays at 5 p.m.

"How did Mars's brothers of 41 years respond to Mars's tragic announcement [about quitting the road]?" asks the suit, according to Variety. "They noticed an emergency shareholders' meeting for the band's main corporate entity in order to throw Mars out of the band, to fire him as a director of the corporation, to fire him as an officer of the corporation, and to take away his shares of the corporation. When he did not go away quietly, they purported to fire him from six additional band corporations and LLCs."

The suit contends: "During much of the band's recent tenure, Sixx continually 'gaslighted' Mars by telling him that he [Mars] had some sort of cognitive dysfunction, and that his guitar playing was sub-par, claiming that Mars forgot chords, and sometimes started playing the wrong songs.

"Although Mars had indicated that the 12 U.S. stadium dates would be his last shows while touring, the 12 anticipated shows ultimately expanded to 36 shows, and Mars performed at every single one of them, in constant pain. Sixx's gaslighting came to a crescendo during the stadium tour, when he, knowing that this was Mars's last tour as a result of his increasingly painful and debilitating AS, and apparently already plotting to force him out of the band and take his shares, repeatedly told Mars that he was playing the wrong chords, and that fans were complaining about his playing.

"Astonishingly, Sixx made these claims about Mars's playing while he [Sixx] did not play a single note on bass during the entire U.S. tour," the lawsuit continues. "Ironically, 100% of Sixx's bass parts were nothing but recordings. Sixx was seen fist pumping in the air with his strumming hand, while the bass part was playing. In fact, a significant portion of [Vince] Neil's vocals were also pre-recorded. Even some of [Tommy] Lee's drum parts were recordings. Some fans actually noticed that Lee was walking toward his drum set as they heard his drum part begin.

"Mars, at times on the tour, did play the wrong chords, but not due to any cognitive dysfunction," the lawsuit continues. "He was playing live, and his in-ear monitors were constantly malfunctioning, causing Mars to be unable to hear his own instrument. The fact is that Mars is rarely mocked or criticized online. He is a quiet member of the group, who shows up to play, and puts his heart and soul into each performance. Conversely, other band members are often criticized online, particularly Neil, who is routinely torn to shreds for, among other things, not remembering the songs."

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."

Regarding Mick's longtime battle with ankylosing spondylitis, which he was first diagnosed with at age 27, the lawsuit states: "This disease caused Mars' lower spine to seize up and freeze completely solid, causing scoliosis in his back, and also compressing his spine downward, so that he is now at least three inches shorter than he was in high school. His spine is now completely seized from pelvis to skull, a condition known as 'bamboo spine.' He cannot move his head in any direction."

Mick's filing claims 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.

Mick is suing MÖTLEY CRÜE so he can go over all the financial books and determine if he's getting what he feels he deserves.

The news of Mick's lawsuit comes less than a month after legendary drummer Carmine Appice revealed that he had been talking to the guitarist about his exit from MÖTLEY CRÜE: "[Mick told me, 'When I was on 'The Stadium Tour', I was not happy,'" Carmine told Andrew Daly of Ultimate Guitar. "Basically, everything was on tape; it was all planned out and ultimately a lot of crap. And Mick is a pretty good player, and so to now let him loose and play the way he wants, that was never going to work for him. The truth is that everything has been weird for a while with MÖTLEY CRÜE, and Mick didn't like that everything was on tape. Mick told me that people that came to see it could tell that it was all pre-recorded and that everything was on tape.

"When you play in a stadium like that, you can hear a lot of things come to the monitors or what doesn't. And with Vince's [Neil] vocals, bass, drums, guitars, and all the other stuff, it was obvious that it was all on tape. And Mick was pissed off and said, 'I can play these things. I want to play them. I don't want to make believe I'm playing them.' So, I think that's one of the reasons why he said, 'I'm done.' Sure, the disease that he has doesn't help, and it doesn't make life easy on tour, but Mick can play all the licks, and he was allowed to."

When Daly asked Appice to clarify that "Mick wasn't getting along with the rest of" MÖTLEY CRÜE, Carmine said: No, he wasn't. He had his own means of travel and would travel alone on a bus while the other guys flew everywhere. He said, 'Man, these guys are pissing their money away, flying to every gig.' They were all busy still trying to be rock stars, and Mick just wanted to play the music. Mick wasn't interested in wasting time and money flying everywhere, so he traveled by bus. Their lifestyles are different than his, and so there were a lot of disagreements. I think he was just done. They were supposed to have done their last tour, and then they came back. Then they did 'The Stadium Tour', and that was apparently supposed to be the last. So, when they came back again, he said, 'You can do it. I'm not going out with you for this.'"

On March 15, Sixx, who has not given any interviews about Mars's departure from CRÜE, apparently responded directly to Appice's comments, writing in a tweet: "Love how people talk FOR us without talking TO us. This is why the media has lost credibility. Obviously by printing BS they make money off of advertising and we're not into that clickbait game. When the truth comes out it will be FROM üs."

He added later that same day: "A washed up drummer trying to speak for us? And bottom feeder media running with it to make money off of lies? Welcome to the sad new world of LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME."

On March 17, Sixx took part in a Twitter question-and-answer session and was asked by one fan: "Is what Carmine Appice said true?" the CRÜE bassist replied: "A washed up drummer speaking for our band without any of the facts is as ridiculous as bottom feeder media running with stories without fact checking. When you hear the truth it will be from us."

Appice previously touched upon Mars's exit from MÖTLEY CRÜE last November in an interview with Michael's Record Collection. At the time, he said: "[Mick] just gave up his seat in touring with MÖTLEY CRÜE. And John 5 is gonna tour with them. He said, 'Man, we did our final tour [seven years ago]. Now we're out again doing this major tour with DEF LEPPARD.' And he said, 'I don't wanna do it no more. I'm sick of being in a bus.'"

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