MÖTLEY CRÜE and DEF LEPPARD have announced two U.S. shows for February 2023. The two bands, who recently teamed up for the mega-successful "The Stadium Tour", will play at the 7,000-capacity Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in Atlantic City, New Jersey on February 10 and February 11.
Presales for the Atlantic City dates begin on Tuesday (November 29),with tickets going on sale to the general public on Friday, December 2.
The Atlantic City shows will mark MÖTLEY CRÜE's first U.S. live appearances since the announcement that founding guitarist Mick Mars would no longer tour with the legendary rock act. He is being replaced on the road by former ROB ZOMBIE and MARILYN MANSON guitarist John 5.
Last month, MÖTLEY CRÜE's Nikki Sixx praised John 5, saying he "checks all the boxes" as Mars's replacement.
Sixx commented on John 5's addition to CRÜE while answering fan questions on Twitter. Asked why the band chose John 5, who is one of the credited co-writers on the three original songs on CRÜE's "The Dirt" soundtrack, Sixx said: "He checks all the boxes. He's a insane player. Has respect for our music, is funny as fuck and has history with us and we've written some pretty big hits together."
Sixx also addressed Mars's announcement that he was retiring from touring because of his long struggles with degenerative disease ankylosing spondylitis. 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.
"He's been a soldier along with us for 4 decades," Nikki said about his longtime bandmate. "We will continue to carrying our legacy to Generations of fans and honor Micks request for us to keep touring as Motley Crue."
In addition to co-writing the three songs on "The Dirt", John 5 collaborated with Sixx and Desmond Child on Meat Loaf's "The Monster Is Loose". Last year, Sixx and John 5 launched the L.A. RATS supergroup in which they were joined by Rob Zombie and drummer Tommy Clufetos.
The 71-year-old Mars — whose real name is Robert Alan Deal — served as MÖTLEY CRÜE's lead guitarist since the band's inception in 1981.
A day after Mick announced his retirement from touring, remaining members Sixx, singer Vince Neil and drummer Tommy Lee vowed to "continue the legacy." In a statement, they said: "While change is never easy, we accept Mick's decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health. We have watched Mick manage his Ankylosing Spondylitis for decades and he has always managed it with utmost courage and grace. To say 'enough is enough' is the ultimate act of courage. Mick's sound helped define MÖTLEY CRÜE from the minute he plugged in his guitar at our very first rehearsal together. The rest, as they say, is history. We'll continue to honor his musical legacy."
The statement continued: "We will carry out Mick's wish and continue to tour the world as planned in 2023. No doubt will it take an absolutely outstanding musician to fill Mick's shoes so we are grateful that our good friend, John 5 has agreed to come on board and join us moving forward. We'll see all you Crueheads out on the road!”
John 5, whose real name is John William Lowery, said: "I'm honored to carry on Mick's legacy and am looking forward to playing these songs."
In his statement, Mick said that he had decided to step back from live shows due to his "ongoing painful struggle" with ankylosing spondylitis and while he will continue to be a member of the band, he cannot "handle the rigors" of touring life.
The statement read: "Mick Mars, co-founder and lead guitarist of the heavy metal band MÖTLEY CRÜE for the past 41 years, has announced today that due to his ongoing painful struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis, he will no longer be able to tour with the band. Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigors of the road. A.S. is an extremely painful and crippling degenerative disease, which affects the spine."
John 5's involvement with MÖTLEY CRÜE as the band's new guitarist was first reported as a rumor by the Metal Sludge web site on October 7.
Speculation about John 5 replacing Mars gained strength after the longtime ROB ZOMBIE guitarist failed to appear with the shock rocker at this year's Aftershock festival in Sacramento. Rob was instead joined on stage by returning guitarist Mike Riggs for the first time since 2006.
John 5 has performed MÖTLEY CRÜE songs a number of times in the past. Back in 2018, John 5 was joined by Sixx along with ANTHRAX's Scott Ian and his wife Pearl Aday at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California to play a cover of "Shout At The Devil". Earlier this year, the guitarist ran through renditions of both "Home Sweet Home" and "Kickstart My Heart" at various shows on his U.S. tour.
In October, it was announced that MÖTLEY CRÜE and DEF LEPPARD will go global in 2023 with their co-headline "The World Tour". Produced by Live Nation, the trek will kick off on February 18, 2023 at Foro Sol in Mexico City and include stops throughout Latin America before heading to Europe in May 2023.