MÖTLEY CRÜE held its first rehearsal with new touring guitarist John 5 on Monday (January 23) in preparation for the band's upcoming shows with DEF LEPPARD. A short time later, MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx took to his Twitter to write: "Well that was fucking epic.
"@john5guitarist walks into rehearsal and we just rip the set from top to bottom seamlessly. That took 90 minute's and then the next few hours we just laughed and told dumb rockstar war stories.
"@MotleyCrue DAY 1".
He followed that up with an Instagram Story post thanking the band's crew and gushing that "today sounded insane."
The former ROB ZOMBIE and MARILYN MANSON axeman joined CRÜE as the replacement for founding guitarist Mick Mars, who announced last October he would no longer tour with the legendary rock act 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.
In October, Sixx praised John 5, saying he "checks all the boxes" as Mars's replacement following the latter's decision to retire from touring. 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, saying: "He's been a soldier along with us for 4 decades. 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". In 2021, 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.
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.
Speculation about John 5 replacing Mars gained strength after the longtime ROB ZOMBIE guitarist failed to appear with the shock rocker at last year's Aftershock festival in Sacramento. Rob was instead joined on stage by returning guitarist Mike Riggs for the first time since 2006.
MÖTLEY CRÜE's "The Stadium Tour" with DEF LEPPARD, POISON and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2020 but ended up being pushed back to 2021, and then to 2022, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After selling more than 1.3 million tickets in 2022, MÖTLEY CRÜE and DEF LEPPARD and are going global in 2023 with their co-headline "The World Tour" along with special guest Alice Cooper. After the launch of European and Latin American dates, the U.S. dates will take place in August.
Produced by Live Nation, the U.S. leg of the world tour kicks off on August 5 in Syracuse, New York. The bands will bring their electrifying stage shows across America throughout the month of August including being the first-ever show at the H.A. Chapman Stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In November, MÖTLEY CRÜE and DEF LEPPARD announced two U.S. shows for February 2023. The two bands will play at the 7,000-capacity Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in Atlantic City, New Jersey on February 10 and February 11.
The Atlantic City shows will mark MÖTLEY CRÜE's first U.S. live appearances since Mick's retirement announcement.