- Mick Mars retired from touring with Motley Crue on October 26 due to his years-long battle with the degenerative disease Ankylosing Spondylitis, which can cause spinal vertebrae to fuse together.
- Mick formed the popular metal band with bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee and lead singer Vince Neil in Los Angeles in 1981.
- Former Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 will take Mick’s place on Motley Crue’s tour with Def Leppard
Motley Crue released a statement following the news of their drummer, Mick Mars, and is retiring from touring due to his years-long battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis. The heavy metal band, founded by Mick, Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx and Vince Neil in 1981, took to their Instagram on October 27, 2022 to announce that they will continue their recent tour with Def Leppard, per Mick’s wishes, and to pay tribute to their friend and bandmate.
“We’ve watched Mick manage his Ankylosing Spondylitis for decades and he’s always managed it with the greatest courage and grace,” the group said. “Saying ‘enough is enough’ is the ultimate act of courage.” They continued: “Mick’s sound helped define Mötley Crüe from the moment he plugged in his guitar at our very first rehearsal together. The rest, as they say, is history. We will continue to honor his musical legacy.”
Read on to find out more about the legendary guitarist below.
Mick changed his name just before forming Motley Crue
Mick Mars was born Robert Alan Deal in Indiana on May 4, 1951. He soon moved to California where he began to pursue his musical aspirations. After failing to find a successful band in Los Angeles, Robert decided to change his name to Mick and placed an ad in the newspaper in 1981, known as “loud, rude, aggressive guitarist available ,” according to Loudspeaker. Nikki and Tommy answered the ad and the rest is history!
He was diagnosed with the disease as a teenager
Mick wrote in the band’s 2001 memoir The Dirt that he started having problems with Ankylosing Spondylitis when he was 19. “My hips started to hurt so much every time I turned my body that it felt like someone was lighting fireworks in my legs. I didn’t have enough money to see a doctor, so I just kept hoping that I could do what I usually do: take it away, by the power of my mind. But it kept getting worse.”
Mick became addicted to painkillers
With such a painful disease ravaging his body, Mick found some relief in painkillers. However, it became an addiction, and he ended up taking two years off from playing guitar to deal with it. “I just got worse and worse, and I just stopped playing guitar for almost two years,” Mick said Metal sludge in 2008. “Nowadays it’s not so bad, but back then when I was high on all that stuff and Motley had a break, I knew if I didn’t stop I was going to die.”
A doctor’s ‘bizarre’ treatment made Mick a better guitarist
At one of his lowest points, Mick finally spoke to a doctor who gave him some instructions to help with his struggling posture. “In the end I had to go to a neuro-psychiatrist to fix me and he told me, ‘Just hold the guitar for an hour a day – don’t play it, just hold it,'” he said. Metal sludge. “It was pretty bizarre, but I got through it, and in the end I think I’m actually a better player because of it.”
Marilyn Manson’s guitarist will replace Mick
Former Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie guitarist John 5, who recently stopped performing with Rob Zombie, will take Mick’s place on Motley Crue’s tour with Def Leppard. “I’m honored to carry on Mick’s legacy and look forward to playing these songs,” John wrote on Motley Crue’s Instagram.