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Mötley Crüe Guitarist Mick Mars Retires from Touring

Mick Mars performs with Motley Crue at Oracle Park in San Francisco. 2022. Photo by Clay Lancaster.

After weeks of rumors and speculation, Mötley Crüe have formally announced the retirement of founding guitarist Mick Mars from future touring after 41 years. He will remain a full member of the band.

Mars has had an ongoing battle with the degenerative disease Ankylosing Spondylitis since his teenage years, which slowly causes his vertebrae to fuse. At 71 years old, Mars says the condition “is not so bad” these days, but it is time to give up the grueling demands of touring.

Rumors have been circulating about guitarist John 5 filling in for Mars on the road, since 5’s sudden departure from Rob Zombie’s band this Fall. The rumors were addressed, and classified as “just a rumor” until verified today by Mötley Crüe in an official statement:

“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. 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 you Crüeheads out on the road! Vince, Tommy, & Nikki.”

Mötley Crüe is currently preparing a 2023 world tour with Def Leppard, for which dates have been announced.