Mötley Crüe Issue Mick Mars’ Lawsuit Statement – 2023
Loudwire: Motley Crue issue statement on Mick Mars’ ‘unfortunate’ + ‘off-base’ lawsuit:
Mick’s lawsuit is unfortunate and completely off-base. In 2008, Mick voted for and signed an agreement in which he and every other band member agreed that “in no event shall any resigning shareholder be entitled to receive any monies attributable to live performances (i.e., tours).” After the last tour, Mick publicly resigned from Mötley Crüe.
Despite the fact that the band did not owe Mick anything — and with Mick owing the band millions in advances that he did not pay back — the band offered Mick a generous compensation package to honor his career with the band. Manipulated by his manager and lawyer, Mick refused and chose to file this ugly public lawsuit.
Equally unfortunate are his claims about the band’s live performances. Mötley Crüe always performs its songs live but during the last tour Mick struggled to remember chords, played the wrong songs and made constant mistakes which led to his departure from the band.
There are multiple declarations from the band’s crew attesting to his decline which are attached. The band did everything to protect him, tried to keep these matters private to honor Mick’s legacy and take the high road. Unfortunately, Mick chose to file this lawsuit to badmouth the band.
The band feels empathy for Mick, wishes him well and hopes that he can get better guidance from his advisors who are driven by greed.
Declarations, provided to Variety, were written by the band’s production manager Robert Long, production coordinator Ashley Zapar, tour manager Thomas Reitz, Front of House engineer Brent Carpenter, monitor engineer Scott Megrath, bass tech Fred Kowalo and drum tech Steve Morrison.
Robert Long, the band’s production manager since 2007, said in the statement provided by group attorneys: “When he is off, the band’s entire performance suffers. Mick’s performance during the Stadium Tour was unworkable and very difficult to manage. It began with the band’s rehearsals in April 2022. Mick would consistently forget chords and songs so the band would have to stop and re-teach those parts to Mick to remind him of the arrangements. … Mick’s performance issues continued throughout the tour. He would consistently miss notes; play out of tune; play the wrong chords during a song; stay within a chorus of a song and never come out of it; forget the song that he was playing and start a different one; and would get lost in songs. This happened at every show. … Our playback engineer put in cues for Mick so that he would stay on course but he would miss the cues.”
Tour manager Thomas Reitz, who joined the band with the 2022 tour (and is continuing on in 2023 as the group plays with a new guitarist), declared in his statement that “Mick was struggling, forgetting chords and songs. He was not up to speed with the songs and could not play his solos. The other band members spent hours trying to help Mick. Mick would often get frustrated and confused. I also witnessed the band and crew’s frustration with Mick’s mistakes firsthand during the rehearsals. Mick’s issues continued and got worse during the tour. Virtually at every concert, he played the wrong chords, wrong song or would forget what song he was playing. A sound technician would always need to have a backup track ready in case Mick played the wrong song or chord.”
The group’s monitor engineer, Scott Megrath, who also started working with Motley Crue with the 2022 tour, said in his declaration that, at certain points,” I had to make sure that the other band members would not get Mick’s feed into their earpieces because that would confuse them and potentially ruin the show. Mick’s mistakes happened on numerous occasions and at every show. In my years of experience, I have never seen mistakes like this by a guitarist on stage.”
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Variety: Mick Mars Files Lawsuit Against Motley Crue, Alleges the Band Is Attempting to ‘Gaslight’ and Fire Him
According to documents, obtained by Variety, Mick Mars, Motley Crue’s guitarist of 41 years, has filed a legal papers requesting that the group provide pertinent information about their businesses prior to arbitration. Mars also claims that there has been a pattern of “gaslighting” in an effort to expel him from the group, and the wealth of information in his petition provides a startling glimpse at the friction between him and the others.
Mars accused the group of purposefully suppressing details concerning the multiple Motley Crue enterprises in which he owns a 25% stake. The guitarist claims that in exchange for a 5% ownership in the group’s 2023 tour, the band has requested that he sign a severance agreement, which would deprive him of those and other future interests.
The filing further alleges that he was the only one performing completely live from the top to bottom of each show, saying that the other members of the group engaged in partial or complete miming on the recent Stadium Tour.
The suit contends, “During much of the band’s recent tenure, Nikki 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.
“Astonishingly, he 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 writ 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,” the paperwork contends.
The paperwork acknowledges that “Mars, at times on the tour, did play the wrong chords, but not due to any cognitive dysfunction. Mars was playing live, but his in-ear monitors were constantly malfunctioning, causing him to be unable to hear his own instrument.”
Despite his health issues, Mars insists he can still perform his duties flawlessly and that he is willing and able to take part in anything as long as it does not put him through the hardships of touring. The guitarist planned to continue in the band for recordings, special performances, and potential residencies in addition to maintaining his financial interests.
Just prior to Mars’s retirement from touring announcement, the musician’s attorney got a “Separation and Release Agreement” to sign in which it was stated — falsely, Mars says — that he “no longer desires to furnish his services and perform in the Band,” and that “Mars no longer desires to be an officer or director of the Mötley Crüe entities,” before concluding that Mars hereby resigns as an officer and director of the Mötley Crüe Entities.”
In return for signing, his share of the band’s touring profits for the 2023 tour would be cut from 25% to 5%, and then 0% for future tours. (Although Motley Crue did a “farewell tour” in the 2010s, Sixx said recently that they now want to tour into the early 2030s.) The same decreasing-to-zero percentages would apply to merch profits, except for any shirts that portrayed his touring replacement, John 5, for which Mars would get nothing.
According to a footnote in the lawsuit, it’s common for a long-time shareholder in a band to retain those rights even after quitting or being dismissed. “Countless members have left countless bands (typically after much less than 41 years), or died, and still maintained (or their estates maintained) their shareholder, officer, and director status, as well as their concomitant right to profits,” Mars’ lawyer points out.
Mars’ attorney says he was warned 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.”
Mars’ lawyer wrote back: “Your attempt to squeeze some alleged performance issues into the phrase ‘conduct constituting legal cause for such termination’ is absurd. More importantly, however, for the band to think long and hard about, is that asserting this as a basis for termination also opens the door for a lot of public scrutiny into the quality of the performances by the other members of the band.”
Following the Zoom conference in November, Motley Crue’s lawyers sent a counteroffer to Mars, raising his share of the 2023 tour from 5% to 7.5% while requiring him to still divest himself of all interests in the band thereafter.
After Mars refused to sign the papers, the band commenced an arbitration. The new filing says the group took it to 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.”
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Thank you everyone for the support. It’s greatly appreciated.
— Mick Mars (@mrmickmars) April 7, 2023