Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars files lawsuit against band after touring dispute
(CNN) — Mick Mars, guitarist for the 1980’s heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the band that he was a part of for four decades.
Mars is requesting that seven corporate entities associated with Mötley Crüe hand over records related to their business dealings following a 2022 dispute stemming from Mars notifying the band that he’d be retiring from touring due to a medical condition. Mars claims the band subsequently attempted to oust him altogether and diminish future earnings he claims he’s entitled to, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by CNN.
“It is beyond sad that, after 41 years together, a band would try to throw out a member who is unable to tour anymore because he has a debilitating disease. Mick has been pushed around for far too long in this band, and we are not going to let that continue,” Ed McPherson, the attorney representing Mars who filed the lawsuit on Thursday, told CNN in a statement.
McPherson said in the suit that when Mars notified Mötley Crüe that he’d retire from touring due to his “debilitating” Ankylosing Spondylitis, a condition that mainly affects the spine, he made it clear that he had no intention of leaving the band, that he could still record with them and still perform with them in a “residency situation.”
The suit alleges the band then called an emergency shareholders meeting for Mötley Crüe’s main corporate entity “in order to throw Mars out of the band, to fire him as a director of the corporation, to fire him as an officer of the corporation, and to take away his shares of the corporation.”
Sasha Frid, litigation counsel for Mötley Crüe, told CNN in a statement that Mars’s lawsuit is “unfortunate and completely off-base,” and that Mars, and the other members of Mötley Crüe, signed a 2008 agreement that “in no event shall any resigning shareholder be entitled to receive any monies attributable to live performances (i.e., tours).”
Frid’s statement continued to say that after Mars publicly resigned from Mötley Crüe, “the band offered Mick a generous compensation package to honor his career with the band” despite “the fact that the band did not owe Mick anything.”
The lawsuit also outlines years of frayed relationships and tumult among members of the band, including allegations that various members performed some songs to pre-recorded tracks while on tour and that bassist Nikki Sixx “gaslighted” Mars, creating a false narrative that Mars was making mistakes on tour because of cognitive dysfunction.
McPherson noted in the suit that any errors Mars may have made while on tour were due to his in-ear monitors “constantly malfunctioning, causing Mars to be unable to hear his own instrument.”
“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,” Frid said in the band’s statement.
Mötley Crüe famously reunited in 2019 and announced a new tour after performing what was supposed to be their last show at the end of 2015.