- Mick Mars retired from touring with Motley Crue on Oct. 26 due to his years-long battle with the degenerative disease Ankylosing Spondylitis, which can cause spinal vertebrae to fuse
- Mick co-founded the popular metal band alongside 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 be taking Mick’s place on Motley Crue’s tour with Def Leppard
Motley Crue released a statement following the news of their drummer, Mick Mars, stepping back 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 Oct. 27, 2022 to announce they will continue on with their recent tour with Def Leppard, per Mick’s wishes, and to pay tribute to their friend and bandmate.
“We have watched Mick manage his Ankylosing Spondylitis for decades and he has always managed it with utmost courage and grace,” the band said. “To say ‘enough is enough’ is the ultimate act of courage.” They continued, “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.”
Keep reading to find out more about the legendary guitarist, below.
Mick Changed His Name Right 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 chasing his musical aspirations. After failing to find a successful band in Los Angeles, Robert decided to change his moniker to Mick and put an ad in the paper in 1981, famously reading, “loud, rude, aggressive guitar player available,” according to LoudWire. Nikki and Tommy answered the ad and the rest is history!
He Was Diagnosed With The Disease As A Teen
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 hurting so bad every time I turned my body that it felt like someone was igniting fireworks in my bones. I didn’t have enough money to see a doctor, so I just kept hoping that I could do what I usually do: will it away, through the power of my mind. But it kept getting worse.”
Mick Became Addicted To Pain Killers
With such an agonizing disease ravaging his body, Mick found some relief in pain killers. However, it became an addiction, and he ended up taking two years off from playing guitar to deal with it. “I kept getting worse and worse, and I just stopped playing guitar for almost two years,” Mick told Metal Sludge in 2008. “Nowadays, it’s not so bad, but back then when I was high on all that stuff and Motley were having a break, I knew if I didn’t stop I was gonna die.”
A Doctor’s ‘Bizarre’ Treatment Made Mick A Better Guitarist
At one of his lowest points, Mick ended up seeing a doctor who gave him some intructions to help with his struggling posture. “In the end, I had to go to a neuro-psychiatrist to straighten me up and he said to me, ‘Just hold the guitar for an hour a day – don’t play it, just hold it,'” he told 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 Be Replacing Mick
Former Marilyn Manson/ Rob Zombie guitarist John 5, who recently stopped his gig with Rob Zombie, will be taking Mick’s place on Motley Crue’s tour with Def Leppard. “I’m honored to carry on Mick’s legacy and am looking forward to playing these songs,” John wrote on Motley Crue’s Instagram.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.