Former Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars has spoken out about his recent legal battle with the band, following the lawsuit he filed against them over his share of profits.
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In a new interview with Variety, Mars detailed his thoughts on the ongoing arbitration, as well as his feelings towards his ex-bandmates.
“Those guys have been hammering on me since ’87, trying to replace me,” he said. “They haven’t been able to do that, because I’m the guitar player. I helped form this band. It’s my name I came up with [the Motley Crue moniker], my ideas, my money that I had from a backer to start this band. It wouldn’t have gone anywhere.”
Mars has alleged that he was “unilaterally” removed from the band after announcing his retirement from touring due to ongoing struggles with an arthritic disease called ankylosing spondylitis last October. As a result, he claims his profit share was cut from 25 per cent to five percent.
According to legal papers filed in Los Angeles County’s Superior Court on April 6, Mars’ attorney, Edwin F. McPherson, says the band deliberately withheld information about the various Mötley Crüe businesses that he has a 25 per cent ownership share in, reports Variety.
The guitarist has alleged the band demanded he sign a severance agreement that would divest him of those and other future interests, in return for a five per cent stake in the group’s 2023 tour, which is going on without him.
The filing alleges that the group had a pattern of belittling Mars for years, telling him he had cognitive issues and insulting him about alleged poor playing on tour, including the stadium outing he completed with the band last year.
“Anyway, that was the worst 36 gigs ever had with the band,” he said in the interview. “I don’t know, and I can’t say I positively know, but I have a pretty good feeling that they wanted me gone anyway. Because they’ve been wanting that since forever. It’s just frustrating for me. I’m pretty upset that they’re even pulling this crap, when I carried these bastards for years.”
Mars also alleges that the other members of the group engaged in partial or complete miming on that tour, saying that he was the only one performing completely live from the top to bottom of each show.
“I promise that I can go to any place and play any of those songs right now, and I haven’t played them since October. I mean, 40 years of playing the same eight songs, you know. [Laughs.] That hasn’t changed. In my defense. It’s like, Jesus, man!”
In response to Mars’ lawsuit, Sasha Frid, the band’s litigation lawyer said: “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).
“The band did everything to protect him (and) tried to keep these matters private to honour 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 advisers who are driven by greed.”