Mötley Crüe confirm replacement guitarist following Mick Mars’ retirement

Rob Zombie's longtime guitarist John 5 will be stepping into Mars' shoes for the band's upcoming tours

Mötley Crüe have announced that Rob Zombie‘s guitarist, John 5, will be replacing Mick Mars with them on tour.

Earlier this week, Mars’ representatives issued a statement saying that the founding guitarist would be retiring from his role in touring with Mötley Crüe, due to his ongoing battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis – a degenerative disease he’s suffered from since childhood. No replacement was named at the time, but Mötley Crüe have since issued their own statement, naming John 5 (real name John Lowery) as the man stepping into Mars’ shoes.

“While change is never easy, we accept Mick’s decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health,” they wrote on social media. “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,” they continued.

“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.”

“I am honored to carry on Mick’s legacy and am looking forward to playing these songs,” added Lowery.

Mars has only stepped back from touring at this stage, though the band’s statement reads as if it’s more of a permanent departure. See it in full below.

Lowery has a long history in the metal scene, having played with former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth, as well as Marilyn Manson and the aforementioned Rob Zombie.


He’ll join Mötley Crüe on their planned 2023 world tour, which they’ll be embarking on alongside Def Leppard. They’ll kick things off in South America in February, before heading to Europe and the UK. It comes after the two bands completed a North American tour this summer, wrapping up on September 9 in Las Vegas.

The band have already started thinking about their touring schedule for 2024, too, with frontman Vince Neil saying another tour is on the cards, and potentially a third Las Vegas residency.

In other Mötley Crüe-adjacent news, rocker Machine Gun Kelly and partner Megan Fox dressed up as Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson for a Halloween party over the weekend. Kelly portrayed Lee in 2019’s Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt, which earned a one-star review from NME.

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