Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars to retire due to ‘crippling degenerative disease’

Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars has announced his retirement from touring, citing health issues.

The 71-year-old founding member of the Los Angeles heavy metal band will no longer go on tour, although he will remain a member of the four-piece group.

In a statement provided to Variety, Mars’s rep wrote: “Mick Mars, co-founder and lead guitarist of the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe for the past 41 years, has announced today that due to his ongoing painful struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), he will no longer be able to tour with the band.

“Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigours of the road. AS is an extremely painful and crippling degenerative disease, which affects the spine.”

Mars’s tour replacement has not yet been announced, however, rumours have circulated that John 5, the guitarist known for his work with Marilyn Manson, may take his place.

The news comes shortly after the group told fans that they will be going on another leg of their co-headline tour with Def Leppard, which is scheduled to cover Europe and Latin America between February and July 2023.

In 2014, Mötley Crüe announced that they would be embarking on a “farewell” tour, but in 2019 they announced their reunion for an additional tour the following year.

Mick Mars (Getty Images)
Mick Mars (Getty Images)

After having been postponed twice, it finally took place earlier this year.

For years, Mars – real name Robert Deal – has struggled with AS. He first opened up about his experiences with the disease in the band’s 2021 biographyThe Dirt.

“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,” he wrote.

“Then, one afternoon while doing my laundry. I started having trouble breathing. At first, it felt like someone had plunged a knife into my back. But as the weeks passed, the pain kept moving around my back. Next, my stomach started burning, and I worried that my whole body was about to fall apart.”

He continued: “I thought that there was a hole in my stomach, and acids were leaking out and destroying my bones and organs. I’d grab hold of doorknobs, anchor my legs into the ground, and pull with my hands to stretch my back and ease the pressure out.”

It was in the early 2000s when his condition worsened, and he lost a lot of weight and became addicted to painkillers. He later underwent hip surgery, which successfully allowed him to tour again.