Motley Crue Officially Name John 5 as New Touring Guitarist, Release Statement
The 71-year-old Mars, an original member, has served as Motley Crue’s lead guitarist since their formation in 1981, with singers Vince Neil and his one-time replacement John Corabi having contributed additional guitar on occasion. It’s one of the most significant lineup changes in the band’s history, as they’ve long prided themselves on still touting the original four members at such a late stage in their career.
A day after Mars revealed that he was retiring as the band's touring guitarist, Motley Crue issued a statement on the matter while also revealing that John 5 would be stepping into the role for their live shows.
Their posting reads as follows:
While change is never easy, we accept Mick's decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health.
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 Motley Crue 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. 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.
We'll see all of you Crueheads out on the road! - Vince, Tommy & Nikki
In addition, John 5 had a quote attributed to the statement as well, as he added, "I'm honored to carry on Mick's legacy and am looking forward to playing these songs."
John 5’s capabilities should not be doubted, as jarring as this news may be to many fans. He spent the last 17 years showcasing his dynamic skill set in Rob Zombie’s band and was part of Marilyn Manson’s group from 1998 through 2004. And those aren’t the only two high profile acts he’s worked with — before his stint with Manson, John 5 played on Voyeurs, the album by Rob Halford’s industrial project 2wo and co-wrote and performed on David Lee Roth’s 1998 album DLR Band.
Regarding his connection to Crue, John 5 and Nikki Sixx are very close friends and the two have worked together in the studio before, even to write new Motley Crue music. John 5 is one of the credited co-writers on the three original songs on The Dirt Soundtrack and he is also a member of L.A. Rats, the group also featuring Sixx, Rob Zombie and drummer Tommy Clufetos, who filled in for an ailing Tommy Lee during Motley Crue’s tour this year.
In October, Crue and Def Leppard shared the news that, after concluding The Stadium Tour together over the summer (with Poison, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Classless Act), they will embark on The World Tour together in 2023. That summer run sold 1.3 million tickets, raking in $173.5 million just in ticket sales, by the way.
Sixx had previously mentioned Motley Crue will next venture to South America, Europe and Asia and there’s also chatter about a 2024 Las Vegas residency to keep this reunion era going.
Meanwhile, Rob Zombie welcomed back guitarist Mike Riggs at this year’s Aftershock Festival. At the time, the frontman did not allude to John 5’s absence in any capacity, merely noting that Riggs had not performed with the group in two decades.