In a recent development capping off decades of fighting within the iconic rock group, Mötley Crüe, guitarist Mick Mars filed a lawsuit on April 6, 2023, against multiple Crüe entities in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Mars alleges that the band is wrongfully attempting to remove him from binding financial agreements simply because he has a disability that prevents him from touring. This legal battle shines yet another light on the bitterness between band members.
Mötley Crüe, a band based in Los Angeles, known for their crazy antics, hit songs, and successful movie about them called The Dirt (2019). Recently, the band has maintained a significant presence on the touring circuit. Mars claims that he was the only band member playing his instrument on their latest tour, as the other members mostly relied on prerecorded tracks. The lawsuit provides insight into over forty years of acrimony within the band. Mars highlights his unwavering loyalty to his bandmates through thick and thin, including their struggles with addiction, arrests, and convictions.
The core of the dispute concerns Mars’ decision in 2022 to cease touring with the band, while remaining available for standalone gigs, residencies, and recording sessions. In October 2022, Mars notified the band of his inability to cope with the physical demands of touring due to a “horrifically debilitating” inflammatory disease. Instead of honoring his decision not to tour anymore, Mars alleges that an emergency shareholders’ meeting was convened to expel him from the band. The other band members sought to terminate his role as an officer of the corporation and were trying to seize his shares in multiple band-related entities.
Mars’ lawsuit does not individually name the band members as defendants but targets seven band-related entities, including Mötley Crüe Touring Inc., Mötley Crüe Inc., Mötley Records Inc., and Red, White & Crue Inc. One of Mar’s claims is that the band’s actions are in response to his disability, thereby constituting disability discrimination.
In his complaint, Mars highlights multiple instances of mistreatment, including bassist Nikki Sixx gaslighting him during the 2022 tour by claiming he played the wrong chords. The lawsuit further reveals multiple attempts to reduce Mars’ share of touring profits, merchandise revenues, and exclude him from future opportunities.
Mötley Crüe has been embroiled in a series of highly publicized disputes for almost four decades. These conflicts have included personal clashes, artistic disagreements, and other disputes caused by the pursuit of a demanding rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. The clashes have been fueled by arduous touring schedules, struggles with substance abuse, and individual challenges, placing immense strain on the relationship between the bandmates. One noteworthy example of many, occurred on March 3, 2014, when Mars revealed during a radio interview that he had wanted to leave the band as early as 1994.
Mars is represented by Edwin F. McPherson and Pierre B. Pine of McPherson LLP.
The case is Mick Mars v. Mötley Crüe Inc. et al., case number 23STCP01055, in the Superior
Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles
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