Mick Mars, the guitarist for Motley Crue, recently discussed his ongoing battle with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a degenerative disease causing inflammation in the spine joints and ligaments. In an interview with Jonathan Clarke on Q104.3, Mars addressed his health, acknowledging the challenges posed by AS but expressing determination to continue making music as long as his “brain and my hands and legs work.”
I’m fine. My AS is what it is. There’s nothing I could do about that. The hard stuff, like flying here and doing this — that crap is a little difficult for me to do nowadays ’cause I’m almost a solid bone now. It got a little rough, but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna do a lot of music. As long as my brain and my hands and legs work, I’m never stopping.”
Despite the physical toll of extensive travel, Mars remains optimistic about potential limited live performances in support of his upcoming debut solo album, “The Other Side of Mars.” He mentioned a willingness to consider one-offs or residencies for a few nights, emphasizing the difficulty of international flights at his age. Mars, now 72, highlighted the realities of ageing and the toll it takes on his ability to handle the demands of touring.
I would say if there was one-offs or a residency for a couple of nights or whatever, I could do that. But it’s the flying around. And then you get, like, let’s say Japan. And it’s like a 12-hour flight or something. And it’s just, like… I mean, getting older with this crap. I’m not 30 anymore; I’m 72 years old.
In April, Mars filed a lawsuit against Motley Crue, alleging his bandmates sought to oust him and reduce his ownership stakes due to his illness. Mars informed the band of his inability to tour but expressed a willingness to participate in residencies and studio recordings. The lawsuit claimed that Motley Crue falsely announced his retirement and replacement by John 5, alleging gaslighting by bassist Nikki Sixx regarding cognitive dysfunction.
Mars’s solo album, “The Other Side Of Mars,” is set for release on February 23, 2024, under his label 1313, LLC, in partnership with MRI. Collaborating extensively with Birmingham rocker Jacob Bunton, the album features guest appearances by musicians such as Winter/Alice Cooper keyboardist Paul Taylor, Korndrummer Ray Luzier, and Brion Gamboa. Bunton, known for his work with Steven Adler and Tom Keifer, contributes lead vocals to most tracks, showcasing a diverse lineup of talent on Mars’s solo venture.