Not a day goes by at the moment without poor Mick Mars being in the rock world news. This time it comes courtesy of Def Leppard‘s guitarist, Phil Collen who stated that “Mick was in pain” in an interview with Barbara Caserta of Linea Rock.
Def Leppard are currently on tour with Motley Crüe as part of the Stadium Tour which kicked off in the United States last year along side glam metallers Poison and first lady of rock Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Sadly in October 2022, Crüe guitarist Mick Mars (71) announced that he was stepping away from touring due to his health. This didn’t mean that he was retiring from performing altogether, Mick was more than happy to take part in recording sessions and the odd gig. Mick was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (a form of chronic inflammatory arthritis of the spine and pelvis) when he was 17 and has left him in a lot of pain. He had hip replacement surgery in 2004 but this then lead to further complications to his spine which eventually froze altogether.
In an interview earlier this month, Mick confirmed this as his reason to step away from touring but his health is one of the main points in regards to a lawsuit that he has against once fellow band mates Motley Crüe. One point which is stated in the lawsuit is that bassist Nikki Sixx had been ‘gaslighting’ Mick for some time about his ability to play, calling it “cognitive dysfunction”.
For a more in depth look at the lawsuit, read the LA Times article by Nardine Saad.
Phil’s comments came when he was asked about John 5 (former Rob Zombie guitarist) coming on board for this leg of the tour.
“We’d done the American tour with him (Mick), and he has physical issues. So it was great that John 5 had come out. John 5 is just a wonderful human being and plays great and everything, so he fits in. “Phil Collen, Def Leppard speaking to Barbara Caserta, Linea Rock
But Phil also went on to say that Mick struggled with the travelling part of the tour due to his pain, not that he couldn’t perform which Nikki Sixx has claimed was the case. Nikki claimed that Mick was missing notes and couldn’t keep up. A bit rich considering there are rumours (and is stated in the lawsuit) that Nikki mimes and not all of Tommy Lee’s drum parts are live. Read more about this story on Deadline.
Def Leppard’s drummer Rick Allen also talked about Mick leaving the touring side of Motley Crüe back in February while on the podcast “Appetite for Distortion”:
“Mick has suffered terribly, terribly with pain; you see it on his face all the time. And I think the only time I ever saw him truly in his element [was] when he was up on stage playing with the band. It was more his decision.”Rick Allen, Def Leppard speaking to Appetite for Distortion, February 2023
Motley Crüe have never been far away from a good story but the lawsuit has brought a shade of sadness and bitterness to the community. It has divided fans and with Nikki Sixx constantly making public swipes during the process is only adding fuel to the fire.
Def Leppard have just announced the release of their album, “Drastic Symphonies” out on 19th May 2023. The album takes their biggest hits with revamped vocals and completely reimagined with London’s iconic The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Stadium Tour lands in the UK on May 22nd in Sheffield with further dates in July. Check out the tickets now!