A month after Mötley Crüe confirmed that founding member Mick Mars was retiring from touring, the band revealed their first batch of shows with new guitarist John 5.
Fresh off their stadium tour with Poison, Joan Jett, and Def Leppard in 2022, Mötley Crüe will rejoin Leppard in 2023 for a number of more intimate shows on Feb. 10 and 11 at the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in Atlantic City, New Jersey, before both bands embark on a larger world tour. Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe will kick off their world tour on Feb. 18 in Mexico City and continue on throughout Latin America and Europe before wrapping up on July 6 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Mars’ retirement from touring—which cited his decades-long battle with ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic, inflammatory form of arthritis that has gradually impaired his movement—was announced by the band on Oct. 27, along with news of his replacement John 5.
“While change is never easy, we accept Mick’s decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health,” said the band in a statement. “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.” The band added that “Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigors of the road.”
Following the announcement, John 5, real name John William Lowery, said “I’m honored to carry on Mick’s legacy and am looking forward to playing these songs.”
The guitarist, who played in David Lee Roth’s band in the 1990s and later with Marilyn Manson has been a fixture in Rob Zombie’s band since 2005. Lowery has also worked with Paul Stanley, Alice Cooper, Steve Perry, and a number of other artists before joining Mötley Crüe.
John 5 recently posted videos on social media playing guitar along with the band’s 1987 hits “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Wild Side.”
“He checks all the boxes,” wrote Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx shortly after the band revealed he would replace Mars. Sixx and 5 co-wrote three original Mötley Crüe songs—”Crash and Burn,” “Ride With the Devil,” and “The Dirt (Est. 1981),” which appeared on the soundtrack to the 2019 Netflix adaptation of the band’s 2001 autobiography, The Dirt. The duo also collaborated with Desmond Child on Meat Loaf’s “The Monster Is Loose,” off his 2006 album, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. In 2021, Sixx and 5 also debuted the supergroup L.A. Rats, featuring Ozzy Osborne and Zombie drummer, Tommy Clufetos.
“He’s [an] insane player,” added Sixx. “Has respect for our music, is funny as fuck, and has history with us, and we’ve written some pretty big hits together.”
Photo: Rob Fenn / Adrenaline PR