AceShowbiz - Motley Crue axe-slayer Mick Mars will stop touring with the band. The 71-year-old co-founding member of the "Girls, Girls, Girls" group has become the group's lead guitarist for four decades and heroically continued to play all these years despite suffering with immense pain from severe arthritis in the spine, caused by the "crippling" degenerative disease Ankylosing Spondylitis.
"Mick Mars, co-founder and lead guitarist of the heavy metal band Motley Crue for the past 41 years, has announced today that due to his ongoing painful struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis, he will no longer be able to tour with the band," a statement read.
"Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigors of the road. A.S. is an extremely painful and crippling degenerative disease, which affects the spine."
The rocker's pain got so bad at one point, he got addicted to painkillers. Mick managed to trouper on touring after undergoing successful hip surgery. He recalled in 2008, "I kept getting worse and worse, and I just stopped playing guitar for almost two years."
"Nowadays, it's not so bad, but back then when I was high on all that stuff and Motley were having a break, I knew if I didn't stop I was gonna die. In the end, I had to go to a neuro-psychiatrist to straighten me up and he said to me, 'Just hold the guitar for an hour a day - don't play it, just hold it.' It was pretty bizarre but I got through it, and in the end I think I'm actually a better player because of it."
The news comes shortly after Motley - also comprising Vince Neil, 61, Tommy Lee, 60, and Nikki Sixx, 63 - announced a joint stadium tour with Def Leppard next year. After their stint in North America this year, the "Home Sweet Home" band will bring their epic show to the rest of the world.
They said in a statement, "We had an incredible time playing 'The Stadium Tour' in North America this summer and we truly can't wait to take the show around the globe with 'The World Tour' in 2023. Crueheads in Latin America and Europe, Get ready! We're coming for you next and can't wait to finally see all of you out there again next year!"
Mick's replacement has not been announced as of yet. There were whispers of Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 stepping in for Mick, but he denied this in a since-deleted post.