“I wanted to put a great band together like Rainbow, Deep Purple or Humble Pie. Nikki Sixx simply was not capable. So I told Tommy, ‘If this is the guy you want, I’m leaving’”: Before Mick Mars, Greg Leon was Mötley Crüe’s original guitarist

Original Mötley Crüe guitarist Greg Leon
(Image credit: Marcus Tate)

It's a common misconception that Mick Mars was Mötley Crüe's guitarist from day one. But, in truth, it was Greg Leon, along with Tommy Lee, who formed the band. And though he didn't stick around long enough to play an actual show, Leon still holds an important place in the band's history.

"I was in a band called Suite 19," Leon tells Guitar World. "And at some point, this skinny kid who had been a fan started hanging around and bugging me. He showed up at all our gigs, and at some point, he said, 'Hey, I'm a drummer.' Not too long after, our drummer left, and I ran into Tommy again and said, 'Hey, we need a drummer. Do you want to get together and jam?' So we got together and it was great. The kid knew all the songs and fit right in."

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.