“Mötley Crüe was a whole different animal from what I’m doing. Writing the anthems was what the band was all about. Then it got a little sideways…” Mick Mars opens up on the highs and lows of life in Mötley Crüe – and his solo rebirth

Mick Mars
(Image credit: Future / Jeff Fasano)

You don’t start a conversation with Mick Mars by asking, “How are you?” It comes out more like, “How are you?” He’s used to it. Ever since the guitarist went public in 2001 with his decades-long battle with ankylosing spondylitis – a pernicious, inflammatory form of arthritis in which the vertebrae grow together and fuse the spine – he’s become accustomed to discussing the state of his health. 

“I actually feel pretty good,” he says. Speaking via Zoom from his home in Nashville, Mars sits in a chair and his body is rigid; he’s lost most of the mobility in his spine and has a pronounced head-forward posture. His arms and hands, however, are completely unaffected; he waves them around freely and frequently. 

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.