Nikki Sixx, John 5 and the ongoing Mötley Crüe brouhaha – only in the new Guitar World

october 2023
(Image credit: Rob Halfin)

I guess everyone expects me to say something nice about the person who’s on our cover. I mean, it’s not like I'm ever gonna say, “Yeah, I know he’s on our cover, but this guy sucks!”

That said, I don’t think I’ve ever been in the presence of a more “precise” guitarist than John 5 (BTW, I was tempted to add the word “dedicated” to that sentence, but I don’t want to piss off all the other guitarists I’ve met in my 12.5 years at GW. But I’m still tempted to add it…).

The last time Mr. 5 was physically in the “Guitar World space” was March 2019, when he dropped by our studio to shoot a few videos tied to his upcoming album with the Creatures, Invasion.

Everything was done in one take. And I mean everything, including, “Could you please play bars 16 to 21 again for this other camera angle, Mr. 5?” This ain’t normal (at least on my planet) – and this is also where the word “dedicated” re-enters the conversation.

When I get home at 2:30 a.m. after a Friday-night gig, I might not say hello to my Telecaster again until 10:30 p.m. the following Friday. And I’ve met pros who’ve told me similar stuff, including the great Albert Lee. But John 5, well… As he told us a couple of years ago, "I play so much guitar that it might not even be healthy – and I’m not joking. I was playing just before you called, and I’ll be playing again as soon as I get off the phone.”

So whatever you or the loudmouth down the street think about the whole Crüe/Mars/5 situation, all I can say is the band got themselves a good one. And on that note, our coverage looks a bit like this:

Crüe to the 5th power: Monster guitarist John 5 details his love of Mick Mars, his sudden need for a Floyd Rose (or two) and, of course, his apparently no-brainer ascension into the ranks of Mötley Crüe (by Joe Bosso).

When Sixx met 5: “We never saw it coming that Mick Mars wasn’t going to be able to tour and was going to have to have to quit the band!” Nikki Sixx provides his own account of how the recent (and ongoing) Crüe brouhaha went down – and how John 5 entered the fold (by Joe Bosso).

If Sixx was 9: A guitar-centric look back at Mötley Crüe’s nine studio albums (by Andrew Daly).

Time to change yer strings!: 10 times a band swapped out their famous guitarist for a fresh face (by Andrew Daly).

My Pedalboard: What Mötley Crüe’s new guitarist sees when he looks down (by John 5).

The ultimate poltergeist: How John 5 decided to revolutionize one of the oldest electric guitar designs for this year’s eye-catching Fender John 5 Ghost Telecaster (by Amit Sharma).

This issue (AKA the action-packed October 2023 issue of Guitar World) is available right here, right now.

October 2023

(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.