Watch John 5 cover Mötley Crüe’s Too Fast For Love to celebrate the album’s 41st anniversary

John 5
(Image credit: John 5/Twitter)

Last month, John 5 was confirmed as Mötley Crüe’s new live guitarist following the retirement of Mick Mars – an announcement that put to end months of intense speculation surrounding the band’s lineup.

Now, to celebrate the 41st anniversary of his new band’s debut studio album – and as a further insight into how John 5 handles Mötley Crüe material in the build-up to the group’s upcoming tour – the former Rob Zombie guitarist has posted a clip of him covering Too Fast For Love.

The title track from Crüe’s first-ever studio LP, Too Fast For Love first arrived in 1981 and remains a regular in the band’s live setlist to this day, so it’s no surprise to see John 5 try the track on for size since it’s highly likely he’ll be playing it numerous occasions next year.

Wielding what looks like a Floyd Rose-equipped, fully fledged Fender version of his Squier J5 Frost Gold Telecaster signature guitar, John 5 makes light work of Too Fast For Love’s opening lead lines with a faithfully dialed-in tone, though sneaks in some subtle whammy bar wiggles to introduce his own sonic spice.

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It’s the latest instance of John 5 covering a Mötley Crüe song in the lead-up to the heavy metal outfit’s forthcoming The World tour next year, which will see them share the bill with co-headliners Def Leppard.

Before his official unveiling as Crüe’s new live guitarist, John 5 had included a handful of their songs into his own live solo setlist, performing tracks such as Home Sweet Home and Kickstart My Heart.

John 5 was drafted into the fold after the group’s founding guitarist Mick Mars retired from touring as a result of his ongoing struggle with ankylosing spondylitis – a painful arthritic condition that impacts his physical movements.

A statement announcing Mars’ retirement said, “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.”

Shortly after, John 5’s recruitment was confirmed, with the band labeling him an “outstanding musician” who will help them “honor” Mars’ musical legacy.

At the time, John 5 commented, “I'm honored to carry on Mick's legacy and am looking forward to playing these songs.”

The band’s bassist Nikki Sixxi waded in on the news after the announcement, and explained John 5’s selection by saying, “He checks all the boxes. He's an insane player. Has respect for our music, is funny as fuck and has history with us and we've written some pretty big hits together.” 

More recently, Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger revealed he had heard John 5 play “every single Mötley Crüe riff” flawlessly after he caught an impromptu performance from the guitarist at Tommy Lee’s birthday celebration.

“John just played… 'Cause now I'm allowed to say that he's gonna be filling in for Mick for the rest of the tour,” Kroeger recalled of Lee’s event. “And so he just sat there and played every single Mötley Crüe riff that's ever been written and recorded – flawlessly. Flawlessly. 

“You don't need to put on music when you've got that kind of talent just sitting right there. I mean, he was just running the gamut, and it was fantastic.”

John 5 will be in action with Mötley Crüe next year when The World tour kicks off in Mexico City on February 18, 2023.

To view the full list of tour dates, head to Mötley Crüe’s site.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.