Watch Mick Mars tear through a set-closing Kickstart My Heart in his final show with Mötley Crüe

Mick Mars performs with Mötley Crüe at Nationals Park on June 22, 2022 in Washington, DC
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images/Live Nation)

Earlier this week, electric guitar titan Mick Mars announced his retirement from touring with Mötley Crüe, a band he's been a part of since their inception in 1981.

Mars has spent decades battling Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.), a painful degenerative disease that affects the spine, and a statement from his representatives said that his decision stemmed from his no longer being able to "handle the rigors of the road" due to the condition. 

After they first disbanded in 2015, the glam-metal mainstays reunited for a North American stadium tour with Def Leppard, Poison, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts that was originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, then subsequently postponed first to 2021, then 2022 due to COVID-19. 

The trek wrapped up with a September 9 gig at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, at which the band played a 15-song set loaded with hits like Dr. Feelgood, Girls, Girls, Girls and Shout at the Devil.

Last up on the setlist was Kickstart My Heart, an adrenaline shot of a rocker defined by Mars' riffing and motorcycle-evoking Floyd Rose antics. 

You can see fan-filmed footage of the band's performance of the song – the final song of the final show of Mars' onstage career with the band – below.

The cumulative wear and tear of the full tour certainly shows on frontman Vince Neil's voice, with the band's over-the-top props and wild onstage pyrotechnics also competing for viewers' attention.

Through it all though, just as he did for decades, Mars stands steady, anchoring the song's riff-heavy attack with precision, even through what one could only imagine was significant pain.

“To say ‘enough is enough’ is the ultimate act of courage,” Mötley Crüe said in a statement (opens in new tab) following the announcement of his retirement. “Mick’s sound helped define Mötley Crüe from the minute he plugged in his guitar at our very first rehearsal together. The rest, as they say, is history. We’ll continue to honor his musical legacy."

Mars's place in the band is set to be taken by John 5, who added in a statement (opens in new tab) of his own that he was "honored" to carry on Mars's legacy.

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.