Is John 5 about to be announced as Mick Mars’ replacement in Mötley Crüe?

John 5
(Image credit: Gary Miller/WireImage)

Next year, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard will embark on a mammoth co-headlining stint around the UK, Europe and South America – dubbed The World Tour – with news of an upcoming tour serving to intensify certain rumors that have been circulating the internet for the past few weeks.

Namely, is John 5 poised to be announced as Mick Mars’ replacement and the new electric guitar player in Mötley Crüe? If spectators on the internet are to be believed, then the answer is a resounding “yes”, and there’s a fair amount of evidence to support such a claim.

Recently, rumors began to report that Mars – who has long battled health issues as a result of his ankylosing spondylitis – will be stepping back from the band’s touring duties due to the painful arthritic condition that impacts his physical movements.

Though seemingly unrelated at the time, John 5 was not present at a recent Rob Zombie gig at the Aftershock Festival in California, with the guitarist’s position in the band coming into question after the surprise return of Zombie’s old guitarist Mike Riggs and the lack of official word explaining John 5’s absence.

When speculation arose concerning John 5’s potential switch to Mötley Crüe, the guitarist issued a denial in response to the “rumor” on social media, though has since deleted the comment. John 5 further stoked the flames by posting a picture of himself alongside Crüe drummer Tommy Lee.

The timing of the post has sent the guitar world into a further frenzy – that, and the fact musician and podcast host Jason Green seemingly confirmed John 5’s appointment in a recent installment of Waste Some Time with Jason Green.

“A lot of people are tuning in right now for the hot [John 5 story],” Green said via Metal Sludge. “I am not saying it’s a rumor, I am reporting it as fact: that John 5 will be joining Mötley Crüe for their upcoming foreign tour.”

Another high-profile commentator on the topic is LA Guns guitarist Tracii Guns – a close friend of Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, who acknowledged the speculation in a post on social media.

“I have got a ton of messages about the rumor of Mick leaving Mötley and what my opinion is if John 5 replaces him,” he wrote. “First of all it's a rumor and who knows? But, if it's time for Mick to tap out then that's his business. John 5 in my opinion is a great choice if the rumor is true.”

A further piece of evidence fans are employing is the fact that during a handful of his solo shows earlier this year, John 5 incorporated Mötley Crüe covers into his setlist. On August 24, for example, John 5 performed Crüe’s Home Sweet Home.

Later, on August 31, John 5 performed another Crüe cover – Kickstart My Heart – footage of which can be found above.

It's unclear whether we’ll get an official confirmation of John 5’s supposed recruitment any time soon, but we imagine we’ll be made aware of any lineup changes well before Mötley Crüe’s The World tour kicks off in February next year.

For updates, and a full list of tour dates, head over to Mötley Crüe’s website.

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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.