Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars announced Wednesday that he would no longer be touring with the heavy metal quartet.
The 71-year-old musician, whose real name is Robert Deal, told Variety that he will participate in future recording projects but will no longer tour “due to his ongoing painful struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.).”
The condition Mars has had since he was a teenager is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints and ligaments of the spine, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The other members of Mötley Crüe released a statement wishing Mars well, Variety reported in a separate story.
“While change is never easy, we accept Mick’s decision to retire from the band due to the challenges with his health. We have watched Mick manage his Ankylosing Spondylitis for decades, and he has always managed it with utmost courage and grace.
To say ‘enough is enough’ is the ultimate act of courage. 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.”
Back in 2001, Mars wrote in the band’s memoir “The Dirt” that he first noticed the condition when he was 19 years old and said his “hips started hurting so bad” when he turned his body “that it felt like someone was igniting fireworks in my bones,” according to Ultimate Classic Rock.
As a result of the condition, Mars suffered breathing problems and said, at times, “it felt like someone had plunged a knife into my back.”
Former Marilyn Manson/ Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 will replace Mars on tour starting next year, according to Variety.