Are Mötley Crüe Live Shows Pre-Recorded?

todayMarch 30, 2023 171 3 5

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There is a quibbling case of verbal judo going on between songwriter/bass player Nikki Sixx from Mötley Crüe and drummer Carmine Appice (Ozzy, Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, King Kobra, Blue Murder). These strong allegations from guitarist Mick Mars himself, lay claim that Mötley Crüe live shows are for the most part, pre-recorded.

Despite playing on the first leg of Mötley Crüe’s Stadium Tour with Def Leppard, once October rolled around Mick Mars decided to call it quits citing his painful struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Ankylosing Spondylitis is a type of arthritis of the joints of the spine. Not going to lie, that sounds extremely uncomfortable.

According to an interview with Ultimate Guitar, when asked about Mars leaving the tour, Appice said…

Well, I tell you what I’ve been talking to Mick, and he told me, ‘When I was on the Stadium Tour, I was not happy.’ Basically, everything was on tape; it was all planned out and ultimately a lot of crap. And Mick is a pretty good player, and so, to now let him loose and play the way he wants, that was never going to work for him. The truth is that everything has been weird for a while with Motley Crue, and Mick didn’t like that everything was on tape. Mick told me that people that came to see it could tell that it was all pre-recorded and that everything was on tape.

When you play in a stadium like that, you can hear a lot of things come to the monitors or what doesn’t. And with Vince’s vocals, bass, drums, guitars, and all the other stuff, it was obvious that it was all on tape. And Mick was pissed off and said, ‘I can play these things. I want to play them. I don’t want to make believe I’m playing them.’ So, I think that’s one of the reasons why he said, ‘I’m done.’ Sure, the disease that he has doesn’t help, and it doesn’t make life easy on tour, but Mick can play all the licks, and he was allowed to.

Apparently, this created a lot of stress for Mars and in turn created a rift between Mick and some other members of Mötley Crüe. Detailing why Mick Mars wasn’t happy, Appice goes on to say that…

No, he wasn’t (happy). He had his own means of travel and would travel alone on a bus while the other guys flew everywhere. He said, ‘Man, these guys are pissing their money away, flying to every gig.’ They were all busy still trying to be rock stars, and Mick just wanted to play the music. Mick wasn’t interested in wasting time and money flying everywhere, so he traveled by bus. Their lifestyles are different than his, and so there were a lot of disagreements. I think he was just done. They were supposed to have done their last tour, and then they came back. Then they did the Stadium Tour, and that was apparently supposed to be the last. So, when they came back again, he said, ‘You can do it. I’m not going out with you for this.’

John Williams Lowrey, also known as John 5 has played in bands like David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson, Zim Zum as well as Rob Zombie. John 5 left Rob Zombie and became the touring lead guitarist for Mötley Crüe replacing Mick Mars. When asked if John 5 was a good replacement, Appice said…

He’s a good player. But if they’re on tape, it doesn’t matter. It’s sad because when Motley Crue first went out with Ozzy, they were smoking. I lived out in L.A., and I’d see them perform on the Strip; they’d walk in with their makeup, and they looked like the New York Dolls. A lot of people said, ‘They’ll never make it; that look is over.’ But a year later, they blew up and did it all themselves. They put their posters all over town, and they were selling out arenas quickly. Then they got a record deal with Tom Werman producing, and that’s when Ozzy caught wind of them and asked them to open for us. At that point, they were really good.

Once Nikki got wind of the Appice interview,  Sixx was none too happy. Considering their past friendship, what Appice said didn’t sit well with him, not in the slightest. Despite Appice being a known legend and influential for many famous drummers, Sixx showed no quarter in his tweets below.

Carmine Appice has been a long time friend to not only Mars, but also the entire band…

I got to be friends with them all, and I used to hang out with Tommy [Lee] and Nikki [Sixx] all the time. They lived around the corner from where I lived, and we’d go to breakfast all the time. And I used to go to Tommy’s house with him when he was with Heather [Locklear]; we were good friends, too. I had a red Ford Pantera, and that’s why Vince [Neal] got on, which is the car he crashed and killed Hanoi Rock’s drummer in.

So, yeah, I was good friends with all of them. I remember that when they did their second record, I lent them a bass drum of mine, which they used on the album. I went down to the studio while they were recording, and I realized that the bass sound that Tom Werman was getting was not that great, so I stepped in and lent them mine. In the end, it sounded great. I stayed in touch, but then, as they got bigger and bigger, things changed. But again, all of Tommy’s tricks that he does, a lot of that came from me. He credited me for that, and I respect him for it. He became a good drummer. I watched him grow, and I watched him get huge. So, it’s sad that we’re not in touch anymore.

What the motives of Carmine Appice are for doing such an interview, only he knows. Considering he was such close friends with Mötley Crüe in the past, I’m sure there is an additional story there. A representative of Mick Mars’s wrote that Mars decided to retire from touring due to health difficulties.

Do you think Mötley Crüe are using pre-recorded shows in their live tours?

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