Mötley Crüe declare “there were no backing tracks for band members” during summer tour

Photo by Joe Schaeffer Photography

Mötley Crüe declare “there were no backing tracks for band members” during summer tour

The various accusations from guitarist Mick Mars that his former Mötley Crüe band members — bassist Nikki Sixx, lead vocalist Vince Neil and drummer Tommy Lee — had previously partly or fully used backing tracks while playing live, seemed to have rubbed his former group the wrong way.

The allegations surrounding the Crüe‘s use of backing tracks seemed to first really publicly surface when legendary drummer Carmine Appice was interviewed by Andrew Daly for Ultimate Guitar in or about mid-March 2023. At the time, Appice stated: “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.”

Sixx fired back quickly at Appice. Responding to an individual’s question “Is what Carmine Appice said true?” on Twitter, Sixx tweeted: “A washed up drummer speaking for our band without any of the facts is as ridiculous as bottom feeder media running with stories without fact checking. When you hear the truth it will be from us.” At that time, Sixx did not specifically address the allegations that Mötley Crüe were using backing tracks during live performances.

In early April 2023, Mars filed a lawsuit against Mötley Crüe consisting of (according to Variety) a “verified petition for writ of mandate to compel inspection and copying of books, records and documents” held by a half-dozen businesses (Motley Crue Touring Inc., Motley Crue Inc., Red, White & Crue Inc., Masters 2000 Inc., Cruefest LLC, Motley Records LLC, Masters 2008 LLC and unnamed Does) that fall under the Mötley Crüe umbrella. The lawsuit was reportedly filed with the Los Angeles County’s Superior Court.”

Blabbermouth posted the contents of Mars‘ lawsuit which alleged in part:

“44.  Astonishingly, Sixx made these claims about Mars’s playing while he (Sixx) didnot play a single note on bass during the entire U.S. tour. Ironically, 100% of Sixx’s bass partswere nothing but recordings. Sixx was seen fist pumping in the air with his strumming hand, while the bass part was playing.

45.  In fact, a significant portion of Neil’s vocals were also pre-recorded. Even some of Lee’s drum parts were recordings. Some fans actually noticed that Lee was walking toward his drum set as they heard his drum part begin.”

The lawsuit went on to indicate that Mars’ last concert with the band was on September 9, 2022.

Mötley Crüe were quick to respond to Mars’ lawsuit by issuing a statement on or about April 6, 2023 which indicated (as per Blabbermouth): “Mick‘s lawsuit is unfortunate and completely off-base. In 2008, Mick voted for and signed an agreement in which he and every other band member agreed that ‘in no event shall any resigning shareholder be entitled to receive any monies attributable to live performances (i.e., tours).’ After the last tour, Mick publicly resigned from MÖTLEY CRÜE. Despite the fact that the band did not owe Mick anything — and with Mick owing the band millions in advances that he did not pay back — the band offered Mick a generous compensation package to honor his career with the band. Manipulated by his manager and lawyer, Mick refused and chose to file this ugly public lawsuit. Equally unfortunate are his claims about the band’s live performances. MÖTLEY CRÜE always performs its songs live but during the last tour Mick struggled to remember chords, played the wrong songs and made constant mistakes which led to his departure from the band. There are multiple declarations from the band’s crew attesting to his decline. The band did everything to protect him, tried to keep these matters private to honor Mick‘s legacy and take the high road. Unfortunately, Mick chose to file this lawsuit to badmouth the band. The band feels empathy for Mick, wishes him well and hopes that he can get better guidance from his advisors who are driven by greed.”

While Mötley Crüe‘s statement did indicate that they always performed their songs live, they again did not specifically address the use of backing tracks.

In the comment section of one of their Facebook posts earlier today (which featured a short video of Lee drumming during a concert at Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles, California, USA on August 27, 2022), Mötley Crüe addressed the allegations that they had previously used backing tracks while playing live in their reply to an individual (Bruce Holland), who had indicated: “Saw the backing tracks tour last yr and paid dearly to see it. It’s a hard NO for me this time around…”