Motley Crue has announced that guitarist and founding member Mick Mars is retiring from touring.

A statement from the band, published by Variety, noted that Mars' retirement was "due to his ongoing painful struggle with Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.)." The statement further clarified that "Mick will continue as a member of the band, but can no longer handle the rigors of the road."

Mars had always been the elder statesman of Motley Crue. Born in 1951 (though some have questioned the accuracy of that year), the rocker originally named Robert Alan Deal was more than seven years older than all of his Crue bandmates. Health issues plagued Mars throughout his career, most notably the aforementioned ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic, inflammatory form of arthritis that has gradually impaired his movement.

This is certainly not the first time one of the core members of Motley Crue has departed. Among the more memorable lineup changes, frontman Vince Neil was replaced by John Corabi from 1992 to '96, and drummer Tommy Lee left the group for three years around the turn of the millennium to pursue other musical endeavors. Still, Mars has been a mainstay in the famously volatile band. Assuming this is indeed the end of his touring Crue tenure, the final stop of the Stadium Tour, Sept. 9 in Las Vegas, will prove to have been his last performance with the group.

Motley Crue recently announced plans for a 2023 world tour alongside Def Leppard, who co-headlined the wildly successful 2022 Stadium Tour trek. The band has not yet officially named a replacement for Mars in their touring lineup.

Mick Mars Year-by-Year Photos 1982-2022

Pictures from throughout the career of Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars.

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