Mick Mars Year by Year: Photos 1982-2019
Mars, whose given name is Robert Alan Deal, decided he wanted to be a musician at the age of three, after seeing a country singer named Skeeter Bond play at a fair in his native Indiana. After his family relocated to Southern California, he spent much of the '70s playing in cover bands. Wanting something different, he placed an ad in a local newspaper in early 1981 offering his services, which put him in touch with the rhythm section of Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee. Mars then recommended a singer he knew, Vince Neil, and Motley Crue was born.
After putting out their debut, Too Fast for Love, the group signed with Elektra and began their rise to fame with 1983's Shout at the Devil. While the other three soon made headlines for their decadent behavior, Mars kept a lower profile, in part because, when was 19, he was diagnosed with a condition known as ankylosing spondylitis, where the bones in the spine are fused together, causing chronic pain and limited mobility.
Motley Crue first cracked the Top 10 in 1985 with Theatre of Pain, which featured their first Top 40 single, a cover of Brownsville Station's "Smokin' in the Boys Room" and the ballad "Home Sweet Home." By then, Mars and Sixx were starting to form a potent songwriting team, and it bore full fruit on 1989's Dr. Feelgood. The duo composed eight of its 11 tracks -- two of those eight were full-band collaborations -- including four of its hit singles.
Although they closed out the '80s on a high note, the next decade would be less kind. Changes in popular music tastes and Neil's departure affected the commercial fortunes of 1994's Motley Crue. Neil soon returned, but after Generation Swine, Lee left. The original foursome reunited in 2004 and stayed together for a decade before embarking on what was called a farewell tour, with the band signing a document saying that they wouldn't tour again.
Then came the film adaptation of their memoir The Dirt that premiered on Netflix in early 2019, and the resultant increase in exposure caused them to literally blow up the agreement and announce a stadium tour with Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett for the summer of 2020. However, the coronavirus pandemic caused it to be postponed.
Mick Mars has been there for every step of Motley Crue's history. Take a look at his life in photographs below.