Jake E. Lee Recalls How Feud With Mick Mars Started
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Ratt guitarist Jake E. Lee recalled how he ended up at odds with Motley Crue guitar player Mick Mars, in a feud that almost came to blows in the ‘80s.
He also admitted that Crue might not have been so successful if he'd been part of the lineup.
Lee said that, prior to securing their fame, Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee wanted him to join their band, either in place of Mars or alongside him, which led to resentment between the pair that boiled over in a hotel room one night.
“Nikki and Tommy wanted me in the band,” Lee told Tone-Talk in a recent interview. “They actually wanted me to replace Mick … you can understand that – fucking better looking and fucking better playing. They wanted me to replace Mick. Mick's in-law or whatever was funding the band, so that didn't happen.”
When the idea of becoming the Crue’s fifth member came up, Lee thought, “‘Two guitar players. I don't know about that.’ ... So, anyway, it kind of started with that. ‘Cause there was that thing going. Whether somebody denies it or not, that's what started the rift between me and Mick.”
You can listen to the interview below.
When Crue were invited to join Osbourne’s 1984 U.S. tour – giving rise to an infamous moment, as seen in the biopic The Dirt, some details of which Lee disputes – an incident took place in Mars’ hotel room, in the presence of members of Crue and Ratt.
“Mick, being the old man, as everybody joked about, he made a complaint," Lee recalled. "I'm not sure what I said. I think just called him ‘the old man’ … and he did look over at me and said, 'At least I'm not a slant-eyed Japanese bastard.' And I did not like that — did not like it. I hadn't heard it, actually, since I was in grade school. … And it pissed me off. I walked over. I was gonna beat the fuck out of him. And it was Robbin Crosby, who was six-five, he came up to me, picked me up and said, 'C'mon, Jake. None of that shit matters.' And he carried me out of the room.”
Lee said he and Mars later settled their differences, but maintained that he was “younger, better looking and I was a better guitarist.”
Asked how his career might have panned out if he’d joined Crue, he said, “I'm not even necessarily saying it would be better. Nothing against Mick – great tone, fucking good rhythm. [He] probably was what they needed to be big. They wouldn't have been as big with me. Musically, they might have been better.”
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