Aaron Liskin was recently featured in an exclusive Variety article about the ongoing legal battle between Mick Mars and his former bandmates in Motley Crue. Mars filed suit against his bandmates in April 2023 after an announcement that he would not be touring due to his failing health led to his bandmates pushing him out of the group. At stake is the question of whether Mars, a 25% shareholder in the band’s businesses, can remain as such if not participating in tours. After his announcement, Mars was reportedly presented with a separation agreement that decreased his touring and merchandise profits from 25% to 5% and down to nothing for future tours.
The article highlights a 2008 amendment to Motley Crue’s original operating agreement, drafted when “when there was a lack of clarity over whether [Vince] Neil or [Tommy] Lee were entitled to any money in the years during the ‘90s and 2000s when they took turns quitting the band,” noting that “whether any future payments to Mars are an obligation or just a favor may come down to an arbitration judge’s reading” of the amendment. Variety asked Aaron to review the document and weigh in on how the judge overseeing arbitration might proceed after considering the amendment and arguments from both sides.
“They haven’t made an album since 2008, so what does it mean to participate, beyond touring?” Aaron shared. “The language is a little flimsy. One of the things that would likely get tested is, what was the intent? If the other members were not getting paid during their temporary resignations, and that was really the motivation for putting this together — if you’re not touring, you’re not getting paid.” He continued to note that it was curious that the document didn’t outline how equity would be redistributed if someone exited.
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