John 5 took to social media to refute allegations that he mimed his guitar parts onstage with Motley Crue.

These claims have been peddled on YouTube over the past few days and shared by certain rock and metal sites. One such video asserted that 5 was not playing during "Wild Side" — and at first glance, it does indeed look like the song continues while the guitarist is not moving his hands.

However, in a video posted to Instagram on Tuesday morning (which you can watch below), 5 addressed these accusations and offered a technical explanation for what he was doing. "I do this thing where I flip the pick around on my neck," he said, tossing his guitar pick in the air and catching it to complete the riff in question. He also responded to claims that his "hand isn't even on the guitar" while playing "Too Fast for Love," demonstrating his use of hammer-ons and pull-offs during the single-string riff.

"Very simple. It's not a big thing," he concluded. "A lot of things are played with one hand. A lot of musicians know this. So, nothing to worry about, no backing tracks."

READ MORE: Top 50 Motley Crue Songs

Backing Track Allegations Have Dogged Motley Crue for Years

The alleged use of backing tracks was a point of contention in former Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars' 2023 lawsuit against his bandmates. Mars claimed that after he announced his retirement from touring, his bandmates tried to rip him off financially and fully remove him from the band. The guitarist alleged that during the band's 2022 Stadium Tour, bassist Nikki Sixx "continually 'gaslighted' Mars by telling him that he [Mars] had some sort of cognitive dysfunction and that his guitar playing was subpar, claiming that Mars forgot chords, and sometimes started playing the wrong songs."

"Astonishingly, Sixx made these claims about Mars' playing while he [Sixx] did not play a single note on bass during the entire U.S. tour," the suit continued. "Ironically, 100% of Sixx's bass parts were nothing but recordings. Sixx was seen fist pumping in the air with his strumming hand, while the bass part was playing. In fact, a significant portion of [Vince] Neil's vocals were also pre-recorded. Even some of [Tommy] 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."

Although Motley Crue has been candid about their use of backing tracks and additional technology since the '80s, the band claimed in a May 2023 response to a disgruntled fan on Facebook that "THERE WERE NO BACKING TRACKS FOR BAND MEMBERS."


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Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening

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