GUITARIST GEORGE LYNCH ON A DOKKEN REUNION: “I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT HAPPEN…BUT, I’M NOT HOLDING MY BREATH”

George-Lynch Rock Revolt spoke with guitarist George Lynch about his current project KXM, with with dUg Pinnick (Kings X) and Ray Luzier (Korn) and his former band, Dokken. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

Rock Revolt: Is there any chance KXM, [Lynch's project ], will be doing any touring to support the album?

George Lynch: Yeah. We are touring, I think it s going to be in July and August (part of those two months.) The idea behind what we want to do is sort of do like an unannounced tour of specific dates all around the world which we then film and record, and put those out at a later date for people who were not able to go see the band live, to experience the band live in that context, because we are limited in the amount of time we can tour, at least for now. I like the idea of the secret, magical mystery tour I heard about Paul McCartney doing in the Wings days, when he would just show up in a van, show up at a college or a school or something and say , “Hey! I m Paul McCartney we just want to set up and play!” I think that’s beautiful. It’s not the way we’ll do it exactly, but something kind of mysterious. We create this mystique around the band where you kind of have to search and reach out and discover things about us, without having us shoved down your throat.

Rock Revolt: Is there any likelihood that there would ever be a Dokken reunion?

George Lynch: Well, it’s always a possibility. What it really comes down to is Don being agreeable to doing equal splits financially. That’s been a stumbling block all along. Despite all the other obstacles that we have for a reunion happening, that is actually the 800-pound gorilla problem. He feels he’s entitled to special financial treatment if we do that, which is ludicrous and was never the way the band was built. The band was always built as a shared band, and I think that’s one of the reasons it survived as long as it did and why it worked. The only person who ended up not liking that arrangement was Don and it is really heavily why the band broke up. We were up for re-negotiating our contract with Elektra in the late 80′s, which is a wonderful position to be in (that’s when you get paid and you’d kind of be set for life). But we all worked many, many years to get to that point, and Don decided, ”Well, you know what? I gotta take a chance here, and I want it all.” He wanted us to be hired guns, and he would get the multi-million dollar re-negotiated deal. That’s what it was all about. And that’s still what it’s about. So, unless he can come around and say, “Hey guys! We’re all important. We all worked equally hard. There’s enough money to go around – don’t need to be greedy here, just split it up equal, put that aside, put it in the file cabinet. Let s go to work and make a good record.” I have aspirations, but I don’t have any sense that it’s really going to ever happen. I wouldn’t be opposed; I would like to see it happen. But honestly, just to have some nice closure, make a nice bookend to our career, and make the fans happy and make a little bit-a-dough, it would be nice to see it work in a healthy way after all we ve been through, but I’m not holding my breath.

Read more at Rock Revolt.

source: rockrevoltmagazine.com

Comments

  1. Seemed very honest in his answer. Ball in your court Don.

  2. randy rock says:

    It should never be about the money its about the music..play have fun and enjoy that people like what you do.

    • Eric Heaton says:

      If its never about the $$$ then bands would play for free…do you work for free? If you worked hard to put yourself in a great financial position only to have a co-worker screw it up for you, I venture to say you would think differently….

    • Do you work for free Randy?

    • metalmania says:

      I have to agree with these guys Randy, as much as I can appreciate your sentiment if there’s not enough money they really can’t do it. Let me put it in context – we’re not talking about guys who had Van Halen or Bon Jovi levels of success – they never got big enough to do a major US headlining tour and the time at the height of their popularity was relatively short. Even if they managed whatever money they did make wisely, I doubt they made enough to last the rest of their lives. These guys have had to keep working to make a living, they’re lucky enough they’ve been able to do it by continuing to play music. It’s one thing when you’re 18 or 20 years old and chasing your dream to put up with crossing the country in a van with a bunch of other guys, but when you’re in your 40’s or 50’s with a family and a mortgage you have to make sure the bottom line is covered first. People don’t buy music the way they used to, so touring is the only way bands really make anything anymore unless you’re a superstart act backed by corporate America. Consider the lodging, food, transportation, equipment, and other costs associated with bringing a rock band all over the country (or the world), and don’t forget you need to pay the guys on the crew, you might not end up with as much money at the end of the tour as you’d think.

  3. At this stage in Don’s career (vocally), he should be jumping at the chance to do a reunion tour. I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t make more money with the original Dokken on a reunion tour (even splitting the $ equally) than the current version of Dokken (where Don likely makes most of the money.) Don’s about seven seconds away from retirement anyway, so why not have that nice bookend that George referred to?

    • Well said Ken, and I totally agree with you. I hope Don wakes up to this reality while there’s still fans who care, before it’s too late.

    • Andrew15 says:

      Even in his prime, I always thought of Don Dokken as the weak link in the band. His voice was alway a little thin – not very metal at all.

  4. Dokken was never dokken w/o it’s original members in the band.george lynch is a HUGE piece of dokken

  5. I agree, the music should be about having fun and enjoying playing together. Money is always the root to the end of most bands. We’ll just have to wait and see. The KXM album is awesome by the way!!!!

  6. Thundergd says:

    I am a long-time Dokken fan and would love to see nothing more than perhaps an album or two with the original line-up. Nothing against John Levin, he is actually a personal friend, but as much as he sounds like George, he is not George.

    I agree that a reunion would be way more lucrative than the current line-up, especially if they wrote as a team…the last couple of Dokken albums were actually pretty decent, but they are missing that Lynch/Pilson spark…

    Don, time to bridge the gap…

  7. George is still at his peak as a player and Don should stop with the money grubbing. If they got back together now they’d still be on top of there game. Jeff is amazing singer and bass player and Mr Brown is also on top of his drumming.

  8. I’m not sure how many people really care at this point. Don’s voice is shot. And, really, they were also a TERRIBLE live band. I saw them a few times in the 80s and they just had the worst stage presence I think I’ve ever seen. People decided to take a mass bathroom break during the Monsters of Rock festival I went to.

    • DC,

      Yes, they were not good at Monsters of Rock, but that was one show. Did you ever see their DVD, One Live Night? If not, I highly encourage you to do so.

      The original Dokken is, and was, an extremely talented band with some killer vocal harmonies and guitar solos.

      Dana from EddieTrunk.com :)

      • Agreed

        I seen them many times and Don had a good stage presence to me . He took control of the stage walked all over it making eye contact with fans close and far away ( or so it seemed) with confidence. Holding his mic and stand in the air . I thought he was good compared to alot of others
        it was better then seeing someone stand in one spot or dance around twirling etc like a cheese ball.

        Yeah. I can’t see Don making more now then a reunion. At least the first tour would pay better.
        I saw Don about 6 years ago and he sounded bad . And no, it wasnt a off night. He sat and smoke and drank ( not water,etc) off to the side of the stage literally between most vocal parts( not between songs/ but between parts in the same song ! ) . I couldnt believe it ! I tought what happened to this guy. I also saw him open for Queensryche a few years back . Doing a acoustic w/ one other member ,He comes out with a pitcher of booze .
        He’s come to my town a few times since but I don’t know if i’d see him again unless it was close, on a weekend, and iheard he’s better ??

  9. I’d bet if George Lynch could go back in time they’d never have named the band “Dokken.” That’s the trouble when the band is named after a key member a la “Bon Jovi” or “Van Halen.” I think it’s too late now anyways. Not enough people would care. This summer will likely be disastrous for many bands. Like Eddie has said, the same bands are hitting the road, maybe in different combinations, but same stuff with the high ticket prices. Keep milking the dying horse…..

  10. Shame about the reunion, Dokken, for me, is one of the very few bands of that era that had any substance.

    • BACK FOR THE ATTACK is a great album. The cover is cool as well.

      • Richman,

        I couldn’t agree more. That was a very underrated, and overlooked, Dokken album. I love it.

        Dana from EddieTrunk.com :)

        • Every song is a keeper. Talk to Eddie about a TMS top 5 songs off of BACK FOR THE ATTACK. 1.)BURNING LIKE A FLAME
          2.)MR SCARY
          3.) SLEEPLESS NIGHT
          4.) KISS OF DEATH
          5.) NIGHT BY NIGHT

  11. Eric Heaton says:

    Something tells me that pilson’s gig w/foreigner is a better gig..same can be said for mick brown (ted nugent)…plus it seems that the drama may be less…

    • A good point I was about to make with Jeff and Mick. Foreigner is constantly touring and playing stadium gigs, so I would imagine Jeff is doing ok with money right now. Mick doesn’t have a bad gig with Nugent either. Don had already alluded to the idea the last reunion attempt a few years ago didn’t work out due to Jeff’s Foreigner commitments. Before the money can even be sorted out, it would take some doing getting all these guys on the same page with scheduling at this point. It’s awesome George would be up to doing a reunion, but he would have to put his dozen or so various projects at any given time on the back burner. It’s a shame all these guys can’t put their collective energy and focus in a reunion since they’ll never get a better opportunity than now with the momentum and interest of classic hard rock and metal. Beyond these things, Don would be crazy not to do an even split with money. He could go from the current lineup playing biker rallies in corn fields to being a major draw in festivals and headlining in some of the smaller, but more prominent venues for the genre out there.

  12. Eric Heaton says:

    I dont get this “its not about the money its about the music” crap? People, this isnt a garage band…these arent 4 guys smoking pot and playing music while their parents are out of town…this is a professional band! It is about the money..only bcuz don is the money grubber….if the $$$ was split equally there would be no problem…sounds like don ton wants to be the metal version of glen frey?

  13. sounds like KISS all over again

  14. I love Dokken, but is there really a market for a Dokken reunion?

  15. Theses guys had something really special with Dysfunctional… Was a great album, although grunge was very in then. They could have really made that band something special. But it will never work with these guys, There egos are to big!

  16. Shawn Williams says:

    If you remember what we got out of these guys the last time they reunited. the great Dysfunctional cd! the whole cd jams, to high to fly is something that i still crank up to 11 on my speakers in my 40s. haha! Then we got the Shadowlfe cd with George before he was gone, a great great cd! Yeah I love don and the stuff that he put out without George and the original band. One of my favorites is Hell to pay. Not a bad song on the cd! But it sounds like it could be a ego thing. The bottom line is these guys put out great cd after cd with very little if no filler songs on the cds!

  17. flashrockinman says:

    If I was a singer, I’d sing like Mick Jagger. He’ll still be able to talk his way through the Stones songs on stage at 80. Just like the old blues guys. Hard rock and metal vocalists seem to struggle after 60. Except for Sammy Hagar. He must be superhuman.

    • Or my idol, the Metal God. He’s 62!

      Dana from EddieTrunk :)

    • I. I WISH I CAN SWIM. LIKE THE DOLPHINS. LIKE THE DOLPHINS CAN SWIM. You got that right. A few years back, I saw DEEP PURPLE and Ian Gillan’s lips were flapping but no sound was coming out of them and he’s one of the best ever. As Jason pointed out, even playing at a high level there is no market for DOKKEN. Don is a victim of his own arrogance. A bunch of older guys with fat guts throwing on too small DOKKEN t-shirts chanting DREAM WARRIORS while trying to pick up grandmothers rocking hair spray, Jean jackets and SHAPE-UPS is not happening. YOU. YOU CAN BE QUEEN……….

  18. metalmania says:

    I was a big fan of Dokken in the 80’s, they were my favorite band for a while and I think they had much more depth and talent than the typical “hair bands” of the day. To me they were almost like the American Scorpions. I like much of the post George and Jeff stuff too. I saw them a few years ago on the “Lightning Strikes Again” tour, with Mick on drums. Don didn’t sound good (and no, I don’t expect him to sound like he did in ’87), and Mick yelled “Everybody scream!!!” in just about every song (it got old quickly). I don’t remember who played bass, and John Levin as expected was very good, but it really just felt like Don and his backup band. He came out saying they had a “long ass show in store for us”, and played just over an hour. Not a single “deep track” for fans that actually knew everything, pretty much just the “Best of Dokken” tracklist, and only 1 song from LSA. Even though I wasn’t all that thrilled with the show, they were talking about the reunion around that time. I was really hoping it would happen, just for one last album with the original band. Then of course it fell apart, and Lynch/Pilson/Brown and friends came out with T&N around the same time that “Dokken” released “Broken Bones”. Both are good, I like T&N better. Right then I decided I no longer cared about a Dokken reunion. I’d go see T&N tonight if they were in town. Jeff Pilson is a better singer than Don is today, and he sounds great on the old Dokken stuff. Sorry Don, no disrespect intended – I hope you and your band carry on as long as you want to, you’re still writing good music. Lynch and Pilson seem like they’re just meant to work together. If you can find it, check out the “Wicked Underground” album they did together some years back, it’s also very good.

    • “Bury the beast in the box.” Pilson does have a good voice.

      Surprisingly, so does Mick Brown, it’s sort of gravely and gritty. I thought he did a pretty good job singing Tooth and Nail on the One Live Night DVD, which I highly reccommend. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qKEqYVknaQ.

      Dana from EddieTrunk.com :)

  19. They were brutal on the MOR tour. They blew it not getting the big Elektra re-sign like Motley Crue. Nowadays Lynch is just wandering all over like Rudy Sarzo. Ratt implodes because Pearcy wants the big percentage and he doesn’t own the name. Don is a moron being greedy. Foreigner catches huge money as the second bill all over with zero members from the 70’s or just Jones….Jeff knows he’d take the big cut playing Sturgis to fat 44 year old bikers or some Oklahoma corn field with Bret Michaels & Warrant.

  20. Ranger75 says:

    Come on Don, let this happen for your old fans..We have been waiting patiently for years and I am sorry, but your new guitarist isn’t bad, but he’s no George Lynch and doesn’t have the ability to come up with anything near Lynch’s caliber!!! Get your head out of your ass and lets do this!!

  21. I’m sure George wants do this for the fans but also for Dokken the band itself. It’s an important part of each member’s life that needs positive closure, singularly and as a band.
    I respect Motley Crüe
    Great band – beginning to end.

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