DON DOKKEN CONFIRMS THAT THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP WILL BE REUNITING FOR SHOWS IN JAPAN, BUT, ADDS “I DON’T WANT TO DO IT IN AMERICA OR EUROPE OR ANYWHERE ELSE”
During an appearance on The Classic Metal Show (which you can listen to below), Dokken frontman Don Dokken confirmed the long-rumored news that he and longtime drummer Mick Brown have booked a handful of Japanese shows with former guitarist George Lynch and bassist Jeff Pilson — thus temporarily reuniting the lineup responsible for the group’s most commercially successful albums. But just as quickly as he giveth, Dokken taketh away, issuing a stern reminder that this is just a quick break for the current version of the band.
So what convinced the gang to get back together, even if only temporarily? Money — and lots of it. As Dokken explained, he made his terms clear 15 years ago, and it’s only now that someone has stepped up to offer the “one and a lot of zeros” he needed to justify a reunion.
“I approached George and Jeff, and I said, ‘You guys wanna make a s—load of money for about one week of work?’ And I told them the price, and I told them how much I wanted and how much they’d make, and, basically, they could make more money in one week than they’d probably make in several years. And so everybody said, ‘Okay,’” explained Dokken. “So I said, ‘Well, I’ll do it on the condition that I don’t wanna do it in America or Europe or anywhere else. Just six shows in Japan.’ ‘Cause we were very big in Japan, and it’s just a reunion tour. So they agreed, and we’re gonna do six shows in Japan.”
No matter how much money they stand to make, Dokken insists he’s very happy with his current lineup, which is free from the
“drama” that went along with the group’s biggest sales. And besides, he knows Lynch and Pilson are busy with their own projects — even if he couldn’t resist taking a little dig at his old sparring partner Lynch.
“I feel bad for my agents, ’cause they’re getting bombarded from these offers for us to play these big festivals all over the world as a reunion, but I’m just not interested. I’m sorry, I’m just not,” said Dokken. “Jeff’s busy. He plays like crazy in Foreigner. He’s on the road. George is out, you know, playing the bars with Lynch Mob, so everybody’s busy.”
Dokken also voiced his displeasure with his bandmates over their willingness to discuss the reunion before the contracts had been signed, but vowed to stay “removed” from the personality conflicts that split the lineup in 1989 — and even hinted that, while there won’t be any further shows following their six-date Japanese tour, fans could end up getting a live DVD out of all this.
Six shows isn’t a lot, and it’s worth wondering whether Dokken will manage to get through the entire itinerary, given their history of conflict — and the large role money has played in getting them back together. Brown admitted to a certain lack of enthusiasm during an appearance on Mitch Lafon’s podcast last month, saying he didn’t necessarily agree with the reasons for the reunion.
“Listen, if I had to be real honest with you, it’s the money we’re doing it for, and I think that’s the wrong reason,” said Brown. “I think the reason should be we want to play together, and I don’t think anybody wants to play together, but the money we’re being offered to do it, you can’t say no. And, to me, that’s the wrong reason. But there it is.”