Dokken: Dysfunction or Distorted Perception??

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See this photo? This is the one that started it. The infamous grudge. The legendary feud. The internal tensions. The rumours. Do you know what Don Dokken and George Lynch disagree about? Business. That’s it. Business. For Don Dokken there can never be enough zeros on a check made out to him. George Lynch simply doesn’t feel that way. But the image on this magazine cover launched a lifetime of  discussion and debate on just what is between these guys. Chalk up a Lifetime Achievement Award for Bad Press.

Dokken formed in the late 1970’s. The original lineup played the club scene in Los Angeles. Don Dokken went to Germany to lay down background vocals on the Scorpions “Blackout” album and was able to get a record deal through the manager of the band Accept. “Breaking The Chains” was released shortly thereafter and the famous 1980’s lineup of Dokken, George Lynch, Mick Brown, and Jeff Pilson was put together.

Through the 80’s Dokken would release three more successful albums: “Tooth and Nail”, “Under Lock and Key”, and “Back For The Attack” before disbanding in 1989. George Lynch would form Lynch Mob and Don Dokken released his own solo album in 1990 entitled “Up From The Ashes”. In 1993 he wrote and recorded another solo album but after being lured into a deal with Columbia if he would reunite with Lynch, the “Dysfunctional” album was released under the Dokken name in 1995. Columbia Records and fans worldwide had their Dokken back.

“Dysfunctional” entered the chart in the Top 50 and has sold just under half a million copies. I personally feel this is strong album from an 80’s band given it was recorded and released in the Grunge era. It has classic Dokken sound with hints of sounds current of that time which may remind you of King’s X.
I got see Dokken perform while on tour supporting this album at the infamous Toy Tiger here in Louisville. One thing that still stands out in my mind is the buzz, the energy going through the capacity crowd in anticipation of George Lynch taking the stage. It was as if the rest of the band was an afterthought. The show was incredible. The Toy Tiger has since been torn down and is now a Thornton’s gas station.
The next two years would be the last for the George/Don nucleus. Lynch would leave the band again after the release of 1997’s “Shadowlife”. In the years ahead, longtime bassist Jeff Pilson would leave for good and drummer “Wild” Mick Brown would come and go depending on what he was working on. Currently, former Dokken attorney Jon Levin fills the guitar slot and does so quite well. 
Despite rumors that surface from time to time, it’s doubtful that a reunion will take place. Dokken continues to release albums and tour regularly and George Lynch always seems to have a handful of projects in the works. But maybe someday….

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