Don: "I never wanted to be a singer - honestly. I mean I was a guitar player and a singer, but guitar was my thing in my earlier bands. When I played my first big show, which was opening up for JOURNEY, and our singer didn't show up! I was like, 'holy crap' so I sang and played guitar. After that I sang and played guitar and then after Breaking the Chains with George in the band we were both playing guitar, but these were the days of DAVID LEE ROTH and such so there was a downside to trying to play guitar and be the lead singer. You can't get off the mic, unless you're like SAMMY HAGAR and wear a head set. Our management said 'We think you should just front the band and let George play guitar, he's an excellent guitarist,' but it was hard. It had been my crutch; it was kind of weird at first. I ended up as the lead singer because it was the days of VAN HALEN and other bands coming out with front men running around, going stage left and stage right and working the crowds."
ÜR:You were one of the cornerstones of the LA music scene, in a time that was very special.
Don: "It was."
ÜR: It seems that there has been resurgence of bands that have been playing since that heyday releasing new material, etc. I am curious from your perspective, as someone who was in the midst of that time, was there a particular time or moment that was pivotal for you?
Don: "Well, yeah I think a pivotal moment was when we started getting a following and opening up for bands like Van Halen, etc. and then obviously I got the offer to go to Germany and sing background vocals on the SCORPIONS' album (Blackout), and that was pivotal for me. I had done a demo and the manager for ACCEPT was there, and they took my demos and handed me a plane ticket and told me I had a record deal. I got paid like 7,500.00 dollars - for the whole deal...so I had a record deal and no band. What some people don't realise is that I had a solo album out in Germany, called Don Dokken. Then when we got the American record deal, they dropped the first name, and it became Dokken."
Go to this location for the complete interview.
Don Dokken will embark on a solo acoustic West Coast tour, beginning December 7th in Tempe, AZ at Club Red. Special guest will be former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ROYAL HUNT, ULI JON ROTH vocalist Mark Boals. The set list will include many Dokken hits plus a few surprises.
7 - Tempe, AZ - Club Red
8 - TBA
9 - Hermosa Beach, CA - St Rocke
14 - Hollywood, CA - Whisky A Go Go
15 - Las Vegas, NV - Vampd
16 - San Diego, CA - Brick By Brick (with BULLETBOYS' Marc Torien, acoustic)
Rich Davenport's Rock Show features exclusive interviews with Don Dokken and BONRUD. In the first hour, Don talks about the band's new album, Broken Bones, and chooses tracks from the new release, along with classic hits and Don's choice of songs from the band's back catalogue.
In part 2, guitarist Paul Bonrud and vocalist Rick Forsgren of melodic hard rockers Bonrud discuss the band's new release, Save Tomorrow, and the experience of working with famed producer Keith Olsen (SCORPIONS, OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE), with two songs from the album.
Plus classic tracks and killer new cuts from LYNYRD SKYNYRD, NEAL SCHON, BOSTON, BLACK SABBATH, PHIL LYNOTT, HEAVEN AND HELL, SOUND STORM, and FLASH BASTARD.