Don Dokken spoke to Billboard about the reunion of the classic lineup of DOKKEN will play its only U.S. reunion show on September 30 at Badlands Pawn Guns Gold And Rock ‘N’ Roll in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The concert will be a warm-up gig for the band’s six-show Japanese run dubbed “Unleashed In The East”.
“This is a chance for redemption,” Dokken explained. “We’re trying to keep it positive. We’re older and mellower now. We’ve been talking on the phone back and forth — ‘How about this? What songs do we want to play? What song do you want to start with?’ DOKKEN was not really a band that spent our weekends barbecuing together. That’s not a negative; That just wasn’t the way it was. There was so much unfortunate mud-slinging when we broke up, which happens with so many bands but we’re more legendary for it. So we’re all trying to keep a positive attitude. As Jeff [Pilson, bass] put it, ‘I’ve always felt we never got a chance to put the exclamation point on the career of our lineup.’ So this will be it.”
Don also once again ruled out the possibility of DOKKEN taking its reunion tour to other parts of the world once the Japanese dates have been completed.
“My manager is getting hit up every day for pretty large sums of money to play festivals next summer, all over the world. But I had to say no,” he said. “I love the band I have now; We’ve been together for 13 years, and I don’t want to hurt that franchise. Plus if we were to continue with (the classic) lineup, old wounds might be opened, and I don’t want to revisit that. I don’t think any of us wants to. It’s all great when a marriage fails and you say, ‘I’m gonna get back with my ex’ — for a week, maybe. Six months into it, the wounds come back. I don’t want to experience that. It’s just not part of my life anymore, and I think the other guys feel the same way. So this will be enough.”
Dokken, Pilson, guitarist George Lynch and drummer “Wild” Mick Brown will launch the Japanese tour on October 5 in Osaka, before heading to Fukuoka, Tokyo for an appearance at the Loud Park festival and continuing on to Hiroshima, Aichi and finally, back to Tokyo for the final show on October 12.
Brown recently told Focus On Metal that there is still tension between Don and George. “Nothing’s changed,” he said. “I know George and Don, during the conversations to get this going, they’re already starting up… I’m tired of the bad-attitude stuff. And you put Don and George together, and it just starts happening again, and then it gets really confusing. I think it’s very sad when grown men act that way. And I’m tired of being around it, but here we go. And listen, for that kind of money, I’ll shut up and do what we used to do.”