Why did the Dokken reunion fall apart?

Don Dokken explains what really happened, talks new album 'Broken Bones'
By Peter Lindblad
Dokken - Broken Bones 2012
It was time to let bygones be bygones, to beat swords into ploughshares, to put the past in the past and start anew. Those masters of melodic glam-metal, Dokken, were getting the band back together – that is to say, a reformation of the classic lineup of Don Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, and Mick Brown was afoot.
The first sign of a thawing of tensions occurred in November, 2009, when Lynch and Pilson joined Brown and Dokken for two songs at Dokken’s House of Blues performance in Anaheim, Calif. Jumping the gun before all the “i’s” were dotted and all the “t’s” were crossed, Lynch and Dokken went on “That Metal Show”in May, 2010, to share the joyous news with the world.
Sheepishly, in December of that year, retractions would be issued, and Lynch, Pilson and Brown later appeared again on “That Metal Show” to explain how their best-laid plans had gone awry. Everybody seems to have their own version of what happened.
Don Dokken has his, and in a recent interview, he was asked what ultimately scuttled the Dokken reunion. He responded with, “Well, do you want the lie or do you want the truth?”
Of course, we wanted the truth, and so Don continued, “We’ll there’s about 20 versions from George – ‘I’m just an asshole, I want all the money and I’m hard to deal with.’ Well, that’s just about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. I mean, Mick will tell you that … and Jeff. We got together. We were going to do it last year, and we were excited to do it, and it was going to be great, and we thought it would put the exclamation point on our career. We had an offer to make an extreme amount of money to do it, so that was nice. And the truth is we got back together”
Everything was going swimmingly until, “Mick flew down, we all met, and Jeff said, ‘I want to do this, but I’m committed to Foreigner for two years.’ And I said, ‘Two years? That’s the last of that,’” said Don. “I couldn’t sit around waiting for two years, so that’s the truth.”
Not everyone seems to see it that way.
“I know George posted all this shit that I held it up and I wanted too much money, and he didn’t want to be a hired gun and all that,” said Dokken. “I don’t know why George does all that stuff. There’s something wrong with that guy between the ears. He’s always been a little weird. Someone asked me when we started not getting along, and I said, ‘It wasn’t toward the middle. We didn’t get along from the day he joined the band.’ He’s two different people, man. I mean, we played a couple of shows with him this summer, and he’s always nice to me, saying, ‘How are you doing, Don?’ I said, ‘You know what George? You’re always, “Hi, hi. How are you doing?” And then the very next day you talk shit about me on the Internet. What the fuck is that all about? Why do you keep this up?’ And if you say something, he’ll lie. Just tell the truth. Practice what you preach. The truth will set you free. He’s just a different personality. I don’t hate. I don’t worry about it. And I gave up trying to defend myself on the Internet a long time ago. You get a guy, he goes to the show and then he blogs, ‘I saw Dokken and they sucked.’ I just say to people like that, ‘Well, that’s your opinion, and don’t skimp on the avocado. If you think you can do better, here’s the microphone. Knock yourself out.’”
Whether Broken Bones, Dokken’s upcoming new record, due out Sept. 25 via Frontiers, will get such a frosty reception remains to be seen. Early on, however, it seems even factions of the metal community that haven’t always embraced Dokken’s brand of hook-friendly hard rock are ready to embrace Broken Bones, which features the band’s current lineup of Dokken, Brown, Jon Levin and Sean McNabb.
“Yeah, we’re getting even the diehard, hardcore metal [publications] … like Metal Hammer and all these people who don’t really like [bands], unless they’re thrash or something like that, gave us nine out of 10,” says Dokken. “We wrote 30 songs, but I just said, ‘Jon, I don’t know, but I’m going to take every fucking producing skill I have for this record and put it in there.’ I started hearing my peers – my peers – putting out these records – I’m not going to say who they are – and I just go, ‘Man, the shit’s boring.’ Same old shit, you know. People are like … I don’t know. They just get their advance and they just go and knock out a Pro Tools record, and it doesn’t have much production, it sounds kind of cheesy. I mean, I just heard that new TNN … that Pilson, Lynch, Mick did that TNN thing – oy, yoy, yoy. It’s been out three days and it’s getting crucified.”
As for Broken Bones, Dokken believes it shows a different side of the band, one that draws from a number of classic-rock sources while trying out a whole dazzling new range of tricks. 
“Look at ‘Waterfall,’ that weird drum beat … I’ve never done anything like that, or have a timing change in the middle of a solo – I’ve never done that in my career,” said Dokken, again playing guitar in the band with Levin, his longtime collaborator. “But yeah, Jon and I wrote the record, and I just finally said, ‘I know what everybody wants, and they want the same thing we did last year or a few years ago, which sounded very ‘80s like’ … and I just said, ‘Jon, I can’t paint the same picture.’ I mean, what’s the point? I hate it when people say, ‘I wish this record was like Tooth and Nail.’ Ok, then go buy Tooth and Nail.”
We’ll have more with Don Dokken in the coming weeks. In the meantime, visit Frontiers Records site to get the lowdown on Dokken’s latest record.

Check out Dokken videos:  Dokken's Official You Tube Channel

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