Dokken Biography

This Los Angeles, USA heavy metal band was put together by vocalist Don Dokken (29 June 1953). His first break came when producer Dieter Dierks recruited him to supply (eventually unused) back-up vocals on the Scorpions’Blackout in 1982. Dierks then allowed Dokken the remaining studio time to produce demos. These rough recordings impressed Carrere Records enough to secure him a contract, and he enlisted the services of guitarist George Lynch (b. 28 September 1954), drummer Mick Brown and bass player Juan Croucier (who later left to form Ratt and was replaced by Jeff Pilson) to form Dokken. The band’s intimate fusion of hard rock, melody and atmospherics led to a major label contract with Elektra Records. They remixed and re-released their Carrere debut, Breaking The Chains, which made the lower end of the US Billboard album chart. Thereafter, Elektra allowed the band a substantial recording budget, with producers Michael Wagener, Geoff Workman, Tom Werman and Roy Thomas Baker being used at different times. The band recorded three excellent studio albums for Elektra (Back For The Attack reaching US number 13 in December 1987) before internal disputes between Lynch and Don Dokken led the band to split in 1988. A farewell live album, Beast From The East, followed, and provided a fitting epitaph.

Lynch went on to form Lynch Mob, while Don Dokken negotiated a solo contract with Geffen Records and releasedUp From The Ashes in 1990. Pilson fronted War And Peace, but soon began writing with Dokken once more. Having been begged by Dokken fans over the preceding years for some form of reunion, they eventually elected to make it permanent. With Brown already on board, Lynch finally settled his differences with Don Dokken and rejoined in May 1994. The original line-up released the acoustic live set One Live Night (from a December 1994 concert), and recorded the lacklustre studio albums Dysfunctional and Shadow Life. Lynch left in November 1997, and was replaced by Reb Beach (ex-Winger). The latter appeared on 1999’s Erase The Slate before in turn being replaced by John Norum on 2002’s surprisingly sound Long Way Home. This album also featured new bass player Barry Sparks.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.