Dokken frontman Don Dokken had a recent chat with book author Greg Prato for Songfacts to promote Dokken‘s new upcoming album The Lost Years: 1978-1981, which will be released on August 28, 2020.
He talked about Dokken past and the fact that would have ended up had they not broken up in the late ’80s.
“I already know what would have happened. We would have been a huge band playing sold-out arenas. We were totally prepped. Our manager said, “Look, you’ve done Monsters of Rock. You’ve played stadiums. The next record, you’re going to do a world tour headlining – no more supporting. Give me one hit, and it’s going to be over. You’re going to be on.”
And… we broke up. Our management started shifting all their attention to their other band, which was Metallica, and then they did the Black Album. We probably would have had a Black Album if we would have stayed together and put our heads together. We were right there on the precipice. We were already playing arenas and selling out 10,000 seaters, and then we were playing stadiums. We were right on the precipice of next album, world tour, done deal.
And we didn’t make it because I couldn’t take it anymore. The drug abuse was so rampant. I’m not putting the finger on them, but I never did coke – it wasn’t my thing. And those guys were coked-up out of their minds, as was everybody – you can’t just say Dokken. Dokken was known for infighting because they publicized it. I can name you five bands that have the same problem. I don’t know why they publicized the feud between George and I so much, but there’s a lot of bands out there that have the same problem with the singer and the guitar player. It’s always the “Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth” kind of thing. Van Halen had the same problem.
If we would have survived the Monsters of Rock tour, I think we probably would have been a huge headliner, but it was bad timing. When we did Monsters of Rock, we had already been on the road for over a year. Van Halen hadn’t toured in two years, Metallica hadn’t toured, the Scorpions hadn’t toured – they were all fresh. We had just finished a world tour with like, five other bands, playing all over the world twice. We were pretty burned out.”