D is for Dokken
It was clear from an early age that I was drawn to theatrics. I myself am not a dramatic person, nor am I particularly showy. In fact, I’m happy being quite invisible. But maybe that’s why I liked bands from the golden age of the 80s – that’s right, hair bands. Oh how I loved me some Motley Crue and Poison and Skid Row. But on the other end of the really flashy, mostly androgynous bands like that, were the others like Great White, Whitesnake, and Dokken. (Yes, I KNOW there are a gazillion others but let’s keep the list short for now.) Dokken’s magic, to me, was in their simplistic song writing but oh-so catchy tunes. I remember Alone Again when I was a kid and it’s a powerful ballad even in its basicness.
But the reason I like Dokken so much is not because they influenced my childhood but my interest in them represents the way I do all music: in cycles. I think it may have been 2008 or so that I rediscovered my love for the 80s hair metal/Sunset Strip scene. You see, in 2006 I became pregnant and my last of three children was born in 2013 so during that time, I was busy doing the mom thing. So some things simply were not on my radar. However, two things kept me afloat during those years: good music and Batman comic books. Hey, everyone needs a hobby.
I got deep in the streets into those bands and started listening to the other, less well-known groups and I sadly feel like Dokken fits into that. Do you ever hear them mentioned in the same sentence as Motley Crue? Nope. But they were there, right along with them.
Between Don Dokken’s simple yet powerful lyrics and George Lynch’s amazing guitar skills, this is an all-around solid 80s band. I am sad to say that Don no longer has the voice he once did. He went through quite a few medical issues and never came back the same. Along with those issues, the band had a lot of personal problems with one another which made touring after they split up basically non-existent. Because I missed a lot of those 80s bands because I was simply too young for concerts, a recent goal of mine has been to attend their shows when they tour now. Sure, it isn’t entirely the same but it’s what I can do. In March 2020, right before Covid, we saw Dokken in Biloxi because they finally reunited – sort of. George Lynch has his own band and he agreed to tour with Dokken and do a few songs with them. I hate to say it but Lynch Mob was better than Dokken. Now, they have an amazing guitarist touring in Lynch’s place but Don’s voice is simply shot. But I am still glad that I got to see one of my favorite 80s bands.
Here are a couple great songs. The first was used in Nightmare on Elm Street 3.