The first photo of the reunited classic lineup of DOKKEN — singer Don Dokken, guitarist George Lynch, bassist Jeff Pilson and drummer "Wild" Mick Brown — can be seen below (as originally posted on Pilson's Facebook page).
The group will play its only U.S. 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".
Asked how he feels about the DOKKEN reunion, George told TeamRock: "Well, um, it's a mixed bag. It's complicated. But the overarching feeling I have is I'm glad it's happening for the right reasons. One of which is money. But another of which is putting a nice bow and closure on an important part of our professional and artistic lives, and also for people who care about this kind of music. Because it was important to their lives. And with all the bad things going around it's nice to see that people can come together sometimes. I just think it makes people feel good. I know it's a drop in the bucket, but, you know, I'll take it."
George also addressed the well-publicized tension between him and Don Dokken and how it might affect DOKKEN's current reunion. He said: "You know, I'm trying to stay positive with all this so I don't really want to get into what could go wrong with things. I would just say that we pretty much don't have a relationship at this point. The only time we see each other is when we're on the road and maybe LYNCH MOB is playing the same bill with DOKKEN. Otherwise, there was an hour-long meeting at a management office and a few emails. But beyond that there really hasn't been any communication. So there is no relationship."
Lynch expressed hope that the DOKKEN reunion could last beyond the Japanese tour, despite Don's recent comments to the contrary. "If I were betting, I'd say there's probably a 50/50 chance [that there will be more gigs]," the guitarist said. "And I'd be advocating for that, too. But it gets more complicated when you're talking about more shows because of all our other commitments. Jeff [Pilson, bass] is locked in very seriously with FOREIGNER. It's not easy for him to take a couple weeks off. That's probably our biggest restriction. But it definitely would be something that promoters and the fans would like to see. On a business level, I'm sure it could be done very easily. So, you know, never say never."
DOKKEN will have one new song to play for fans when the group begins performing this fall. It's shaping up to be a full-band collaboration between Dokken, Lynch, Pilson and Brown — the latter of whom still plays in the band's current lineup.
"The people I've played [the new song] for all love it and think it's what they imagine or hope that a new DOKKEN song would be," Lynch told TeamRock. "And that's that it's still true to the old style and sound while also being a little more contemporary. So instead of copying something we did 25, 30 years ago verbatim, it's obvious that it comes from the same people that wrote those songs, but at a different time. And it'll be included on the live album."
Dokken, Pilson, Lynch and 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.
The first concert in Sioux Falls will be filmed at least "for posterity," Dokken recently told Billboard. "Beginning October 5, a video crew will follow the band through Japan to get some documentary footage that could accompany a subsequent home video release.
Brown 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."