DON DOKKEN Blames Touring With METALLICA In 1988 For Classic DOKKEN Lineup’s Breakup

Dokken Metallica

On a recent episode of the “Battleline” podcast, Don Dokken reminisced about his band, DOKKEN‘s involvement in the memorable 1988 “Monsters Of Rock” U.S. stadium tour. This legendary tour also showcased the talents of iconic bands such as VAN HALEN, SCORPIONS, METALLICA and KINGDOM COME.

He said (as transcribed by Blabbermouth): “Yeah, that was a tough tour, because they hadn’t done the ‘Black Album’ yet. I mean, METALLICA‘s now the biggest band in the world… And that was kind of maybe the reason we broke up, because of METALLICA. Because when we played the stadium tour, METALLICA came on stage every day with this attitude like, you know, do or die. I mean, they just gave it 100 percent, 110 percent. They were kicking ass. They were just coming out with …And Justice For All, which was not my favorite METALLICA album. And they hadn’t done the Black album yet that’s now took them into superstardom. And I would talk to the band. I’d say, ‘Look at METALLICA.’ And they’re opening for us. And we had the same manager. And I used to say, ‘Well, Cliff [Burnstein], I know they’re opening up and they’re only making half the money as us, but could you put them on after us?’

“Because when METALLICA went on and they closed the show with whatever it was, ‘Kill ‘Em All’ or something like that, we’re coming on stage doing ‘In My Dreams’, we look like THE MONKEES practically, ’cause we’re just a straight-ahead rock and roll band. But I respected METALLICA so much because we’d be in Texas and it’d be, like, 105 degrees and they’d go on at, like, 3 o’clock, and it’s just sweltering hot. But they went on every day. METALLICA had this mindset that, ‘If this is our last show, we die. So be it.’ They gave it 110 percent.”

“We’d been on the road for a year and a half. And I think we just kind of got full of ourselves,” he continued. “I mean, we had toured with AEROSMITH and all these other bands, and we weren’t playing well, in my opinion, because the drugs. When you’re on stage in front of a hundred thousand people, and I’m trying to front the band, and you’ve got all these cameras on you and big screens, and the camera would go to George [LynchDOKKEN guitarist] during a solo, and I’d look over and there’s no George on stage. Where’s George? I hear him playing, but he wasn’t on stage, because he was standing behind his Marshall amplifiers doing coke. And I begged and pleaded and said, ‘Is there any way you guys can’t do drugs for 90 minutes?’ And basically they said no. They were doing coke on stage and it was really, for me, depressing. I started the band, the band’s called DOKKEN, and everybody was doing coke on stage. And I was, like, ‘Jesus Christ.’ And that’s when the band unraveled.”

DOKKEN‘s 13th studio album, Heaven Comes Down, will be released on October 27, 2023 via Silver Lining Music.