In the early eighties, when I was a young adult wasting my life away in Western Pennsylvania, Dokken gave me a glimpse of the Sunset Strip. Who can forget the “It’s Not Love” video, with the band on the back of a truck, rolling down the LA streets and ending up on the Strip? For me, the band and the Strip represented everything that was fun and cool about Los Angeles. I bought the tee shirts, records and cassettes, dreaming of one day seeing the fabled Sunset Strip with my own eyes. Even though the band was lumped together with all of the bands that favored spandex and teased hair in the eighties, Dokken wasn’t just a “hair band.” With Don Dokken’s melodic, majestic voice, George Lynch’s amazing riffs, Jeff Pilson’s steady bass and “Wild” Mick Brown’s thundering drums, Dokken was always about the sound and the song. Many of their songs are legendary reminders of what hard rock was about in the eighties. They didn’t have a “bad boy” reputation like some of the bands of the era, but fans knew that they could always count on a good time when “rockin’ with Dokken.” The members of Dokken are part of the history of the Strip. Check out the YouTube video of Xciter, playing at the Starwood in 1979. From 1978 to the present, Dokken has been connected to the Strip. In 2012, the band played at the 40th Anniversary Party of the Rainbow Bar and Grill.
It’s about time that Dokken had their very own party on the Strip. A celebration of Dokken would be a salute to all of the hard rock bands of the eighties. Honoring Dokken in August 2014 would bring thousands of fans to the clubs and establishments of the Strip, generating revenue and bringing back the positive vibe that made the Strip the place to be in the eighties. Besides current Dokken members Don Dokken, Sean McNabb, Jon Levin and Mick Brown (when not touring with Ted Nugent), honoring Dokken could also honor Jeff Pilson, George Lynch, Reb Beach, Juan Croucier and other former members of the band, maybe featuring them and their current projects during the week long celebration, as well featuring other bands from the era. And that is part of the longevity of Dokken – the fact that they are still playing, still inspiring fans and other musicians, and still carrying the torch that was lit on the Sunset Strip so many years ago.