Tag Archives: Dokken


In the world of Dokken is there a better title for a comeback release calling itself “Dysfunctional” considering the mess of drugs/egos and whatever else tore this band apart and broke them up at the tail end of 1988?

Didn’t think so.

But in 1995 mired in musical quicksand from a genre (80s) that many had moved on from Dokken returned with the classic lineup of Lynch/Dokken/Pilson and Brown. I have to say they released one fine album that maybe be right up there at times as one my favourite output of Dokken’s.

“Inside Looking Out” leads off and has a mixture of perhaps a current sound of the time with the best of the 80s vocally during the chorus.

See thats the thing with this album. Dokken attempted to change and go with the current flow of music yet still keep their sound from the decade before as tracks like “Hole In My Head”, “Shadows of Life”, “Lesser of Two Evils” prove.

What broke Dokken wide open back in 84 was the power ballad “Alone Again” and on this release Don and the boys don’t forget what put the butter on their toast as “Nothing Left To Say” and the trippy “Sweet Chains”.

“From The Beginning” (ELP cover) has a cool vibe about it with the acoustics and such but it’s the quick little hit of the electric guitar solo from George Lynch that takes the song to the next level.

For me the three best tracks on here are “The Maze”, “Too High To Fly” and “Long Way From Home” which are classic Dokken but as I wrote earlier a sound that was retro yet current.

“The Maze” is like if The Beatles were cranked up on Roids and Red Bull and had Lynch on guitar. What a fantastic chorus!

Speaking of George the guy soars on the six string like the boss he is on this album. But you already know that!

“Too High To Fly” begins chills and builds and builds as Dokken shows its musically muscle by flexing some serious playing. Bassist Jeff Pilson has to get some credit as his backing vocals are cranked right up there with Don’s lead vocals and for this style of rock it fits like a glove!

“Long Way Home” is for me the best of what the band brings to the table as George opens the song up riffing like a lunatic while Pilson and Brown join in the fun. Killer pre chorus and the chorus is Gold.

It’s as if the mid 90s Dokken had to prove that they could go outside the box musically at times which they did and show the world that they could mix up with tempo changes with some stellar playing. In other words chops!

“Dysfunctional” did alright as it debuted on the Billboard Charts at #47 back in 95 which was an impressive chart debut in the midst of a whole different climate musically yet those ugly old issues crept up in the band. After a dismal effort with the next record Shadowlife (1997) Don and George got all pissy with each other again and that was that for many a year…

People though dug this record and it was eventually certified Gold in 2015!

deke’s Stream O Rater Score….9/10

Top 10 “Used Vinyl” Purchases in 2020.

This may be my last ever “Top 10 Used Vinyl Purchases” as the one place I had bought my used records from (Moon Money Vintage) closed up shop a few weeks before the world went into the tank back in March 2020

I liked buying used vinyl from that place as they were on consignment so they weren’t selling shit records. Sure I may have paid a buck or two more but at least I knew I was getting a decent used record.

When all is said and done I think I was able to build up my collection to well over 350 LPs from that place over a 2-year time period.

There are a few pawn shops in town that sell used vinyl but they just dump the records in a bin and I can’t be bothered rummaging and hoping for the best. Especially in these times.

Maybe things will turn around and someone can open up a cool record shop here in Tbay. In saying that I’m not holding my breath!

Before I forget make sure you watch for Snowmans/ Ladano’s and Mr. Buried On Mars Best of 2020 list’s  that are coming out sometime soon.

Here are their links to their sites. Give them a follow if you haven’t already.




So here we go…

#10- Alice Cooper: Constrictor(1986)– Sure the Coop’s “Constrictor” release sounded like it was recorded in a tin can. There is some Cheesy Alice stuff on here (Thrill My Gorilla) but when Alice came back in 86  “Constrictor” was my entry world into the Coop. So this album gets a pass from me. Alice hooked up with Kane Rambo on guitar and they muscled up some decent stuff too (Your The Life And Death of The Party, The World Needs Guts).

#9- Boston: Third Stage(1986)– Tom Scholz back in 86  confused me that he led off “Third Stage” with “Amanda” (power ballad) but as an old man now in 2020 I get why he did that.  Doing things differently was Tom’s motto so it kinda works.  I mean Tom back then was battling his record company in lawsuits and whatnot as well as battling ex-members of Boston at the time. “Third Stage,” I think out of the first three Boston albums is the third-best record in the Boston catalog. Give it up for the late great Brad Delp whose vocals soar all over the sonic highway on “Third Stage”

#8-The Georgia Satellites: The Georgia Satellites(1986)- Who doesn’t love a good barroom stomping good time record. Dan Baird and the Sataliites cook up 8 originals,2 cover tunes, and this album blasts off from the get-go! Sure everyone knows these guys for the one big hit(Keep Your Hands To Yourself) but ask Tbone about the other tracks on here like “Red Light”! You cannot go wrong with this one!

#7-RUSH: Hold Your Fire(1987)- Can’t believe it has almost been a year since Neil passed on. Finding used RUSH records is a rarity in this town so when I have seen them I would pounce into action. Hold Your Fire is one I grabbed for a good price($10) and added to the collection. Geddy/Neil and Alex wrote some killer stuff on here (“Prime Mover,” “Time Stand Still”, “Lock And Key”). Nice addition to my collection.

#6-KISS: Asylum(1985)- I have been trying to finish up the KISS collection on vinyl and I grabbed this one from Discogs. “Asylum” is a good album once you get by the band wardrobe malfunction that Gene and Paul were into at the time. The songs though speak for themselves as “King of the Mountain”, “Love’s A Deadly Weapon”, “Tears Are Falling” are good tracks. There is always the matter of “Uh All Night”. lol But yeah it’s a decent spin.

#5-Dokken: Beast From The East(1988)– We all know this story. Dokken put out 4 solid studio records, opened up for every rock act at the time, and when this Double Live album came out the wheels came off of Dokken as Don split and the other guys sued as they were about to make that move to the arena headliner.  Still, though the tunes on here are brilliant and George Lynch is the man on here!

#4-Ozzy Osbourne: Bark At The Moon(1983)– On any given day this may be my favorite Osbourne record. Jake E Lee shows up and lays down the gauntlet on guitar. For all his hard work on this album, the Osbournes don’t credit Jake with any co-writes on “Bark At The Moon”. Highway Robbery 101 if you ask me. Did Ozzy write that opening riff to “Rock N Roll Rebel” or the title track? C’mon man no way that happened when Ozz was snorting ants and licking up piss back then. Cheers to Jake as his contribution is huge on this album!

#3-AC/DC: Let There Be Rock(1977)– Earlier this year I came across a fella who was selling 8 AC/DC albums for $80. I already had 4 of the 8 so I asked the seller if he wanted to just sell the 4 that I wanted.  He preferred to sell the whole lot.  So I figured what the hell I’ll buy all 8 and the 4 I already had I would pass onto Tbone which I did. “Let There Be Rock” was one that I did not have on record. Now I do and I’m all the better for it. Angus and  Bon crank everything up to 10 and well…just get a copy for yourself and while we are at it…” Let There Be Rock”.

#2-Deep Purple: Perfect Strangers(1984)– I have always held in high praise this reunion album of Deep Purple. “Perfect Strangers” was my entry point into Deep Purple. This album is an all-time great as Ian Gillain sings for his supper as Richie Blackmore being all moody and shit slays everything in site with his strat. Not one dud track on this album and yeah still to this day my all-time fav DP record!

Now my Used favorite score in 2020 goes to …

#1- Kim Mitchell: Kim Mitchell(1982)- Kim ditches Max Webster dials in his strat and cranks his Marshall to 11 and plays on what I consider some of the best electric guitar recorded to tape. Ask Ladano and he will tell you this is the Best EP ever and I tend to believe him as there are no drop-offs or let down on these 5 songs. Kim basically recorded this as a power trio and it shows. I was beyond giddy when I scooped this for $5 Canadian. If any of you readers out there want a crash course in rock guitar dial this one in on your streaming choice and crank it! You can thank me and Mikey!

There ya have it, folks. Three Top 10 lists in 2020! Thanks for reading and commenting throughout the year!

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!




Dokken/Beast From The East(1988) Part 2!


Let’s get right to it Folks with sides 3&4 of Beast From The East….

Cast of Characters- Don Dokken(Vocals),George Lynch(Geetar),Jeff Pilson(Bass) and Mick Brown(Drums)

King Of Yammering- Deke

Actually before we get to it everyone knows my deal with Greatest Hits Albums and how I have a issue with them. Ha! Well one of my faithful Arena Rock Readers BMellis said within my review on Wednesday in regards to the first part of Beast From The East  I was bashing Greatest Hits albums that I was taking Cheap(Pot)  Shots at him (BMellis) and his sidekick  Rockin Roberts without naming them! Hahaha,myself and BMellis had a good laugh about this as this wasn’t my intention but from now on…yeah it’s gonna be!

To Be Fair to these two Greatest Hits Guru’s (BMellis&RockinRoberts) they like the best  songs on compilations so be it……

Seriously though where is The Hunter?

HEAVEN SENT-Don leads the Japanese faithfull with some opening “oh oh oh!” And they follow and George plays some real chill cool riffs during the verses and the song like so many Dokken tracks ramps up at the chorus! Great tune! Slow build of a tune but it still has some ommph to it!

ITS NOT LOVE-more Curious George playing some more real chill riffs and this song has single written all over it! Don tells us “Why Baby Why?” Seriously Don you just regroup,pick up the chics hit the next town and party down on the Tour Bus like there’s no tomorrow! Thats how Tbone explained it to me on how Rockstars roll! Ha! Great catchy chorus and more back and forth banter between Don and the Japanese faithful!  You realize if your a fan of Dokken just how many of these tunes on this double live  were singles …..speaking of singles…lookie what’s next!

ALONE AGAIN-oh oh power ballad ….make it mega power ballad time! This song sold the Tooth And Nail album and out of the ten tracks on Tooth And Nail this was the only power ballad! Actually compared to a lot of crap at the time this is pretty good and a lot of bands copied Dokkens format. By that I mean nice soft quiet verses and once the chorus hits….KABOOM big time power riffs, Que big time guitar hero solo than back for one more romp around the chorus and nice little fade out…..back in the mid to late 80s this is how LA Bands made a ton of cash! Myself I made little cash washing dishes in a cafeteria to fund my music addiction! FIRST TIME EVER…A POWER BALLAD VIDEO IS POSTED here at ARENA ROCK….Ummm no I’m not mellowing!

JUST GOT LUCKY-things in Tokyo ramp back up and Just Got Lucky is Don going on  about how the woman is the devil in disguise! Ha…we all have been there done it….George plays some good guitar whereas the song sounds like a big solo but it’s not if that makes sense. Just watch the video!

BREAKING THE CHAINS-when most people think of Dokken they think of this song! Fair enough as its a good song for me though when I think of It I remember the adds Rokken with Dokken! What I wanna know is how much was the record company Yahoo being paid yearly to come up with selling slogans like Rokken With Dokken! This song features a real good lead vocal into the chorus. Lunch peels rubber on the solo while Pilson and Don handle the vocals ….

IN MY DREAMS-Don,Jeff and Mick do some acapella with  the intro and the songs goes from there. This was a pretty good decent rock single and it pushed Dokken in sales and solidified there fan base! Watch the video from Philly 1987 style…these cats can play and sing…

TURN ON THE ACTION-end of the show, time to hot dog some quick rock. George shreds, Don howls, Pilson holds down the bass while Wild Mick smashes his drums and there off! Rokken Dokkens night in Tokyo comes to a end!

WALK AWAY-so here’s  a studio track tacked on the end of the live  album! Walk Away is kinda a ballad. Walk Away Dokken and they all literally did just that! I recall this video and I think Don was sporting some real funky looking dreads in the hair dept. I was fuckin spooked and never revisited Walk Away again….can’t even tell you about the track other than its not a rocker….

IN CONCLUSION – Dokken,too bad they split. I dug these guys and was pleasantly surprised that in 2015 I still dig this live album! It’s a solid ball of live rock well I’m sure there was tweaking in the studio but who cares. What I don’t know what was tweaked  won’t hurt my deal with this record! Lynch is awesome on this and when I thought about reviewing this album I was thinking I hope I can make it through with Curious George going off to shredville. Sure George does during some solos and of course his guitar solo but no worries folks he stays within the lines(ha!) .

These guys if they would have stayed together were  well on there way to Arena Headline  Status but …….


Dokken/ Beast From The East(1988) Part 1!


Dokken was a band that had a chance for the golden ticket to complete stardom but because of the constant bickering between lead singer Don Dokken and guitarist George Lynch Dokken the band imploded after 4 studio albums …Breaking The Chains(1983),Tooth & Nail(1984),Under Lock And Key(1985)and Back For The Attack(1987)…

I think I read somewhere years  ago that Dokken was due to release one more album to fullfil there 5 album contract so with Dokken in chaos they headed to Tokyo cut a double live  album (Beast From The East)put it out in November 1988 and shortly after broke up due to internal bickering….

These guys should have chilled for a bit and bounced back instead they shut down and though there were various solo  albums from the band guys they reconvened in 1995 for the  great Dysfunctional album (Long Way Home is a awesome track!)but were never able to gain there previous 80s momentum.

Hey that happens when your a bunch of bitches towards each other!

I reviewed Tooth And Nail a while back and a lot of people recalled that album very fondly so I thought what the hell let’s check out what at the time would be the live Dokken Swan Song….

Kudos to Dokken they could have never put out a live album in 1988  but instead of gone with a Greatest Hits album to finish off there record deal  which would have made me puke!

Don Dokken(vocals) George Lynch(guitar) Jeff Pilson(bass) and Mick Brown(drums) give us a double double live album …

Where’s The Hunter?

UNCHAIN THE NIGHT-some prerecorded parts of the Intro to Unchain The Night are pumped through the speakers and before you know it were all Rokken with Dokken and Unchain The Night is Dokken playing a mid tempo rock track straight ahead no frills just enough ooomph to be the opening number! Don Dokkens voice I always liked especially with this kind of Dokken Rock! George Lynch plays a slick fast gunslinger guitar most of the time but when duty calls he could relax and slow down the shred albeit for the song whereas many guys from his era over shredded to the point of making me feel nauseated! Hello Yngwie J! Pilson on bass (and some great backing vocals throughout this album) and Wild Mick on the drums pound the bottom end to the ground and were all aboard the Dokken tour bus! Pass the Hairspray!

TOOTH AND NAIL-now Lynch ramps up and spits out furious riffage and huffing and puffing on the double bass drums is Mick smashes,crashes cymbals and Don hollers ‘how long will it take? To break the spell….straight to the top Tooth And Nail!”  Dig the solo by Lynch man especially at the end as the bass and drums stop for a few seconds and Lynch nails smoke on up and down the fretboard and Mick assaults his snare and were back up to super snuff speed! Impressive that they passed on this as the opener and instead blow our senses out on track 2! Well played sneakey L.A. Rock Guys!

STANDING IN THE SHADOWS-Lynch kimda meets Ed Van Halen opening before this song takes off and Lynch once again steals the show on this tune! Standing In The Shadows is one of the better tracks from Back For The Attack and I dig the live version as I found sometimes some off these 80s albums when I listen to them now they  have like 100 guitars on tracks and at the time I guess it was called for but now ..aaaargh! The good thing is Pilson is pretty simple yet effective on the bass as he holds it together while Lynch does his guitar hero stuff on this album.

SLEEPNESS NIGHTS-whoah another good slow driver of a tune from Back For The Attack. Has a pretty slick groove with a real good chorus. Whoever put this setlist together for these shows had a pretty good idea what young DeKEs liked back in 88! Sleepless Nights is a great track! No frills just good Rock! We know the deal like Don Sez your giving it Til 6 am and it’s another Sleepness Night coming your way! Isn’t there some drugs out there to make you sleep or keep you awake? Hahaha….just sayin!

KISS OF DEATH-is a rip roar of a tune! This is a fast paced tempo tune. Lynch is Unleashed In The East(Ha!) here and he plays a gazillion notes but it makes sense.  This is like 87 Whitesnake on steroids! The word on the street back than is Don wrote this song about AIDS! Yeah no shit Don was dropping down some serious lyrics here almost a Hard Rock Bono with a message! But at least Don doesn’t ram the message down everyones throat! Lynch goes bonkers during the solo while Brown and Pilson keep the tour bus on the road!(do not I mean do not spill the party treats that are ready for consumption on the table!) You want loud rock! Fast guitar,soaring vocals..it’s here!

WHEN HEAVEN COMES DOWN-I think when I reviewed the studio version of this on the Tooth And Nail album I called it Sludgey Pudgey(not sure if i said I’m too lazy to look it up) Live here it sounds better obviously with a better tempo and It kicks …kicks in a way that Vince Neil needs to be kicked when singing live and kicked in the other way of Bret  Michaels needs just a plain hard swift kick in the ass period! Lynch plays once again the in the confines of the song! Hot diggity doggity I think I’m more psyched by Lynch on this live recording than anything! Ha! Serious! The chorus here is big and tough sounding  like after a shot of Jack Daniels and a tussle of Hairspray sprayed around for good measure!

INTO THE FIRE-of course as a Dokken fan you know this one right? The pace of the live version is sped up and DOKKEN here craft perfect Rock Single 101! By that it’s a cooling opening of drums,bass and Lynch’ power chords. Don tosses down a good vocal along with some good backing vocals courtesy of Pilson and were Into The Fire which segues right into …..

MR SCARY-and were off with a 3 minute  or so Lynch guitar solo,riffing like a lunatic but with him I’m ok with it like i said compared to some other 80s guys! (Hello CC Deville) Lynch  can play no doubt and next thing you know Pilson and Brown slam out a barrage of LA Metal Chops as these guys could play but like any band from the time they get lumped in as just another act. I think what hurt Dokken was they made some goofy videos like Burning Like A Flame. Remember that one with the Dokken guys riding around in a fire truck! Haha….WTF!! Silly cheese ..not a bad song but what a Dumbo video! But yeah Mr Scary ends side 2 and I wonder what Don was doing during this time of the musical only portion of the show?? Ahhhhh that’s right he was on the horn with the record company trying to negotiate a better record deal for himself at the time while his soldiers are In the trenches on stage doing the real work…..

Check Back Friday when I yammer on about sides 3&4 of Beast From The East….

SONIC WAVES…Dokken/Tooth And Nail

Dokken in September of 1984 release Tooth And Nail and this is my first purchase of there’s. There debut album Breaking The Chains was already out there and even though I seen the video of Breaking The Chains a few times on MuchMusic it just floated by me. Nothing personal Don Dokken it’s just I had to stretch my $$$$ and well,acts like Van Halen/Iron Maiden/Kiss/ACDC dictated what in my wallet was being spent! So I guess you could say that Dokken was a second tier band at my home as far as dollars went but still when I seen the cover of the claw coming out of the ocean to grab at the slick Dokken logo ahhhh hell I was in!

If you know anything about these guys is that the two main guys Don Dokken(singer) and George Lynch(guitar) Ummm dislike could be the word used here! They did not see eye to eye on a matter of things but they made it work until late 1988 when Don bolted!

Anyways you gotta hand it to Mick Brown(drums) and Jeff Pilson(bass) they hung around as well Til the end but I guess when the party’s raging year after year who the hell wants to leave right?

And to introduce my review of Tooth And Nail I will say DOKKEN RYHMES WITH ROCKIN…(yeah that was brutal,don’t blame me,in the 80s they used this in there adds!)

WITHOUT WARNING-a quick little musical opener (loud synth,loud guitar)featuring no vocals and sets the table for ….

TOOTH AND NAIL-Brown goes double bass drumming off the hop and Pilson and Lynch smash down the guitar and bass. Now heerrrreeeee’sssss Donnie taking the vocals and what a slick calculated move by starting off the album with a jack rabbit of a number and Lynch nails down all the 80s trappings of guitaring! Quick notes,hammer ons,whammy bar dive bombs! I’m fucking hooked yeah man Dokken is Rocking with Deke! Ha!

JUST GOT LUCKY- Brown kicks off the proceedings and Lynch does what Lynch does well and he keeps himself in check on this tune and this is catchy happy Dokken. The chorus is pretty good and yeah I guess you could say HOOK! Good on them they got some video spins out of this track as well!

HEARTLESS HEART-you know the drill ‘You got a Heartless Heart” that’s it kids! This song is 80s Dokken to the T! Brown and his drums drive this tune and it’s one of the few Dokken tunes that Lynch doesn’t have a rip of a solo he contains himself on this track or maybe he was busy dying his hair that day! I recall one day back in Highschool there was a copy of Circus Magazine kicking around and there was a pic of Lynch and man he had the fruitest hair colour going half yellow half black kinda looked like a banana that’s starting to turn colour! We howled called him Curious George and Banana Man..we were young and stoooopid! This song features the ritzy glitzy pre chorus vocals and gang vocals. Dokken tries to pull a Leppard vocally that way

DONT CLOSE YOUR EYES- big Lynch riffing and this song is one of the better tracks. Lynch plays guitar hero flexing and bending them strings and flinging lick after lick! Brown and Pilson keep the rhythms moving along and Don lays down a cool chill vocal! Cool song all around!

WHEN HEAVEN COMES DOWN-Dokken comes close with this track! As in this could have been track 11 on Kiss Lick It Up Album easily! This is big dumbo Kiss arena power building rock n roll! Lynch opens this and this tune kinda sludges forward like Kiss All Hells Breaking Loose. Dokken just plays it a little quicker just the pace of it really! It’s all here,big guitar,big backing vocals,loud drums but man when I listen to the opening riff is George playing his guitar in a tunnel? Man it sounds echoey! Ahh that’s right Tom Werman produced this!

INTO THE FIRE- bam bam bam…do ..do…do..bam bam bam. That’s me making the drum noises to the beginning of this track! This is a great rock track! One of there better known songs! I won’t say much more just watch the video posted as it features Banana George! Fire! Smoke! Helicopters and my favourite the chick who eats fire and slams a gong! Bravo !!

BULLETS TO SPARE- just a straight ahead Rockin with Dokken tune! Once again a song with big vocals! 1984 and everyone is slammim around looking for hits! I’m sure record company executives always had there eyes on the charts “Boys,we need hits!” Bullets To Spare though is not of them. It’s a solid rock track. Dokken are not rocket scientists but they did have a good knack for writing straight ahead rockers!

ALONE AGAIN-woooooowzers! Here’s the track that put these guys on the charts,in the magazines,on tour(opening for Kiss). Don and the boys go right to Power Ballad Formula Chapter 1 …insert acoustic guitar to drive the verse’s along with a bit of drums to push it a little and than FUCKIN BOOM …the chorus with  big time electric guitar power chords/ Don weeping in his voice about lost love/ cue into big guitar solo. Bam!! Mission Accomplished!

TURN ON THE ACTION-Lynch begins the surge on his guitar and Brown once again rocks the double bass on his drums and boom this is the end of the album blowout. Riff rock into the night!

IN CONCLUSION-Dokken sets the plate for Deke to buy another 4 Dokken albums after Tooth And Mail so I guess I bought in to the Dokkens business model which was hook em when there young! Actually I remember taping this album for my buddy Chico as he just turned 16 at the time and had his first car and like I explained in my review of ACDC’s Back In Black he wanted fast Rockin tunes! The song Tooth And Nail delivered …..