Don Dokken Regrets Not Hiring Warren DeMartini Instead Of George Lynch

In a new interview with Chuck Shute, Don Dokken discussed his ‘what ifs’ and showed remorse for not recruiting Warren DeMartini in place of George Lynch.

As Don recalled, George had allegedly steered Warren away from Dokken by painting Don in a less-than-flattering light:

“George pulled Warren aside and went, ‘You don’t want to be in Dokken. Don’s an *sshole, man; everybody knows it. You can’t trust Don, Don’s a Nazi. He’s going to control and take everything.’ I’m like, ‘Whatever.’ So, Warren went to Ratt because their LP, ‘Out of the Cellar,’ took off.”

He then brought Juan Croucier’s departure forth, arguing his decision to leave the band was because of Lynch. Recalling the time Dokken was poised to open for Blue Öyster Cult, Don continued:

“Then Juan Croucier said to me, ‘I can’t play with George. I just can’t. He’s too quirky.’ So, Juan left, Warren left, and I had to find Jeff as a bass player and get a new guitar player. We had just landed the Blue Öyster Cult tour with Aldo Nova, us opening up for 30 minutes. And that’s when George came back to the band because he had nowhere else to go.”

Don also expressed his belief that the band might have ascended the ladders of success more rapidly had they retained Warren over George:

“And that really is the history of Dokken. Looking back, I have nothing against George. We get along fine. But if I could have kept Warren in the band, we probably just would have gone way up a lot faster.”

Asked if it would have been that much different with Warren instead of George, he responded confidently:

“Hell yeah. Hell yeah.”

It’s interesting to note that Dokken, despite facing financial challenges after their U.S. tour with Blue Öyster Cult in 1983, managed to find commercial success, especially in Europe. Their 1984 album ‘Tooth and Nail‘ spawned hits and sold over a million copies in the U.S. The following album, ‘Under Lock and Key,‘ also witnessed success.

But as the 1980s progressed, internal strife continued. In March 1989, differences between Don and George reached a boiling point, resulting in the band’s split. Lynch quickly formed his band, Lynch Mob, following a different musical path from Dokken.

Early 2023 saw the release of Dokken’s ‘The Elektra Albums 1983-1987,‘ a compilation of their most influential albums. The band is also getting ready for the launch of their twelfth studio album, ‘Heaven Comes Down,‘ set to drop on October 27.

You can watch that part of the interview below.