Legendary Rock Interviews: (Producer) Michael (Wagener) told us that the tension between you and George was very real but he also felt some of it contributed to the great performances. Do you think that some of the strife had anything at all to do with the fact that you had a friendship with Michael dating way back to before George or Jeff even joined the band?
Don Dokken: I don’t know. Every album I fought for Michael to do the record and the band definitely thought that we were in cahoots. George was always worried that Michael would make my vocals too loud, childish things like that. I said “The vocals shouldn’t be too loud or too low, they should be right where they’re supposed to be”, him saying that didn’t make any sense to me. The problem was, as Michael well knew, George and I never got along from the very beginning. Even in Germany when Micheal was working with us on “Breaking The Chains” every day was a struggle just trying to get something on tape with George. I liked using Michael because he was just about the only person I knew that could deal with all the madness and pretension. Having said that, I think a lot of it had to do with drugs and alcohol and stuff like that you know….I never got into that whole 80s cocaine thing, it just wasn’t my thing but as we got popular they all really developed pretty bad drug problems and Jeff and George were really writing a lot of songs for the Dokken albums at their drug dealer’s houses and I was kind of the odd man out writing my songs at my house alone. I never wrote a song with George, not one. People always thought it was like a Motley or Van Halen situation where I was the frontman like Vince or Dave but they forget that I was the guitar player in Dokken. I play guitar and I played guitar on the first tour. I would go home alone with my guitar and write songs like “In My Dreams” or “Alone Again” or “Into The Fire” or songs like that and they would go off together and write their songs. A lot of times they couldn’t come up with lyrics for their songs so I would help with that or help with re-writing lyrics to make them better. It was all just about the best songs making it, it always has been, but George and I never wrote a song together.

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