Former DOKKEN Bassist: My Most Memorable Tours

Former DOKKEN bassist Jeff Pilson recently spoke to about his most memorable tours.

"The two best tours DOKKEN ever did were the DIO tour in '84-'85 and the AEROSMITH tour in '87 and '88," he said. "Those were definitely both peaks in different ways. DIO was a great band, and we were learning. We were up-and-coming, but we had a lot to learn, and we did learn. That tour toughened us up a lot. That was at a point when DIO commanded a very loyal, hardcore crowd. It toughened us up, made us a stronger live band, a better unit overall. Plus both bands and crews got along famously. To this day all the guys in the original DIO band are good friends of mine. That was a great period. It was a real magical moment in our career and they were a really great band to be on the road with. We learned a lot and had a lot of fun.

"With AEROSMITH, they were just so cool to us. It was the peak of our success, and a period when we were drawing a lot. We would have a full crowd when we would go on at the beginning of the night. It almost felt like we were a co-headliner. AEROSMITH was great to us. They were really supportive, the camaraderie with everybody was great. They were real pros and they are not uptight. So many bands tended to be really uptight. They would try to do things to your sound and not let you have lights. AEROSMITH was the opposite. They said, 'You guys do whatever you want. We want your show to be great.' They weren't threatened by us. It was really a pleasant, eye-opening experience because their professionalism and positiveness was really powerful.

"It was actually the peak for DOKKEN. It was also the period in which we were getting along the best. That was kind of ironic because [singer] Don [Dokken] announced he was leaving the band during that tour, which seemed so out of nowhere. I could not figure it out. It had me stumped." Read more.


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