By the late ‘70s, Dokken, then a confirmed hard-rocker, was active in the local music scene. But when he was looking for a record deal in the early ’80s, heavy metal was out. The softer, quirkier sound of New Wave was dominant then. Dokken still carries a grudge against that music–in particular, the Knack’s huge hit, “My Sharona.” “That song single-handedly ruined my career back then,” he recalled with a sneer. “Everybody was singing like that for a while. The local clubs stopped booking metal bands. Wimp music was in. That’s when the Cars and Devo and Elvis Costello came out. It was cool to stand real still on stage and be nerdy-looking. It was in to be a geek. I had real long hair then. I didn’t fit with the wimps. And where are The Knack now? Flippin’ burgers!!”

Don Dokken in the LA Times, circa 1988

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