Ex-DOKKEN Drummer MICK BROWN Is Retired From Playing Drums: 'He Doesn't Even Have Drum Sticks', Says His Brother
April 27, 2023
TESLA drummer Steve Brown, the younger brother of former DOKKEN drummer Mick Brown, spoke to Chaotic Riffs about his brother's decision to retire from touring in 2019. At the time Mick said that he was "taking a break" from the road but implied that he would resume playing shows at a later date.
Regarding the physical challenges that forced Mick to retire from performing live, Steve said: "It's not so much the playing, but it's the travel on top of it. He's a lot bigger guy than I man, and cramming into airline seats for long flights… They would play in Washington state on a Friday and somewhere on the East Coast on a Saturday. Those two things, you just can't do it forever. And he's been doing it — what? Fifty years. So I was kind of surprised. To be honest with you, I thought he would do it till he just keeled over on stage one day.
'When [Mick] was playing with Ted Nugent at the same time [as DOKKEN] and trying to do both, he kind of got tired of that," he continued. "And then when the Ted thing was done, he stuck it out with Don [Dokken] as much as he could. But then just came a point where he just physically couldn't do it anymore. And both of us have the same type of thing — I have it worse. It's psoriatic arthritis. So it's an immune deficiency thing. And he kind of worked his way through it; it kind of passed. But I know the kind of pain that I'm in, so for him to continue on like that kind of untreated too — 'cause I take shots and I do this and that and try to stay ahead of it a little bit… And one thing is when you're sitting on a plane and then you've gotta get up, and you're, like, 'Oh, God.' [Laughs]
"So I wasn't surprised that he had decided to do [retire from touring]; I just didn't think he was gonna stick with it forever," Steve said. "And a couple of years later, I told my wife, I go, 'Let's go down and see him, see what's going on down there.' And he was great — and he was in the best possible mindset I've ever seen him in. And I thought, 'Well, there you go.' And soon after that he sold every piece of drum gear, everything he owns. And all of his friends that I run into out here, they're just, like, 'He really retired?' I'm, like, 'He doesn't even have drums. He doesn't even have drum sticks.' [Laughs]"
Earlier this month, guitarist George Lynch dismissed the possibility of another reunion of the classic DOKKEN lineup, explaining to VintageRock Pod that "Mick has retired. He sold his drums, got rid of his drums. He doesn't play anymore. Maybe he goes and jams here and there. And for his own mental and physical health, he's just kind of disconnected from the whole world, and he doesn't return our calls. That's okay. I think that's probably what he needed to do, and I respect that. It's sad in a way, because we were friends for decades and built something together; we came up together. It was Mick and I before anybody else — before Jeff [Pilson, bass] or Don. I would love to still be friends with him and maintain a relationship, but that's all right."
Lynch went on to say that he and Pilson "would probably" take part in another DOKKEN reunion if an opportunity and added that they "would do it with Steve Brown, which is Mick's brother, who we used on THE END MACHINE records. [He] looks just like Mick, plays just like Mick — a younger version of Mick. So that would work."
In October 2016, the classic lineup of DOKKEN reunited to play the Loud Park festival in Japan. Fortunately for fans outside of Japan, cameras were there to capture the performance and Frontiers Music Srl issued "Return To The East Live 2016" in April 2018. In addition to the Japanese performance, the set featured footage from the classic lineup's only U.S. show in September 2016 at Badlands in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The package also included a new song called "It's Just Another Day", the first DOKKEN track featuring the group's classic lineup since 1997's "Shadowlife", and two acoustic re-workings of classic tracks.
Since completing the Japanese reunion dates, DOKKEN has continued to perform with the group's current lineup — including bassist Chris McCarvill, guitarist Jon Levin and drummer BJ Zampa (HOUSE OF LORDS).
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