GEORGE LYNCH Says His Career Highlights Were 'Financial Things', Not Musical Achievements

May 26, 2023

In a new interview with the "CooperTalk" podcast, legendary guitarist George Lynch was asked to name his career highlights. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, I'm gonna be a hundred thousand percent honest with you here. The highlights of the career weren't musical things; the highlights of the career were financial things. And that's important. And I get sick of people, when you talk about the business of the music and the money and stuff, they're, like, 'Well, that's antithetical to the purity of the art, the artistic endeavor.' It's just an exchange of energy. It's how organisms operate.

"I love the game. I love the business of it," he continued. "And when it got to the point in my life where, as I was poor for a long period, for a big portion of my life, and growing up with a work ethic, I've been working since I was a kid, a little kid, and I pride myself on that. So when I got to the point in my life where I can actually feel like I can breathe and I don't have to be climbing every mountain uphill both ways carrying a hundred-pound load of rocks in the winter… I can actually let go a little bit and enjoy the process rather than be grinding and grinding and grinding, that was really a point in my life where it changed for me where I felt like I've achieved something. I'm not sure what I would call it, but I felt like I just kind of reached a point where I had a little bit more flexibility, a little bit more freedom and a little bit more security for my family. And that was probably the highlight of my musical journey. And I'm sorry — you would think it would be a musical thing, but it's not. It's that."

Lynch went on to say that being financially secure offers a certain comfort that enhances creativity rather takes away from it.

"I think we play better and perform better, think better, whatever, when we're relaxed — when you're breathing and you're relaxed and you don't have 'fight or flight,'" he said. "When you're poor and desperate, you are activated with all those other things and you're not playing at your best. I remember I wasn't relaxed; I was never relaxed. I was in the studio, like, 'Everything's on the line. I've gotta play the best solo in the world. I've gotta get this right.' Tons of pressure. You have anxiety. You're stressed. You're not breathing.

"I used to do this thing on stage where — I haven't done it in many, many, many years — but regularly I would hyperventilate on stage, to the point of passing out and going to the hospital," he revealed. "On big stages with DOKKEN all the time. And it was very worrisome. Because I would get myself so wound up that I had to prove myself: 'This is my one shot to kind of break through out of anonymity and poverty and prove that I matter and have something to say.' And I would go out there and I wouldn't breathe and my arms would stiffen up. And I didn't play well. Nowadays I'm relaxed. I've got a little bit of money in the bank. The walls are not collapsing in around me. I'm gonna be okay. We're gonna be okay. My family's okay. I have multiple projects. I have lots of friends that I play with and do different things. And we play with music; it's not this do-or-die thing. And we're very passionate about it, and I always do my best work, but I just learned to get out of my own way. And that was a giant, giant lesson for me. And that came with security. And that security came from money. So when people say money doesn't matter, I say, yeah, it does. Up to a point."

Lynch emerged from the 1980s hard rock scene with the Los Angeles-based group DOKKEN and went on to become a world-renowned guitarist. Aside from DOKKEN, he also enjoyed great success with LYNCH MOB, the group he founded after leaving DOKKEN.

Lynch has gone on to become a prolific (that is an understatement, to say the least) music creator, continuing with LYNCH MOB, releasing solo albums, and a wealth of collaborative efforts over the decades. Those include, but are not limited to, KXM with Doug Pinnick (KING'S X) and Ray Luzier (KORN),THE END MACHINE with Jeff Pilson (FOREIGNER, ex-DOKKEN),Mick Brown (ex-DOKKEN),and Robert Mason (WARRANT),SWEET & LYNCH with Michael Sweet (STRYPER),ULTRAPHONIX with Corey Glover (LIVING COLOUR),DIRTY SHIRLEY with Dino Jelusick (ANIMAL DRIVE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA),and THE BANISHMENT with Joe Haze.

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