DOKKEN frontman Don Dokken has issued the following update:
"We're starting to write a new CD now [that] my voice problems have been hopefully fixed [after recently undergoing surgery].
"It's been very frustrating not to be able to sing a hundred percent.
"For all of you that blasted me about smoking, you're right — it was vocal suicide, and I'm sure the JD didn't help. I'm now using an Ecigarette.
"For those of you that smoke, I recommend it; you get your nicotine fix without getting cancer!
"Alaska will be my first show since surgery 'fingers crossed.'
"Jon [Levin, guitar] has some great new song ideas and Mick [Brown, drums], Sean [McNabb, bass], and I will be writing lyrics for them soon.
"It looks like we'll be playing a lot this summer if my voice holds up. I wasn't sure we would be playing at all, but I went to the vocal restoration center in Boston and they did a great job. I thought it was all from smoking and drinking my fave uncle Jack, but in the end they said, 'Hey, you've been singing for 35 years and it's taken its toll.'
"I waited too long to have my voice looked at but after hearing Tom Keifer [CINDERELLA] sing after his vocal problems, I was blown away! He sounds awesome and it inspired me to see a doctor and step up my game.
"The new CD should be out by the fall, if all goes well.
"As far as the DOKKEN [classic lineup] reunion goes, the 'truth' is we had a meeting and Jeff [Pilson, bass] said he is busy with FOREIGNER until 2012, so if it's going to happen, it will be then.
"George [Lynch, guitar] has said it's all about me wanting lots of money [which is] 'bullshit.'
"I would love to do one last CD with the original members. Jon has given me his blessing on doing it, but I confess I love the band as it is. Jon is an awesome guitarist as well as my best friend and I think we have written some great songs together, so we'll see what happens towards 2012.
"So, for now, we're going forward and hope you like the next body of work.
"I know the fans would like to see a reunion, but, as it's always been, George and I have different ideas about the direction of DOKKEN's music. 'Shadow Life' is a good example — some good songs, but it wasn't DOKKEN, in my opinion. I will not repeat that direction.
"I was told not to sing for at least a year, but I'm stubborn and want to play, so here we go.
"The Mayans say it's all over in 2012, so in case they're right, gotta get out there and ROCK!
"Hope to see you at the shows."