John Norum Interview

John Norum plays guitar for one of Southern California's most famous singer/songwriters/musicians - Don Dokken. You may recall John's previous band - "Europe" - of "The Final Countdown" fame.

Q. Since everyone in Don's band is really a star player, and could go and join or form another band at anytime - what's holding the Don Dokken band together?
A. I can just talk for myself. I've been together with Don now for two years. The music he likes, I like. We lave the same taste. We're great friends. We're all fighting for the same thing - to make Don's album gold. He opened a lot of doors for me as a musician. I've been to Eddie Van Halen's house jamming with him. I was out jamming with Michael Schenker. I know all the people in the Scorpions. If I hadn't met Don, I wouldn't be able to do these things.

Q. What happened with "Europe?"
A. I did a whole tour with them, in Europe and Japan. “The Final Countdown” album was like Number One everywhere. That was great, but I was thinking of leaving that band for the last two years. I was with them because things were just not working out the way I wanted them to be. The main reason why I left the band was because the manager they had at the time. He was a very horrible person to deal with. It was either like going totally nuts or quit the band.

Q. If you had to put Dokken's music in a category, what would it be? Hard rock, or metal?
A. I don't think this is metal at all actually. I think this is guitar oriented melodic hard rock. It sounds a lot like the old Dokken stuff I think, because Don wrote most of the songs on the album. I don't really know what the difference is between metal and hard rock.

Q. I would imagine a lot of people are envious of the job you have. Do you ever ask yourself - why me?
A. (Laughs.) Well, sometimes I actually do. It depends on what kind of places we come to and play. I was with Europe for seven years and I got kind of spoiled when I was playing with them, 'cause we played in arenas and we had private places. Sometimes when you get to a little, tiny place, you don't think like that, I should be lucky, you think the other way.

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