Former DOKKEN drummer “Wild” Mick Brown recently discussed his decision to retire from touring
Back in 2019, Mick said that he was “taking a break” from the road however the implication was there that he would eventually return to the live stage.
In a new interview with the “Rimshots With Sean” podcast, Mick discussed his stepping away from touring, saying (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “It’s been about four and a half years [since I last played with DOKKEN]. I was 63 [at the time]. My body started developing pain from playing drums. And I was really getting tired and it was really hard to walk through airports. I’m still in a lot of pain — shoulder pain, some joint pain in the fingers, which have subsided now, except the walking part.
“And it didn’t occur to me to stop. Although I just blurted out to Don [Dokken, DOKKEN leader], ‘I’ve gotta stop doing this. I can’t do it anymore.’ And he got immediately, like, ‘Wow. I’m surprised you even made it this far with what you did to yourself.'”
Mick went on to explain that the injuries he sustained over the years due to playing drums eventually took their toll.
“I wouldn’t have stopped if the pain wasn’t there,” he explained. “But the pain was, and it was getting too much for me. And the traveling — listen, after 40 years of traveling that fast [laughs], the last thing I wanted to do was go to another airport or sit in a van going to the hotel or on a tour bus. I was done. And I just let the higher power go, ‘All right. You’re done.’ And I followed that.
“Everything I liked about it had kind of disappeared anyway. Like in today’s world, Don wasn’t using me on the records — the last couple of records. And I’m, like, ‘I’m the drummer in the band. You’re not gonna…?’ ‘Cause it cost money to fly me; it turned into that world. And it became a job. And I was, like, ‘It’s still a real good job.’
“I loved the creative part of working,” he continued. “Like when Jeff [Pilson, former DOKKEN bassist] and George [Lynch, former DOKKEN guitarist] would write a song and deliver it to Don done and show him what we had, that was a really satisfying thing. That was gone. My roadie was gone. I had to set up a different drum set every day. It went full circle from what you did when you were 14 to 63. I’m, like, ‘I’m back as a 14-year-old, except I’m really old. I have to set these drums up? Fuck that.’
“So I just [decided to stop playing],” Brown added. “And I’m telling you what, it’s been the best choice… I really discovered life after all that because I didn’t [do it] to prove anything and I got a chance to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Who am I?’ And now I’ve got this group of great friends in one place, so I can enjoy that.”
Discussing what the 66-year old does to keep himself busy nowadays, Brown said: “I have no ambition anymore, and I’ve never really been ambitious with anything except music. I make enough money where I don’t have to do anything. And guess what? I don’t do anything. I ride that chopper… That’s really what my passion is. I do a lot of sleeping. And I don’t have anything I have to do — except enjoy my friends today. It’s that kind of a thing. That’s where I’m at. And I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Brown continued: “I want everyone to know — I’m just having the time of my life,” he said. “But I’ve always done that. But this is just as good.
“I haven’t touched a drum stick in two years,” Mick revealed. “Since I’ve retired, I’ve played two ‘Highway To Hell’s, three ‘Rock And Roll’s. And [my friend] Bobby makes me play with his band… we play ‘River Of Love’ by LYNCH MOB. So I’ve done six songs in four and a half years. But I’m done. I did it all… I did everything I wanted to do — tenfold more than I thought was gonna happen. Literally. And God, being able to get out, and looking back now, I’m so grateful. I literally cry tears of joy sometimes and just [think], ‘Wow. I did that.’
DOKKEN continue to perform with their current lineup which features bassist Chris McCarvill, guitarist Jon Levin and drummer BJ Zampa.