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George Lynch

One of the most popular guitarists to emerge from '80s-era heavy metal was Dokken's George Lynch. With an arsenal of snazzy-looking guitars and speedy solos, Lynch helped propel Dokken toward the top of the charts for a spell (before interband tension broke up the group), and later, launched a solo career. Although born in Spokane, Washington, on September 28, 1954, Lynch was raised in Sacramento, California, where he took up the guitar as a teenager. Influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Leslie West, Jeff Beck, and Allan Holdsworth, Lynch played the L.A. club circuit throughout the '70s, including gigs with such forgotten acts as Sergeant Rocks, Xciter, and the Boyz. It was as a member of the latter band that Lynch met drummer Mick Brown and singer Don Dokken, which led to the formation of Dokken by the early '80s. With a sound akin to a more melodic Van Halen (and their lyrics often dealing with the subject of heartbreak), Dokken issued their debut recording, Breaking the Chains, in 1982, first through the European label Carerre before Elektra signed the group and reissued the album in the U.S. Although Ratt bassist Juan Croucier played on the album, newcomer Jeff Pilson became a permanent member soon after.

Two back-to-back gold-certified albums followed, 1984's Tooth and Nail and 1985's Under Lock and Key, as Dokken became one of hard rock's most promising young bands. It was also during this time that Lynch began receiving recognition for his six-string skills. With Randy Rhoads deceased and Eddie Van Halen focusing more on songwriting than shredding, guitar slingers were looking for a new hero by the mid-'80s, and Lynch fit the bill, as he received countless accolades and appearances at the top of polls in guitar magazines. Lynch also became known for his interesting-looking instruments, especially one carved into the shape of a mangled skeleton (a long and fruitful relationship with the ESP guitar company also began around this time).

But with major breakthrough success beckoning, Dokken seemed to come apart at the seams. It was no secret that Lynch and Dokken never saw eye to eye, and their shaky relationship only worsened during the tour in support of 1987's platinum hit, Back for the Attack (an album which included the Lynch guitar showcase "Mr. Scary"). Even a slot on 1988's much-hyped Monsters of Rock U.S. tour (which also included Van Halen, the Scorpions, Metallica, etc.) couldn't save the sinking Dokken ship, as the group announced their split shortly after the tour's completion. After an obligatory live album, Beast from the East, was issued, Lynch opted to form a new outfit, the Lynch Mob, instead of what many fans hoped for: a guitar-shredding solo album.

Joining Lynch in the new outfit were singer Oni Logan, bassist Anthony Esposito, and former Dokken drummer Jones, who issued their debut album, Wicked Sensation, in 1990. While the album performed respectfully on the charts, the group's sound was almost a carbon copy of Dokken's and failed to break the group commercially. Throughout the early '90s, Lynch issued another release under the Lynch Mob name (1992's self-titled sophomore effort) and as a solo artist (1993's Sacred Groove), the latter of which Lynch originally planned on inviting such singers as Phil Anselmo and Chris Cornell to guest on, but wound up settling on Matthew and Gunnar Nelson (!), among others.

With both Lynch and Dokken's separate careers not what they once were, the singer and the guitarist settled their differences at the behest of their record company, as the Lynch-Dokken-Brown-Pilson lineup of Dokken reunited in 1994. An "unplugged" album/home video followed a year later, One Live Night, but old habits were hard to break, as Dokken and Lynch butted heads once again trying to settle on a musical direction on such subsequent lackluster studio albums as 1995's Dysfunctional and 1997's Shadowlife. Both albums failed to return Dokken back to the top of the charts, and Lynch left the group once more shortly thereafter.

The late '90s and early 21st century saw Lynch alternate between issuing albums with the Lynch Mob (with varying members) and as a solo artist, resulting in such further titles as Smoke This, Will Play for Food, Wicked Underground, the latter of which saw Lynch reunite with ex-Dokken bassist Pilson, Furious George, Scorpion Tales, and 2010's Orchestral Mayhem. In addition to releasing albums and touring, Lynch has been known to perform at guitar clinics and instrument expos (especially NAMM), and has developed his own signature guitar series with ESP and a high-nickel content string through Dean Markley. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Comments

In my opinion one of the 10 best guitarists ever George still shreds
Interesting to hear George on this classic. He has a wide range, but was born to be a metal shredder.
Lynch rocks!
From the 1st time I saw the video for "Breaking the Chains" I was fan. He is without a doubt 1 of the 10 best Hard Rock/Metal Guitarist of all time!
George Lynch at the copper rail in Brighton Colorado I'll never forget it it was awesome thank you Chris Romero for putting that together
Who sang this if its not pearcy, they were pretty good at recreating his sound! Great cover!
I love you George Lynch!!!!! Because of you Dokken would of never been Dokken!
Who is better lynch or vai. Malmsteen.sa t r i a n i . Answer,who owns a vai. Malmsteem or satriani album? Just about nobody. And evh is overrated. We also forget criss oliva. R.i.p.
Sacred Groove's a great album..The two track W Glenn Hughes are killer..Fles h and Blood W Ray Gillen(RIP) is great 2...
'Near carbon copy of Dokken'?! Lynch Mob's first two releases stand apart.
One of the guitar players that really made me stay on my chops!
I LOVE U GEORGE!
Scary Live would Certainly be worth the price of a Ticket. Rock on America.
eaton444
Best lead tone ever!
friscobay9er s
Lynch by far is a guitar god, he can hang with the best of them...EVH, Nuno, Satriani etc. you no the rest. I grew up listening to Lynch and he just gets better with time.
He's ok, I rather listen to true virtuosos like Petrucci, Nuno, Ron Thal, etc.. check them out guys, you won't be disappointed .
George kicks butt! I am fortunate to have hung out with him personally. I got to hang out at his home studio and watch him shred. One of his sound engineers Rob Terango was mixing it up, George and him were way cool. In fact all my guitars are signed by george. He also played my bones guitar on stage at the NAMM show. I also helped him with the you tube video at his dessert house. Author: Robert K
I just saw Lynch Mob friday nite in Boston. Mr Scary was worth the price of admission. Sooooo good!
carryelliott
Where is Oni Logan ? I would like to discuss some memories
The bio above is incorrect. Dokken's drummer was Mick Brown, he followed Lynch to Lynch Mob. Not some dude named Jones.
curtidan
Lol pandora is playing Round and Round.. stating it is by George Lynch! and the album is Guitar Slinger! LOLZ
GEORGE LYNCH does not even need the rest of the band...IMHO, , i a n y b o d y see the youtube vid?where he is in the desert in a shack ,,and about 10 speaker cabs,,just tearing it up ..??? peace to all
Lynch is a hero from my teen years who still delivers the shred two decades later. The new album is great and I don't see any signs of a slow down for Mr. Scary. Awesome dude, just awesome.
Agree--VERY HOT Will Tell Overture!!
Lynch has an awe-inspirin g signature sound. My favorite shredder other than Satriani.
Lynch...The master of Evil sounding licks....The real trick is how he incorperates them into melodic ideas that work with ballads.
Hottest William Tell Overture I ever heard!
Lynch Mob came out I believe in the early 90's with "Wicked Sensation." Then a self-titled album a few years after that, keeping Dokken bandmate Mick Brown.
He's got a new group. the Lynchmob
ggldumy
Really?
Hey dcasia3 I was @ that same show. The PA System went out on Don and he threw the mic down and ran off stage. About 7-10 min. later Lynch came out and tore into a blazing solo then show back on.Metallica , S c o r p i o n s and VH Kcked butt.
love george! his tone is so distinct. you know its him when u hear him!
I saw Dokken 4 times in the 80's, they kicked a** everytime, although they had equipment problems on the Monsters of Rock show in Houston and had to cut their set short. George is an awesome guitar player, just as good as Eddie Van Halen, just never broke out like VH did. George SHREDS!!!
this pic of George Lynch is incredibly hot!
I love George Lynch! I finally had a chance to see Dokken about 10yrs. ago, when they had reformed. It was awesome!
Jesus this guy can play!
fatherthing
Go, Georgy-Boy!. . .
george lynch was at the top of his game wen he was ROKKEN DOKKEN still good but not as good.

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