“The first time I saw Van Halen it changed the way I looked at music and performing forever. It was 1978 and I had just formed my own group, Dokken. We were opening up for them for two nights at the Starwood in Hollywood. I was standing in my dressing room when they went on. Their first record wasn’t out yet, but they hit the stage like they had already made it. I could hear this blistering solo playing that sounded like a guy playing a violin through a Marshall, so I ran out of my dressing room to see what was up and spent the rest of the night watching the show with my mouth hanging open.
“Eddie was playing with both hands on the neck. This was the first time I had seen anybody do this. I think he was playing this homemade guitar and an Explorer that night. After that I knew I should give up my guitar playing and just concentrate on my singing because there was no way I could ever attempt to do what he was playing. It was the biggest, punchiest guitar sound I had ever heard. Then, to top it off, there was David Lee Roth, doing his antics and performing like he owned the world. He was so in control of the audience you woulda thought they were on their third world tour. It was scary for me and the rest of the musicians there that night. Van Halen showed everyone they were going to change the face of rock music and take themselves all the way to the top. It was pure attitude.”
— Don Dokken, from the hardcover photo book, Van Halen: A Visual History, by Neil Zlozower.