TEXARKANA – Imagine owning your own club and hosting your own birthday party; you can book your favorite band and sell tickets. Lance LeMay, owner of Fat Jack’s Oyster Bar in Texarkana, did just that in September.
“Lance told me that he saw Dokken when he was 16 and it was his favorite band,” said Marlon Lineberry of Intense Lineberry Productions. “They just happen to be touring again. I met them at a meet and greet and presented them with a proposal. Lance and Don Dokken agreed on a price, and George Lynch agreed to join them. It worked out perfectly!”
Lance arranged for a tour bus to bring the band from a gig in Oklahoma to Texarkana. Marlon drove George himself. “He is just a down-to-earth guy; I really enjoyed my time with him,” he said.
George, who has often been called one of the most influential 1980s metal guitarists, is ranked No. 10 on the “Top Metal Guitarists of All Time” list by Gibson. He is best known for his work with Dokken and his solo band Lynch Mob.
The band broke up when Don Dokken and George had a “difference of opinion” in 1989. In the 90s they attempted to get back together, but the animosity between them prevented a successful reunion.
Dokken is now the only original member of the band. Their attorney, Jim Levin, is now the lead guitarist, and George joins them on three songs at the end of each show. Bass player Chris McCarvill and drummer B.J. Zampa round out the current band lineup.
“…sometimes, it is uncomfortable for me, because when I show up, I have to sit there, and, of course, they’re playing the songs that I wrote. And the guitar player, Jon, is a wonderful guy; we’re friends. But they’re doing my whole thing, and then I walk out,” George told SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk” in a January 2022 interview.
He went on to explain that it’s a financial decision made by Don and he’s okay with that: “There’s what we do as a business…you have to have that balance of appreciating and producing music that you love, and that people enjoy, and at the same time, it has to make sense financially.”
Those three songs, though, were enough to sell out the little club in Texarkana. There were only 200 tickets, and despite the $160.00 price, they went fast. People came from all over the region; some brought their guitars to have George autograph them.
Local cover band Crooked Halo opened up for the 80’s glam rock band and got the standing-room-only crowd sufficiently warmed up. The band specializes in 80s and 90s rock hits and has also opened shows for Buckcherry and Candlebox.
Crooked Halo has been performing for over 20 years in Texarkana, with the current lineup coming together just last year after bass player, Kenny Attaway, passed away from COVID. The five members of the band represent a collective 200 years of performing experience.
Steve Briggs, the only founding member, has been playing guitar since he was young and is known as one of the best local players. His flawless rendition of Van Halen’s Eruption is a fan favorite.
James Williams is known as the most-requested drummer on the local circuit since the 80s. Attaway’s replacement on bass is Jimmy Sparks, who has also been rocking area stages for about 40 years. Paul Felder is the newest member, adding a keyboard sound that allows the band a more diverse playlist.
Rounding out the lineup is vocalist Chris Montano. His superb imitations of Axl Rose, David Lee Roth, Robert Plant, Chris Cornell, Scott Weiland, and others will cause the listener to do a doubletake. His spot-on performance includes dance moves, leaps, and props such as a bullhorn.
The superb billing of Crooked Halo and Dokken made for a show that could have rocked a stadium. The intimate setting of the small club gave the audience an access that is rarely allowed.
The show ended with Don and George presenting a birthday cake to Lance on the stage. His response was no surprise: “This is the best birthday ever!”