Drummer BJ Zampa explains how he ended up joining Dokken
Dokken and House of Lords drummer BJ Zampa was recently interviewed by Rob Loiacano for All Music/All Bands.
Zampa was asked how he ended up joining Dokken to which he replied (with slight edits):
“Years ago, I did a show in England somewhere. I was playing for House of Lords but on the bill with us was Kingdom Come and Dokken. At the time, my friend Barry Sparks was playing bass with Dokken and at this point, I hadn’t seen Barry in about 10 years so we all meet backstage so that’s where we all kind of meet, although Don Dokken wasn’t backstage or at least I didn’t meet him then. Later that same year in 2008, my House of Lords bandmate and bass player Chris McCarvill and I received a call from Dokken‘s management asking us if we would want to come out to L.A. and audition for the band. At the time of that call, I was basically leaving for the eighth House Of Lords tour and decided that I couldn’t do the audition. Thankfully Chris went and secured the gig.
So basically Dokken‘s bass player Barry Sparks and drummer Mick Brown went off to play with Ted Nugent. Fast forward to the end of the Lords tour, I received a call from Chris asking if I would be interested in coming out to play a show with Dokken on their summer tour with Poison and Sebastian Bach. He also told me if I can get through the Dokken set, I would have the gig for the summer. By the way, keep in mind these are full on arena shows with 20 thousand people attending. Talk about pressure! (Ha ha) So the next day I loaded my drums into my SUV and left New Haven, Connecticut for Boston, Massachusetts, about a two hour drive and the entire drive I was listening to Dokken songs. Once I arrived in Boston, that’s when I meet Don Dokken. He asked me if I knew the songs. I replied I hope so. At that point, guitarist Jon Levin took me to the back of the bus and we went over some endings. Next thing I know, I’m on stage with Dokken in front of about 18 to 20 thousand people. After the show, Don told me to throw my stuff on the bus. So after all that, I wound up being a substitute for Mick Brown for a few summer seasons while he would be out with Nugent. It wasn’t till 2019 some eight years later when “Wild” Mick retired that Don reached out and asked me to come out and here we are! That’s the story!!! Ha ha.”
You can read the rest of the interview with BJ Zampa at All Music/All Bands‘ Facebook page.