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‘It’s a good feeling to see someone half my age singing my song’

John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls is one who understands that feeling well, having written “Iris”, a 1998 ballad that has become a modern classic. Like Sting, he is surprisingly zen about the experience of seeing his creation mangled by the grubby hands of artists around the world.

“To me, it’s like a testament to the song,” he says. “Like, wow – you know, I wish I could make another song like that – it has really held together for 20 years. I mean, it’s a good feeling to see someone half my age singing my song.”

Surely with so many versions of it knocking around, there must be some that he hates? Seemingly not.

“My friends constantly send me versions of the song on YouTube by like guys in their bedroom with their shirt off, singing in to a brush, you know, just things like that! Has a version ever angered me? No, never. I can honestly say that. I mean, have I cringed just a little bit, once in a while? Yeah, maybe!”

Of course, he acknowledges that there might be a little something that softens any blow of his work being ruined on TV talent shows. “What I find kind of interesting is that a few times somebody comes on Britain’s Got Talent, and they do ‘Iris’ and then – bang – our version of it is back in the charts! And you’re like, ‘Wow this is great! Keep going, keep doing it every year – I want to see it every year!’”

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