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If you go WHAT: Goo Goo Dolls in concert, with support from SafetySuit WHEN: 8 p.m. Nov. 7 WHERE: Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts, 151 S. Santa Fe TICKETS: $52, $68, $85 INFORMATION: 827-1998 or stiefeltheatre.org

As with any long-term relationship, Robby Takac and John Rzeznik have had what Takac described as “hills and valleys.”

But after 30 years as the duo behind Goo Goo Dolls, one of the most successful bands of the 1990s and beyond, it is a love for music that has bonded bassist Takac and guitarist and lead singer Rzeznik through the decades.

“At points, we get along swimmingly, and then we’ll be at each other’s throats,” Takac said. “But John and I figure out we’re stronger together than any other way.”

Together as Goo Goo Dolls, Takac and Rzeznik have recorded 14 Top 10 singles and have sold more than 12 million albums worldwide. Best known for their mega-selling 1998 single “Iris” from the soundtrack of the movie “City of Angels,” Goo Goo Dolls also had big hits with the songs “Name,” “Slide,” “Better Days,” “Here is Gone,” “Broadway,” “Black Balloon” and a cover of the Supertramp classic “Give a Little Bit.”

Goo Goo Dolls will be in concert Nov. 7 at Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts, 151 S. Santa Fe. Supporting them will be SafetySuit, a pop/rock band from Tulsa, Okla., now based in Nashville, Tenn.

The band is touring in support of its 11th studio album, “Boxes.” Goo Goo Dolls has performed the first single from the album, “So Alive,” on “The Today Show,” “The Talk,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “Conan.”

The concert will be the culmination of a week of events at Stiefel Theatre that includes an evening with writer and humorist David Sedaris on Sunday, singer-songwriter Amos Lee on Wednesday and comedian Rodney Carrington on Friday.


Hitting it big

Goo Goo Dolls was formed in Buffalo, N.Y., when Takac and his drummer friend George Tutuska met Rzeznik, who was playing in another local band. They found the name for their new power trio in an ad in “True Detective” magazine for a toy named Goo Goo Doll.

While Rzeznik has been quoted as saying he would have picked a better name if he’d had the chance, Takac joked that the name “has a lot of o’s in it and not a lot of sharp edges.”

At the time, Takac was a big fan of heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath, while Rzeznik was more into punk rock and British bands such as The Cure. At first, Goo Goo Dolls had a limited ability to play, Takac said, but “a sincere desire to be exciting.”

The band’s first album, “Goo Goo Dolls,” was released in 1987. Just before its breakthrough album, 1995’s “A Boy Named Goo,” was released, Tutuska left the band and was replaced by drummer Mike Malinin, who remained until 2013.

“A Boy Named Goo” became one of the most successful alternative rock albums of the 1990s and produced a hit single, “Name.” But only after Rzeznik was approached about writing a song for the “City of Angels” soundtrack in 1997 did the resulting song “Iris” catapult the band into superstardom.

The huge success of “Iris,” which was nominated for a Grammy Award and also included on the band’s triple platinum album “Dizzy Up the Girl” in 1998, caught both of them by surprise.

“(‘City of Angels’) was a huge soundtrack anyway, with songs by U2 and Peter Gabriel and Alanis Morissette,” Takac said. “But we had our standout track, and we had no clue that was going to happen. They played the song in the background during the Stanley Cup finals, and I went, ‘Wow, this song is really getting big.’ ”


New songs and favorites

Currently, Takac and Rzeznik are touring with a new drummer, along with a keyboardist and another guitarist. Takac said the concert is a mixture of material from the new album and “all those favorite hit songs.”

“We try to give fans the songs they want to hear,” he said. “It’s so crazy and divisive out there in the world now that we want people to be able to come in and get lost in the songs, get caught up in what we’re doing. One of the few things you can do now as a community is to go out and see a band play, where you can see real interaction and everyone excited.”

Takac said he and Rzeznik feel fortunate to have formed a connection with a wide range of fans over the years who write letters and post on social media about how personally they have connected with Goo Goo Dolls songs.

“There’s a strong community of people who have met through social media through us, and some of them have been friends for decades,” he said. “We’ve been really lucky.”
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