The Goo Goo Dolls remain one of the most popular touring bands from the 1980s era, and they've adopted new technology to ensure they remain relevant.
Their current foray has its second-to-last concert this Thursday at the Grand Sierra, but they'll be heading out again in the fall.
The band released "Goo Goo Dolls Live @ Soho," an iTunes EP that includes "Slide," Home," and "Not Broken" among its six tracks.
Robby Takac, the bassist and one of the band's founders, explains: "The Apple Store is the hippest place in most cities. The one in Soho just may be the hippest place on the planet."
Times have changed, he adds.
"The industry is not so much about putting out records anymore, cutting 13 songs," he says. "Groups have got to be aware, to be out there making things happen. When we started, we were on vinyl and cassette, but the components change and we have to change with them.
"Besides, I've got a lot of hungry roadies to feed."
Those roadies have been around pretty much since the Dolls were formed in 1986 in the rust belt of Buffalo. Their intention was to kill some time, make some music and maybe score some free beer from the clubs willing to book them.
The '80s were, of course, the time of Madonna, Duran Duran and all those hair bands. The Dolls were more in the trend of the Sex Pistols and the Clash, appealing to and feeding off youth frustration.
"We were having to come up with a name as we began to perform more regularly," Takac says, "and we were at a gig where there was a True Detective magazine in the back room. There was an ad in it for a goo-goo doll, and we chose that. It really was a pretty irresponsible name for a loud, brashy rock band.
"At first, we used it as a joke, but it doesn't even sound that silly anymore. I kind of wish we had changed it, though."
Still, they managed to establish themselves firmly with what was their fifth release, "A Boy Named Goo," which landed their first No. 1 single "Name" in 1995. To follow three years later was "Iris," used in the "City of Angels" soundtrack and destined to spend 17 weeks in the top Billboard position in 1998.
They're now on another soundtrack, that of "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon."
"I didn't see the movie," says Takac. "Having your song in a Hollywood movie still counts for something in terms of merchandising. It gets you an A+ when it comes to getting your name out there. It's even more important these days when we are so securely attached to huge businesses, huge machines, forgive the pun."
The band has so far racked up four Grammy nominations, 13 consecutive Top 10 multi-format hit songs and more than 10 million in record sales. Co-founder John Rzeznik has received multiple songwriting awards, including the Hal David Starlight honor.
The tour is in support of "Something for the Rest of Us," their latest album recorded over the last three years. Takac and Rzeznik are joined by drummer Mike Malinin.
Their new album is aimed at the current hard times and people struggling with no end in sight, Rzeznik says. Once again, the Goo Goo Dolls are aiming outside the mainstream, at "the rest of us."
They seem to be hitting the mark. This summer, the band drew a huge crowd to New York City's Central Park for their appearance on "Good Morning, America" despite the heat, 100 degrees at 8 in the morning.
"Our crew started arriving at 3:30 in the morning, and it was hot then," Rzeznik recalls. "You could barely even touch anything made of metal, but there was this crowd."
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