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In the early 80's, Robby Takac was in a punk band, called the Monarchs, which were from the suburbs of Buffalo, NY. John Rzeznik played in a hardcore band called the Beaumonts with Robby's cousin, who played bass as well. John was 19 and Robby was 20 when they first met. George Tutuska and Robby were school friends.


George, John and Robby, all acquaintances through Buffalo State College and the local band scene, had gotten together over Memorial Day in 1986. George had rented practice space in a derelict building on Genesee Street near the end of Chippewa.
"My old band had crapped out and their old bands had crapped out," John says. "I showed them some riffs. George came up with words. And Robby put everything together. The landlord even came over and hung out with us." [1]

Robby, George and John called their band the Sex Maggots. A promoter had caught a performance at a local club and decided to book them. However he requested they had to change the name, as the local newspaper could not print their current name. One night before a performance and slightly under the influence, the boys flipped through the pages of a True Detective magazine and discovered an ad for a Goo Goo Doll. It caught their attention, enough to make it the new name of their band. "We were young and we were a garage band, not trying to get a deal. We had a gig that night and needed a name. It's the best we came up with, and for some reason it stuck. If I had five more minutes, I definitely would have picked a better name" John stated. Appealing at the time, Johnny has stated numerous times that he felt the name was a hindrance to selling records and that under a different title, they may have sold more.

Within a few months, the Goo Goo Dolls were favourites in Buffalo's club scene, but the band members were living life on the edge. In an interview John said: "We went through all the booze and drug experimentation, all that nonsense. People came to our shows just to see if one of us was gonna die on stage. Robby was still kind of metal, and I had this big blond fucking coif--like a blond Robert Smith! We'd get up on stage and play so fuckin' hard. We didn't know what we were playing half the time." Robby added: "We'd make up songs on stage. Just write some chords on a piece of paper and go out and play them".

The Goo Goo Dolls started out covering songs by artists as diverse as Prince, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and the Plimsouls, adding their own twist of homespun humor. The band had to rent performance spaces in order to play. Matt Ashare of the Boston Phoenix described their early original material as "loud, raucous songs that combined Ramones-style buzz-saw guitars with Cheap Trick hooks and a lot of rock-and-roll heart".

The band enjoyed playing together so much, that in November they entered a recording studio and produced the their first, self-titled album Goo Goo Dolls, which was released on the independent label Mercenary Records, on a $750 budget.

While Robby was the Lead Singer in the first few years, John had been writing songs since high school. About singing John says: "When the Goo Goo Dolls first started, I didn't sing. I wouldn't sing. I was incredibly crippled by shyness when I was younger. I couldn't even talk to people without my hand in front of my face to hide behind. Robby really helped me to bring me out of my shell. He encouraged me to sing. He may have created a monster".

Early in 1987 Celluloid Records, the mother company of Mercenary Records, went bankrupt and the band had to borrow money from friends to get back into the studio. Both John en Robby used a lot of alcohol and drugs and the sessions were anything but productive.

If it weren't for Artie Kwitchoff, the Goo Goo Dolls would never have left Buffalo. Local promoter of the band, Artie gave the band much needed direction. In May of 1987 Artie arranged the bands first national tour, the infamous <strong>Cram The Van</strong> tour. They borrowed a cargo van from a friend and hit the road.

In February the band signed with the Death/Enigma label and released the album Jed. Right after, the band went back out on tour but back on the road, John's drinking problems strained with George and Robby. John decided to quit drinking and focus more on song writing and playing music.

After a gig in Los Angeles, the band was offered a contract with Indie label Metal Blade Records. They let the deal over to the only lawyer they know, their divorce lawyer back in Buffalo. He said that it was slavery contract and that he wouldn't sign it, but he didn't had the intentions to become a rockstar. The Goo Goo Dolls did and with reckless abandon, they went into a 5 records deal with Metal Blade Records.

In May the band went back to the studio to record their third album.

The Goo Goo Dolls released Hold Me Up under Metal Blade's distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records.

In between time, the band recorded an original song, I'm Awake Now for the soundtrack to Nightmare On Elm Street 6.

In late 1992, the band started work on their forth album, while their label Metal Blade Records forged an alliance with Warner Brothers Records. Under the terms of the agreement, the band was still bound to Metal Blade, but the new record would be distributed and promoted by the industry giant. So the bands hopes were higher then ever when they released their new album Superstar Car Wash on the Warner Brothers label in February 1993.

Produced by Gavin McKillop, of Toad The Wet Sprocket renown, Superstar Car Wash went even further in proving the bands axiom that gut-level, guitar-based rock and roll had a place in the pure pop spectrum. "It's about time The Goo Goo Dolls conquered the world," insisted their hometown paper, the Buffalo News.

To support the album, Warner Brothers sent the band on a year long tour, but this time they were the headliners. They dumped the old cargo van and got themselves a brand new tour bus. Aside from headlining their own SRO dates, the band also opened for Soul Asylum nationally and took a swing through Europe for some selected dates. They made numerous TV appearances, including a performance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien and contributed a version of the Rolling Stones' Bitch to the AIDS benefit album, No Alternative. Despite the ambitious tour, sales of the album all but dried up. Six months after hitting the road, Warner Brothers threw in the towel and canceled the roadshow. The band was forced to head back to Buffalo and find day jobs.

Then in the summer of 1994, Warner Brother offered to back their fifth album. By the time sessions for the new album were on their way, John and George were barely speaking. Just weeks after the release of their new record, John reached his breaking point, he quit the Goo Goo Dolls. Robby wasn't about to let John give up on their dream without a fight, but their was no way John would come back without a change in the bands line-up. They fired long-time drummer George Tutuska. In the week of George's firing, John became deeply depressed, and after nearly 5 years of soberly he was drinking again.

In January John and Robby left for Los Angeles in search of a fresh start and a new drummer. They held an audition and the first candidate was Mike Malinin, a 27 year old Texan.

In March A Boy Named Goo was released by Warner Brothers. Work on the album proceeded at home and in a local studio as the songs and the sound of the album began to take shape. "At first we tried a real high-tech approach," explains Rzeznik, "with all sorts of bells and whistles. But after awhile we realized that the best way to get what we were after was to get a boom-box, hit the record button, and just start banging away". The "banging" was shaped and moulded into actual songs with the able assistance of the group's long-time collaborator, Armond Pietrie, and by the time Giordano (the group's first choice for producer) arrived in June, they were virtually ready to begin the recording process. Basic tracks were cut in New York, with additional recording and overdubs done in Buffalo. "What we were getting was very natural, very true to form," Rzeznik explains. "We'd done our homework...we knew exactly what we were going for and Lou locked right in." But the process was not quite complete. Additional sessions were scheduled in Los Angeles, this time with producer Rob Cavallo, the man behind the boards for Green Day's multi-platinum Reprise debut abum, Dookie. "Originally we were going to do some 'B' sides," explains Robby Takac, "but the tracks came out so well we ended up using two of them on the album." The songs in question: a cover of Disconnected, from the pioneering Buffalo punk band, The Enemies, and Slave Girl, from Australia's Lime Spiders. Now, it's all come together on A Boy Named Goo. "I look at our career as having three stages," remarks Rzeznik with a smile. "Drunk, hungover and sober. I wouldn't exactly say we're in our sober phase now, but we are dead serious about making the best music we can." Which is exactly what The Goo Goo Dolls deliver on A Boy Named Goo: the very best from one of the most promising young bands in America.

Album sales were still sluggish and the band criss-crossed America hoping to get their music heard, but few would listen. In June all that changed, when Kevin Weatherly of LA KROQ Radio decided to give A Boy Named Goo another listen. Tucked between a dozen driven rock tunes, he found something unexpected, a pop-balled called Name. Radio stations across the country followed KROQ and start playing Name. Not long after that, somewhere in September, it hit the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles charts.

The single brought the Goo Goo Dolls a whole new audience of top 40 fans, but the success of the single provoked harsh criticism from their loyal punk followers, who accused the band of selling out.

In November the soundtrack to Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was released, including the Goo Goo Dolls' song Don't Change.

The band returned to their home town in the spring. April 13th was declared Goo Goo Dolls-day in Buffalo and 16 thousand frenzy fans came to see a band play, that only months earlier had troubles selling out a club. That summer the band had even more reason to celebrate, on July 17th A Boy Named Goo was certified double platinum.

But their succes was soon dashed. In October, the band received their first royalty statement. Despite of selling over 2 million records, the Goo Goo Dolls learned they were over 150,000 dollars in depth. It was a painful lesson in the economics of rock & roll.

In November the band, with attoreny Peter Paterno, filed suits against Metal Blade Records accusing the label of signing "Naive musicians in their early twenties, who had no knowledge of or experience in the music business to a grossly unfair, one-sided and unenforceable contract". Metal Blade attorney Bill Berrol denies the bands claims and says the terms of the contract and the royalties were more then fair. Metal Blade claimed they had yet to regain their investment, they had made in the band in their 8 year relationship.

The band set out on a 4 month tour, playing at State Fairs, to back their legal battle.

In April, after 6 months of negotiating, the Goo Goo Dolls and Metal Blade Records reached an out-of-court settlement. The Goo Goo Dolls sign directly under Warner Brothers Records but Metal Blade Records remains to receive some royalties for past and future records.

In the fall, after an emotional stressful year, John and Robby moved to New York City. There they hoped to write, relax and disappear from the public eye. But it turned out to be anything but a retreat, John felt an enormous pressure to follow up the success of Name and developed a career-threatening case of writer's block. The insecurities John had worked so hard to overcome, came rushing back. He slipped into a deep depression and became a recluse.

After 6 months of seclusion, Robby convinced John to move back to Buffalo to work on new material. But John was still crippled by writer's block, he hadn't finished a song for over a year. John admitted that he even sought counselling advice for his song writing problems: "I had to talk to a counsellor who deals with musicians and writers and artists."

Then in January John was asked to write a song for the movie City of Angels, which turned out to be a Godsend. Without hesitation John went to work and in a single evening, he crafted a haunting balled that would soon dominate the airwaves. Within weeks of it release, Iris lifted the City of Angels Soundtrack to the top of the charts. Iris was the cure for what was ailing John and soon the band was back in the studio recording their sixth album.

In March the band could be found on the album Fleetwood Mac, Legacy: A Tribute To Rumours, with their version of I Don't Want To Know.

The Goo Goo Dolls hit #1 in the charts for 3 weeks with Iris in August. Iris topped the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Airplay chart for 18 weeks.

In September the Goo Goo Dolls reportedly decided not to appear on The Howard Stern Radio Show after hearing about his demands (performing while wearing sailor suits), and as a result K-Rock Radio (who produces Stern's radio show) banned the band from their airwaves. But a few days later, the band said they would be performing on the show (which lead many to speculate that the controversy was a publicity plot to improve embarrassing television ratings). K-Rock had been playing a promo which stated: "We guarantee not to play the Goo Goo Dolls on K-Rock until the band agrees to perform (with Stern) in a sailor suit and (a show writer) in a thong and throngs of gay men parading around..." The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force also spoke against Stern's comments: "I don't know what sounding 'gay' is... I don't know what Howard Stern means by sounding 'gay,' but clearly he meant it in a derogatory way." The band later decided to play on the show.

On September 22th, the Goo Goo Dolls released Dizzy Up The Girl. The single Slide went up the charts and the album reached double platinum status in less then 6 months.

In October the band kicked off their North American tour in California.

In the fall it was announced that Mike was made an official Goo Goo Doll.

In November it was announced that the band would open for the Rolling Stones in March of '99. Rzeznik told MTV that returning to an open-act status will only be temporary: "We wanna go out and play on our own because when you're an opening band, people throw things at you. I don't mind when somebody who loves my band throws a shoe at me, y'know, because it's with love..."

In February the Goo Goo Dolls were nominated for 3 Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year (Iris).

The Goo Goo Dolls had to cancel a few concert dates in April due to lead singer Johnny Rzeznik's injured vocal chords.

Sugar Ray and the Goo Goo Dolls teamed up touring together in the summer. In Las Vegas, ten thousands of screaming fans jumped to their feet as the Goo Goo Dolls take the stage to kick off the biggest tour of their lives thus far.

In November Dizzy Up The Girl was certified 3x platinum.

In December the Goo Goo Dolls found some airplane travel problems in Sicily when their plane skidded off the runway. None of the passengers were injured. "We took off from Bosnia, and we got caught in a thunderstorm and then the plane ran out of gas, so we had to land. It was like a miracle that we got out of that thing alive. It was really bad." John said in a 2010 interview with Command Performance. [2]

In November the Rolling Stone & MTV: 100 Greatest Pop Songs includes Iris at # 39. The band also won a Radio Music Award for Artist of the Year: Pop Alternative Radio.

The Goo Goo Dolls released a compilation album in May with prior album tracks, What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art &amp; Commerce (1987-2000).

The band was back in the studio during the summer recording their next album.

In September John performed Wish You Were Here with Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst and Wes Borland for a landmark fundraiser (America: A Tribute To Heroes) aired by all the major networks to raise money for families of the victims of recent terrorist attacks.

In October the Goo Goo Dolls performed at The Concert For New York City benefit concert in New York City (later released as an album) with proceeds going to 9/11 charities.

The Goo Goo Dolls released their new album Gutterflower in April.

The Goo Goo Dolls performed on the Today Show Summer Concert Series in June.

In July, Gutterflower was certified gold

John hit the Top 40 solo in November, with I'm Still Here from the Treasure Planet soundtrack.

The Goo Goo Dolls toured with Bon Jovi from Februay through April.

On the 4th of July, the Goo Goo Dolls give a concert in front of the old town hall in the center of Buffalo. About halfway during the concert it starts to rain heavily.

The Goo Goo Dolls released the live CD/DVD Live In Buffalo - July 4th, 2004 in November, which included their cover of the Supertramp classic Give A Little Bit.

In September the Goo Goo Dolls performed on ReAct Now: Music & Relief - a benefit program shown on music video channels to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The Goo Goo Dolls released their next album Let Love In in April.

In November, the Goo Goo Dolls released the hits collection Greatest Hits Vol. 1 - The Singles.

John Rzeznik was received the Hal David Starlight Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 19. Award recipients are gifted songwriters who are at an apex in their careers and are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs. Commenting on the award to Rzeznik, Hal David said, "John Rzeznik is well-deserving of the Starlight Award, not only shining as an outstanding, talented songwriter, but one with a unique vision. We are pleased to honor him with this prestigious award."

During the summer, the band toured the UK and Ireland and several venues in the US, while working on their next studio album.

On July 4, at the same day of the start of their Europe 2008 tour, the new single Real was released on European iTunes.

The single Real was released on the AT&T Team USA Soundtrack on August 8th, at the start of the Olympic Games in Beijng. The soundtrack was produced to support the U.S. Olympic Team athletes.

Following their Greatest Hits album from the year before, the band released Volume 2, a CD/DVD set featuring previously unreleased tracks, b-sides, rarities, cover versions, live performances, and all 24 of the band's music videos collected in one package. The set was released on August 19th. A limited edition of the set, including the full registration of their performance at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2007, that was only for sale via the official website, sold out within days.

The band spend the spring and summer producing their 9th studio album. The album is created with the help of producer Tim Palmer. They released videos on the website of their official fanclub (the Inner Machine), showing the band working on the new album in their studios in Buffalo and Los Angeles.

On August 15, 2009, Robby Takac posted an update on his twitter account stating that the recording for the new album had been completed & the mixing of the album is yet to be done.

On September 18, 2009, John Rzeznik stated in an interview on Good Day L.A., that the new album has tentatively been titled Something for the Rest of Us.

A single had been originally slated to be released in November 2009 with an album release in February 2010, but the band went back into the studio in January 2010. "We thought they had finished the record, but we think we can make it a lot better" according to John. Several producers were brought in to assist on the production process, including Butch Vig, John Fields, Paul David Hager and Rob Cavallo.[3]

When asked about the length of time between albums, Rzeznik admitted it was a mix of songwriting issues as well as taking time out for personal reasons; "I wanted to really dig deep and there are a million songs I threw away, like, “Nah, it's not good enough. I wanna do something different. I wanna do something better, go deeper.” I also wanted to have a life with my girlfriend for a while. I owed it to her to spend some time with her and be normal and be in one place. That was kind of important."[3]

At the end of February and throughout March the band did a number of online Ustream live sessions to show fans the recording process of the new album and rehearsals for the upcoming spring tour, which kicked off April 4th.

In late May, John announced that "Home" would be the first single. It was released onto radio and iTunes stores on June 8th.[3]

June 23th, the band performed their new single Home on national TV during the NHL Awards. [4]

The band played a free 4th of July concert in Philadelphia in front of a few 100 thousand people. [5] [6] During the performance a little boy joined the band on stage, capturing the hearts of all in attendance [7]

The band initially planned on releasing the album before the spring and summer tour, but early June, John said on his twitter page that the album's release date was pushed from August 3rd and will now be released on August 31st, at the end of the summer tour.[3] Because of this the band announced that an EP would be available during the summer tour called Waiting For The Rest Of It, including 4 tracks from the upcoming album and 1 bonus track. [8]