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Johnny And Robbie Look Forward To Three-night Stand At Shea's


Who: The Goo Goo Dolls

When: Wednesday, Thursday and next Friday at 8 p.m.

Where: Shea's Performing Arts Center

Tickets: Sold out

Info: 852-5000
The Goo Goo Dolls have come a long way from playing for beers at the Continental. Buffalo boys Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac, along with drummer Mike Malinin, are one of the most successful bands of this decade.

The Goos just went over the three-million mark in album sales for "Dizzy Up the Girl." The CD produced four Top Ten singles including, "Iris," "Slide," "Black Balloon" and "Dizzy." The Goos' previous album, 1995's "A Boy Named Goo," also sold over three million copies and had the band's breakthrough, No. 1 hit single, "Name."

This month the Goos were honored by the Museum of Television & Radio in Los Angeles for having the songs from "Dizzy Up the Girl" played over one million times on U.S. radio. Next month the Goos will headline MTV's New Year's Eve concert in Times Square.

The Goos will play three nights at Shea's Performing Arts Center this week to climax a 15-month stretch of touring. Recently, Rzeznik and Takac talked about how fame and success has affected them.

How does it feel to be playing three nights at Shea's?

Takac: We played Shea's (in 1995) but we've never been in a situation like this where we could play three straight nights. It's a lot more personal in a smaller venue and that's why we wanted to be at Shea's.

Rzeznik: It will be more intimate for the fans and for us. We've played the Arena and a lot of venues with 10 to 15,000 seats, but you have a hard time touching people in such a big place. I love it when I can actually see people's faces from the stage and interact with them.

What's it like when all your dreams come true?

Takac: It's like when you're a kid and you want that puppy you saw on the Hallmark card. You get that puppy and you find out it's not always like the picture on the card. You have to clean up the crap in the backyard. We're always busy and it's a lot of hard work. But I'm not complaining. It's cool that people like our music.

Rzeznik: (laughs). In some ways success is not all it's cracked up to be. It's really intense. We've been playing for 15 months on this tour and been around the world twice. It starts to wear on you but I'm just grateful to be able to play music and be successful.

How have you changed?

Rzeznik: I'm tired; I'm tired all the time. But I'm not afraid of what I have to do to stay at this level, or making the next record. I'm a little more sure of what I can do. I'm not cocky or arrogant but I can do what has to be done and I can get it done. I'm still my worst critic and that's a good thing.

Takac: Inevitability, when you have a drastic change in your life, it's going to change your lifestyle. I think we can handle it; we're not a couple of 20 year olds who just had a hit single. After "Name," we had to come down and decompress, and we did. It's cool when you realize you can't be a rock star 24 hours a day. It's fun for a little while, but you can't live your life that way all the time.

How does it feel to be a celebrity?

Rzeznik: It's uncomfortable and weird and spooky. I only wish so much of my life was what people make it out to be. The lies about me are much better than my real life. Weird things keep happening. I saw an empty perscription bottle of mine for sale on E-Bay. I threw this bottle in the garbage and someone picks it up and sells it online. It wasn't even a glamorous drug, it's something I take for acid indigestion.

Takac: It just makes it harder to go to the mall. This celebrity stuff isn't that bad; people just want you to say hello or sign a record. I can live with that. You can't take anything for granted. If you give people a chance to forget you, they will.

Are you glad to be back home in Buffalo?

Rzeznik: I always feel good about being back in Buffalo; it grounds me. And that's a good thing for me.

Takac: It's hard because whenever we get back it's only for a short time and I'm going a hundred miles an hour trying to see all my friends and family.

What about the critics who say you have sold out or have gone Hollywood?

Takac: I'm sure right now there's some dude down at the Continental wearing Doc Martens and a Ramones' tee-shirt, sitting at the bar and hating us and being totally confused by what we're doing now. But we can't worry about that dude, we just make the best records we can.

Rzeznik: People can think what they want; I can't control that, what really matters about us is the music.

What about playing Times Square on New Year's Eve?

Takac: That's ground zero. If something weird's going to happen, it's going to happen there and we'll be right in the middle of it.

Rzeznik: I'm a little apprehensive. I don't think anything's going to happen, but if it does, what a way to go: right on MTV in Times Square on New Year's Eve.
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