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The Goo Goo Dolls

The Goo Goo Dolls

Rock group

For the Record

Punk Rock Influences

Began as a Cover Band

First Successful Singles

Record-Breaking Hit Single

Selected discography

Sources

In early 1995 the Goo Goo Dolls were dubbed Americas best unknown band in their record company biography. They had released several albums, each of which garnered ample critical acclaim and expanded their loyal fan base, yet full-blown commercial success eluded the Dolls until late 1995, when their song Name became a huge hit at modern rock radio. Even greater success followed with the release of the hit Iris in 1998, which originally appeared on the City of Angels soundtrack. While the band has often been compared to the post-punk garage pop of the Replacements, Huh magazines Dave Kendall described the band as, poppy punk rockers, just like the Buzzcocks and 999.

The Goo Goo Dolls, comprised of singer-guitarist Johnny Rzeznik, singer-bassist Robby Takac, and drummer Mike Malins (who replaced drummer George Tutuska in 1995) formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1985. Before choosing the name Goo Goo Dolls, the band was briefly known as Sex Maggot. Takac and Rzeznik decided on the name Goo Goo Dolls when they spotted an ad for a doll with a moveable, rubber head in True Detective magazine.

For the Record

Members include Mike Malins (replaced George Tutuska, 1995), drums;Johnny Rzeznik (born on December 5, 1965, in Buffalo, NY; son of Joseph [a postal clerk and bar proprietor] and Edith Pomeroy Rzeznik), vocals, guitar;Robby Takac, vocals, bass.

Group formed in Buffalo, NY, 1985; known briefly as Sex Maggot; released debut album, Goo Goo Dolls, Mercenary/Celluloid, 1987; signed with Death/Enigma, released Jed, 1989; signed with Metal Blade/Warner Bros., released Hold Me Up, 1990; left Metal Blade for Warner Bros., 1996; released Dizzy Up the Girl, 1998, Ego, Opinion, Art, and Commerce, 2001, and Gutter-flower, 2002.

Addresses: Record company Warner Bros. Records, 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505; 75 Rockefeller Plaza, 20th floor, New York, NY 10019. Website The Goo Goo Dolls Official Website: http://www.googoodolls.com.

Punk Rock Influences

Early musical influences for the band include the Sex Pistols, the Damned, Devo, the Plasmatics and other punk rock pioneers of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Rzeznik told Huhs Kendall, The first wave of punk stuff that came from England just blew me away when I heard it. The Damned and the Buzzcocks, all that was amazing. Then there was the East Coast American stuff the Ramones and the Dead Boys. And some of the West Coast stuff Fear and the Dickies and those bands were great.

Rzeznik was born in 1965 to a postal clerk and his wife. He has four older sisters. His grandparents arrived in the United States from Krakow, Poland, in 1913. After moving to Buffalo when Rzeznik was a child, his family opened a neighborhood bar. As a teenager, he decided he wanted to become a plumber. His father died of complications from alcoholism when Rzeznik was 15. His mother died six months later. Rzeznik told Billboards Timothy White, My mom was gone six months later cause she was so lonely. If it hadnt been for my sisters, I wouldnt have made it.

Rzeznik worked as an assistant plumber for one day before quitting to enroll at Buffalo State University. At the time he was playing in a band called the Beaumonts, a hard-core punk outfit. Rzezniks cousin played in a heavy metal band of which Takac was a member. The two met through this connection and became fast friends and, not long after, musical collaborators.

Rzeznik shared his bands philosophy with Billboards White, allowing, Our music is saying that its best to keep yourself more process-oriented than outcome-oriented. If you can somehow do things from the bottom of your soul, but not get hung up dwelling on them, then its a good, unselfish feeling.

Began as a Cover Band

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 buzzsaw guitars with Cheap Trick hooks and a lot of rockand-roll heart.

The bands debut album, Goo Goo Dolls, released on the independent Mercenary label, was picked up in 1987 by a larger indie, Celluloid Records. Takac told Rolling Stones Chris Mundy of the bands relationship with the label, Ill give the guy at Celluloid Records one thinghe put out our record. But wed say, We need twenty dollars for gas, and hed say, What the f**k are you calling me for? They were making 90 percent of the profit, we paid all of the bills.

The Goo Goo Dolls then decided to try their hand in Los Angeles, where they struggled mightily, surviving on peanut butter sandwiches. They signed with the Death/Enigma label and released the album Jed in 1989. The band discovered major-label media visibility with their next album, 1990s Hold Me Up, issued on Metal Blade, an imprint of Warner Bros. The albums title is a tribute to the faith of the Catholic-raised band members, though it is meant more as a general statement about spirituality than Catholicism specifically.

First Successful Singles

The release of 1993s Superstar Car Wash, which included the lauded singles Fallin Down and Already There, served to underscore the artistry, dedication, and talent of the Goo Goo Dolls. By 1993 the Dolls were being heralded as the next Replacements. Paul Westerberg, the leader of that band, even wrote the lyrics to one of the songs on Superstar Car Wash. But A Boy Named Goo, released in 1995, would mark the bands crossover to mass appeal, sparked by their song Name.

A Boy Named Goo was produced by Lou Giordano, whose credits include albums by Husker Du, Sugar, the Smithereens, and Pere Ubu and who is credited by Rzeznik with imparting a raw, rough, power-pop sound to the album. Rob Cavallo, who earned his reputation working with Green Day, also produced. Both Rzeznik and Takac contributed songs to A Boy Named Goo.

Although all members have relocated to Los Angeles, the Goo Goo Dolls still consider Buffalo home. Guitar Worlds Tony Gervino called the city a place where a pitcher of beer is pocket change and everybody owns their own bowling shoes. Rzezniks father was, in fact, a three-time bowling champion, and each band member owns his own bowling ball. Rzeznik told New York Newsdays Ira Robbins, I have a great life. I get to sleep till noon. I get to scream and yell and run around and drive around in a bus and have people talk to me about myself. Wow!

Following the release of A Boy Named Goo, the Goo Goo Dolls became embroiled in a legal battle with their record label, Metal Blade, in a feud over royalties. An agreement was eventually worked out, and the Goo Goo Dolls moved to Warner Bros., the parent company of Metal Blade. After this ordeal and the replacement of original drummer George Tutuska with Mike Malins, a former member of Minor Threat, Rzeznik suffered from writers block. The Goo Goo Dolls took a few years off while Rzeznik attempted to overcome the problem, which he eventually did with the song Iris, composed for the City of Angels soundtrack. Rzeznik spoke of this period in Billboard: I was able to step out of myself and assume another character and write from his perspective, not mine. I was really bogged down in a bit of a writers block, and so that freedom was good.

Record-Breaking Hit Single

Iris was released on the City of Angels soundtrack in 1998, and went on to spend an incredible 18 weeks at the top of the Billboard chart. The song was also nominated for three Grammy Awards. Later that year a new full-length album, Dizzy Up the Girl, was released. The album featured Iris and three other songs that went on to become chart-topping singles. Dizzy Up the Girl went triple platinum in the United States and sold over six million copies worldwide.

Three years passed before the Goo Goo Dolls released another album, 2001s Ego, Opinion, Art, and Commerce. This album compiled a collection of songs spanning the bands entire career. Carla Hay likened the album to a musical scrapbook in Billboard: Its a noteworthy chronicle of the bands evolution from a bar band playing gritty, post-punk music to a multi-platinum act with a more melodic, mature sound.

The band released Gutterflower in 2002, which went gold in a few months time. However, sales slowed rapidly following initial interest in the album when it was first released. Jim Farber of the New York Daily News blamed Gutterflowers poor sales on the format of modern rock stations in 2002. The music in heavy rotation at that time was much harder and more aggressive than it was in 1998, when Iris was a smash hit. But Farber also noted that It doesnt help that Gutterflower sounds like a Xerox of the bands older hits, which could turn off even their pop fans. Indeed, critics of the album all seemed to have the same complaint that the Goo Goo Dolls werent coming up with anything original. However, that didnt bring down the members of the Goo Goo Dolls. As Rzeznik remarked in Billboard, All you can do is write music you believe in. If no one else hears your songs besides you and your girlfriend, it isnt less valid.

Selected discography

Goo Goo Dolls, Mercenary/Celluloid, 1987.

Jed, Death/Enigma, 1989.

Hold Me Up, Metal Blade/Warner Bros., 1990.

Superstar Car Wash, Metal Blade/Warner Bros., 1993.

A Boy Named Goo, Metal Blade/Warner Bros., 1995.

Dizzy Up the Girl, Warner Bros., 1998.

Ego, Opinion, Art, and Commerce, Warner Bros., 2001.

Gutterflower, Warner Bros., 2002.

Sources

Billboard, February 25, 1995; April 15, 1995; September 5, 1998; October 2, 1999; June 2, 2001.

Boston Globe, April 13, 1995.

Boston Phoenix, April 7, 1995.

Dallas Morning News, April 15, 2002.

Entertainment Weekly, September 25, 1998.

Guitar Player, October 1998.

Guitar World, July 1995.

New York Newsday, March 24, 1995.

RIP, August 1995.

Spin, June 1993.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Warner Bros. Records publicity materials, 1995.

B. Kimberly Taylor

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The Goo Goo Dolls

The Goo Goo Dolls

Rock band

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

In early 1995 the Goo Goo Dolls were dubbed Americas best unknown band in their record company biography. They had released several albums, each of which garnered ample critical acclaim and expanded their loyal fan base, yet full-blown commercial success eluded the Dolls until late 1995, when their song Name became a huge hit at modern rock radio. While the band has often been compared to the post-punk garage pop of the Replacements, Huh magazines Dave Kendall described the band as, poppy punk rockers, just like the Buzzcocks and 999.

The Goo Goo Dolls, comprised of singer-guitarist Johnny Rzeznik, singer-bassist Robby Takac, and drummer Mike Malins (who replaced drummer George Tutuska in 1995) formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1985. Before choosing the name Goo Goo Dolls, the band was briefly known as Sex Maggot. Takac and Rzeznik decided on the name Goo Goo Dolls when they spotted an ad for a doll with a moveable, rubber head in True Detective magazine.

Early musical influences for the band include the Sex Pistols, the Damned, Devo, the Plasmatics and other punk rock pioneers of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Rzeznik told Huhs Kendall, The first wave of punk stuff that came from England just blew me away when I heard it. The Damned and the Buzzcocks, all that was amazing. Then there was the East Coast American stuff the Ramones and the Dead Boys. And some of the West Coast stuff Fear and the Dickies and those bands were great.

Rzeznik was born in 1965 to a postal clerk and his wife. He has four older sisters. His grandparents arrived in the U.S. from Kraków, Poland, in 1913. After moving to Buffalo when Rzeznik was a child, his family opened a neighborhood bar. As a teenager, he decided he wanted to become a plumber. His father died of complications from alcoholism when Rzeznik was 15. His mother died six months later. Rzeznik told Billboards Timothy White, My mom was gone six months latercause she was so lonely. If it hadnt been for my sisters, I wouldnt have made it.

Rzeznik worked as an assistant plumber for one day before quitting to enroll in Buffalo State University. At the time he was playing in a band called the Beaumonts, a hardcore punk outfit. Rzezniks cousin played in a heavy metal band of which Takac was a member. The two met through this connection and became fast friends and, not long after, musical collaborators.

Rzeznik shared his bands philosophy with Billboards White, allowing, Our music is saying that its best to keep yourself more process-oriented than outcome-oriented.

For the Record

Members include Mike Malins (replaced George Tutuska, 1995), drums; Johnny Rzeznik (born December 5, 1965, in Buffalo, NY; son of Joseph [a postal clerk and bar proprietor] and Edith Pomeroy Rzeznik), vocals, guitar; and Robby Takac, vocals, bass.

Group formed in 1985 in Buffalo, NY; known briefly as Sex Maggot; released debut album, Goo Goo Dolls, Mercenary/Celluloid, 1987; signed with Death/Enigma and released Jed, 1989; signed with Metal Blade/Warner Bros, and released Hold Me Up, 1990.

Addresses: Record company; Warner Bros. Records, 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505; 75 Rockefeller Plaza, 20th floor, New York, NY 10019.

If you can somehow do things from the bottom of your soul, but not get hung up dwelling on them, then its a good, unselfish feeling.

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 bands debut album, Goo Goo Dolls, released on the independent Mercenary label, was picked up in 1987 by a larger indie, Celluloid Records. Takac told Rolling Stones Chris Mundy of the bands relationship with the label, Ill give the guy at Celluloid Records one thinghe put out our record. But wed say,We need twenty dollars for gas, and hed say,What the fk are you calling me for? They were making 90 percent of the profit, we paid all of the bills.

The Goo Goo Dolls then decided to try their hand in Los Angeles, where they struggled mightily, surviving on peanut butter sandwiches. They signed with the Death/Enigma label and released the album Jed in 1989. The band discovered major-label media visibility with their next album, 1990s Hold Me Up, issued on Metal Blade, an imprint of Warner Bros. The albums title is a tribute to the faith of the Catholic-raised bandmembers, though it is meant more as a general statement about spirituality than Catholicism specifically.

The release of 1993s Superstar Car Wash, which included the lauded singles Fallin Down and Already There, served to underscore the artistry, dedication, and talent of the Goo Goo Dolls. By 1993 the Dolls were being heralded as the next Replacements. Paul West-erberg, the leader of that band, even wrote the lyrics to one of the songs on Superstar Car Wash. But A Boy Named Goo, released in 1995, would mark the bands crossover to mass appeal, sparked by their song Name.

A Boy Named Goo was produced by Lou Giordano, whose credits include albums by Hüsker Dü, Sugar, the Smithereens, and Pere Ubu and who is credited by Rzeznik with imparting a raw, rough, power-pop sound to the album. Rob Cavallo, who earned his reputation working with Green Day, also produced. Both Rzeznik and Takac contributed songs to A Boy Named Goo.

The Goo Goo Dolls still consider Buffalo home. Guitar Worlds Tony Gervino called the city a place where a pitcher of beer is pocket change and everybody owns their own bowling shoes. Rzezniks father was, in fact, a three-time bowling champion, and each band member owns his own bowling ball. Rzeznik told New York Newsdays Ira Robbins, I have a great life. I getto sleep till noon. I get to scream and yell and run around and drive around in a bus and have people talk to me about myself. Wow!

Selected discography

Goo Goo Dolls, Mercenary/Celluloid, 1987.

Jed, Death/Enigma, 1989.

Hold Me Up, Metal Blade/Warner Bros., 1990.

Superstar Car Wash, Metal Blade/Warner Bros., 1993.

A Boy Named Goo, Metal Blade/Warner Bros., 1995.

Sources

Billboard, February 25, 1995; April 15, 1995.

Boston Globe, April 13, 1995.

Boston Phoenix, April 7, 1995.

Guitar World, July 1995.

New York Newsday, March 24, 1995.

RIP, August 1995.

Spin, June 1993.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Warner Bros. Records publicity materials, 1995.

B. Kimberly Taylor

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"The Goo Goo Dolls." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"The Goo Goo Dolls." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/goo-goo-dolls

"The Goo Goo Dolls." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/goo-goo-dolls

Goo Goo Dolls, The

THE GOO GOO DOLLS


Formed: 1985, Buffalo, New York

Members: Mike Malinin, drums (born Washington, D.C., 10 October 1967); John Rzeznik, guitar, vocals (born Buffalo, New York, 5 December 1965); Robby Takac, bass, vocals (born Buffalo, New York, 30 September 1964). Former member: George Tutuska, drums (born Buffalo, New York).

Genre: Rock


Best-selling album since 1990: Dizzy Up the Girl (1998)

Hit songs since 1990: "Name," "Iris," "Slide"


The three-piece Goo Goo Dolls made a seamless transition from raucous postpunk rockers in the 1980s to Top 40 pop rockers in the 1990s. In just fifteen years the arc of their career encompassed regional popularity with crowds of drunken head bangers to national exposure on the children's television show Sesame Street in 2000.

The Sex Maggots was the first name that guitarist/singer/songwriter John Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac, and drummer George Tutuska chose for their band. Soon after, these natives of Buffalo, New York, traded that name for one they discovered while paging through an issue of True Detective magazine: the Goo Goo Dolls. They quickly gained local fame as a good-time alternative rock band with intense chops and a sense of humor. One of their goals was to emulate the success and style of their favorite group, the popular postpunk pop rockers the Replacements. In the meantime they covered versions of various classic rock songs from bands such as Blue Oyster Cult, Cream, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and even Prince while creating their own material.

Their first album, Goo Goo Dolls (1987), recorded with a small independent label, gained regional attention and gave them enough confidence to land a record-label deal in Los Angeles. Their momentum increased with the release of the album Jed (1989), which preceded their signing with Metal Blade, a division of Warner Bros. Records. Both albums contain a raw, slashing energy, reminiscent of the Ramones or a tamer Sex Pistols. Their next two releases, Hold Me Up (1990) and Superstar Car Wash (1993), made use of Rzeznik's maturing songwriting skills in adding catchier melodies and lyrics to their ripping sound. The Goo Goo Dolls were beginning to reach a more mainstream audience, yet each member of the band still held down a second job to make ends meet.

A Boy Named Goo (1995)an allusion to Johnny Cash's offbeat hit "A Boy Named Sue"was the band's major breakthrough into the mass market. The album contains "Name," a power ballad that became a huge hit. Sales of A Boy Named Goo quickly rose to double platinum. Rzeznik had somehow survived ten years of punkish blaring to emerge as a classic radio rock voice in the mode of Bryan Adams or the 1980s pop rocker Eddie Money. The rest of the songs on the album are driving rockers with appealing hooks that fulfilled the band's goal of emulating their heroes, the Replacements.

Nevertheless, the triumph arrived with its slings and arrows. Their first hurdle was to reap some of the profit that an album producing millions of dollars is expected to bring. Unfortunately, the Goo Goo Dollsyoung, naïve, and eager to make a record dealhad signed away most of their royalty rights to Metal Blade Records and thus saw very little money from the album's sales. Although they were rock superstars, the Goo Goo Dolls had to go back to a familiar placethe roadjust to survive. During their two-year concert tour to support legal bills, a judge ruled in their favor to break the contract with Metal Blade. Metal Blade's parent company, Warner Bros., signed them to a more lucrative deal, but trouble still loomed. The drummer, Tutuska, left over a money dispute within the band and had to be replaced by Mike Malinin.

The previous year's events and the pressures of the ensuing record deal gave Rzeznik a severe case of writer's block, which lasted nearly three years. Eventually he came up with "Iris" for the soundtrack to the film City of Angels. The song became a Top 40 staple that opened up the creative floodgates for Rzeznik, who quickly went back to work writing new material. The Goo Goo Dolls put "Iris" on their next release, Dizzy Up the Girl (1998). The album contains three other singles that charted: "Broadway," "Black Balloon," and "Slide." It went triple platinum, confirming that the boys from Buffalo were truly superstars and not ready to languish in the annals of pop/rock history as "one-hit wonders."

This ascension was not completely good news for some of their fans, however, especially those from the Buffalo area, who had developed a cult love for the band's earlier punk ways. They greeted the Goo Goo Dolls with criticism for "selling out." Nevertheless, the bandwhich for the first time in their existence was making ends meet financiallycontinued moving forward in a commercial vein. In 2000 they even appeared on the children's television show Sesame Street and performed a parody of their hit "Slide," retitled by Sesame Street 's Elmo as "Pride."

The Goo Goo Dolls released a unique compilation album, What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art and Commerce (2001), which includes a twenty-two-song retrospective of their career. Noticeably absent on the release are any of their commercial hits. They followed with a much-anticipated seventh studio recording, Gutterflowers (2002). The album reinforced Rzeznik's abilities as an agile, poetic songwriter and followed in much the same commercial rock style as found on Dizzy Up the Girl.

While the band's initial name was quickly discarded, Rzeznik later came to rue their chosen name, Goo Goo Dolls, believing that it probably hurts them commercially. This concern for popularity reflects the change in the band's focus as they take their place as new kids on pop rock's block.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Goo Goo Dolls (Celluloid, 1987); Jed (Death/Enigma, 1989); Hold Me Up (Metal Blade/Warner Bros., 1990); Superstar Car Wash (Metal Blade/Warner Bros., 1993); A Boy Named Goo (Metal Blade/Warner Bros., 1995); Dizzy Up the Girl (Warner Bros., 1998); What I Learned about Ego, Opinion, Art, and Commerce (Warner Bros., 2001); Gutterflower (Warner Bros., 2002).


donald lowe

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"Goo Goo Dolls, The." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Goo Goo Dolls, The." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/goo-goo-dolls