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Bassist discusses seminal album and upcoming Shea's show

By Brian Evans

Robby Takac sees excitement at home in Buffalo.

The Goo Goo Dolls, Takac’s band, are set to embark on an anniversary tour in support of “Dizzy Up the Girl.” The 1998 record is responsible for hits like “Slide” and “Black Balloon,” and projected the Goo Goo Dolls to the forefront of the mainstream. The album set the stage for a multitude of hit singles and albums throughout the ‘00s, cementing the Goo Goo Dolls as a fan favorite across the country.

But the Goo Goo Dolls always come home.

Ahead of a two night stand at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, The Spectrum spoke with founding member and bassist Robby Takac to discuss “Dizzy Up the Girl” and the current tour.

Q: Longevity has blessed the Goo Goo Dolls. In an era driven by rock reformations and nostalgia acts, what’s been the secret behind keeping both the band as a unit and the creative aspect going?

A: There’s a lot of bands that kind of got discouraged or something along the way or just lost their muse, and 25 years later decided it was a good idea to get back together again and go out and make some money. I don’t think this has ever been like that really. For us, it’s about how we get to the next day… what’s the next thing that’s in store. We never really went away. We’ve certainly experienced peaks and valleys in popularity, but I think we've maintained. I don't know if there's a secret other than [the] want to make it happen and see it happen. John and I have been driven most of our adult lives to see this thing through, and that’s what we’re doing here today… when we were kids we were out of our heads. We had a lot of issues and a lot of different directions that made the probability that this was going to be around 30 years later not that great. We were lucky enough to be able to overcome some of those [issues], and wind our way through some legal woes and personal things that are put in front of you while you’re trying to move forward with something. We’ve been able to navigate our way through some of that stuff and make some music that people want to hear which is f-----g awesome.

Q: Twenty years after ‘Dizzy Up The Girl,’ what, if anything, has changed most about the band? Was the success a surprise with that record?

A: We had already been through “A Boy Named Goo,” which was a distinctly different chapter in an already tenured career… it seems odd to call what we were doing back then a career but I guess in retrospect that’s what it was part of. I think when “A Boy Named Goo” came out, we kind of got a taste of all that stuff. No one expected that record to do as well as it did, or “Name” to do as well as it did. By that point, we were still kind of learning how to make records and how to write songs. We started with some friends in Buffalo and they were kind of putting us on the right track. For the first seven or eight years, none of us listened to anybody about anything … We felt just like “we know better than everyone.” John and I were just talking about this the other day. The first few producers we brought in, all we did was shut down the entire time because we thought we knew better for our band. We started to let go of that a bit with Lou Giordano when we started making “A Boy Named Goo.” We started giving him a little bit more. By the time we were done with that experience, I think we were ready to make “Dizzy Up The Girl.” It was time for us to make that record because we had learned all of these lessons up to that point. Rob Cavallo came in and essentially jumped in the band. I recall him having a guitar on for a lot of the rehearsals. We worked a lot on the songs and it was a very different experience for us. Then of course our world exploded with “Iris” before “Dizzy Up The Girl” even came out. So we eased into it -- we really eased into what we were doing.

Q: Tracks like “January Friend” bring a harder and more brash sound to the band, which even crosses over to your vocals. Is there a diverse mix of influences that you bring to each song that differs from Johnny?

A: I think part of it is you’re inspired by the things that inspire you. I think the things I know and the places I go are a little bit different than John. John has really become a songwriter’s songwriter if you will. I still sort of feel like I’m just a guy bashing out songs. You find your place and be the best you can in that place, and that’s sort of what I feel like. 

Q: The Goo Goo Dolls shut down Niagara Square some years ago for the “Live in Buffalo” record. With the upcoming shows at Shea’s, what in your opinion is so special about playing at home? What attitude do you strive to bring to each performance?

A: We always try to do something awesome at home. Our first record release party was on the second floor porch of an apartment I had on the corner of Bird and Elmwood. We just set our gear up and played. The traffic stopped and the police came, it was an event, man. Our drummer ended up being arrested. That was in 1987. From that moment we were always like ‘Wow, man, these Buffalo shows have got to be awesome.’ We always try to do something fun and cool in Buffalo because Buffalo has always been awesome to us. So booking two nights in a row at the swankiest place in town –– Shea’s –– that’s pretty awesome for a bunch of bums like us. We’re pretty excited about it. Playing the whole ‘Dizzy’ record, we’ve never ever tried anything like this before… the whole rest of the set is not the stuff that people are going to expect. This is a much different show than what we’ve been bringing around for the last 20 years. This change in format kind of gave us this license to step outside of the comfort zone that we know people like to be in with us… with this new format coming out, the entire first set is the ‘Dizzy Up The Girl’ record. Then we take a break and we do a second set. I would say 80 percent is songs we haven’t played in 10 years and it’s really going to be fun. Hopefully we don't get food whipped at us.

Q: Your charity work with “Music is Art” celebrated its 16th anniversary just last week. What is the driving factor behind your work in Western New York? What do you hope to give back above all?

A: I want my kid to grow up in a town that is just bursting with creativity and I know Buffalo has that. I just want to do my best to add to that. “Music is Art” is most certainly not making that happen but we want to help. To get all of those creative people in one place -- so many of those people, say a quarter [of them]- are participants. People who are in bands and are artists and dancers, all of these people intermingling with each other can only be good. All of these bands - hip hop bands and polka bands and death metal bands -- can only be good… put them together and let’s see what happens. That’s what I love about Music is Art. Just kind of hypercharge for a day and bring attention to that community. I can’t wait until next year.

Brian Evans is the senior arts editor and can be reached at and @BrianEvansSpec.
Goo Goo Dolls News & Info / Boyce Avenue's Cover of IRIS
« Last post by nazar.huda on Today at 06:16 PM »
Boyce Avenue is one of the biggest bands on YouTube and they LOVE the band. They do great covers of the band as well, including this remake cover of IRIS. Check it out:
Goo Goo Dolls News & Info / Two new DUTG Vinyl Album options for you!
« Last post by AsIAm on Today at 12:53 PM »

Dare we suggest these as early Christmas gift ideas?

How about a translucent purple swirl vinyl copy of DUTG to add to your collection? Sound good? Have a look here:

ALSO: There's a limited edition DUTG PICTURE DISC being released on 9/28, so be ready for that! Check with your local record store, or you can pre-order it here:

By TooFab Staff | September 24, 2018

As Rzeznik prepares to hit the road for a Goo Goo Dolls anniversary tour, he looks back at the record that changed everything for the band.

This week, the Goo Goo Dolls will do something they've never done before: play their hit 1998 album "Dizzy Up the Girl" in full on stage.

Yep, to mark "Dizzy's" 20th anniversary, the band is hitting the road for a a tour where they'll play all 13 tracks from the album, some of them for the first time ever. And what an album it was. Not only did "Dizzy" include the supernova of a hit "Iris," but also incredibly popular singles "Slide," "Broadway" and "Black Balloon."

Speaking with TooFab about the tour, frontman Johnny Rzeznik said he was inspired by Cheap Trick, who played one of their first four albums in their entirety at four different shows in Chicago in 1998. After presenting the idea to Live Nation as just a handful of shows, the promoter suggested an all out tour, which kicks off Sunday night in Phoenix, Arizona.

"I think 20 years later I'm a little more proficient on my instruments," Rzeznik told TooFab. "So, it may lack some of the naiveté of the original, but I'll do my best."

While they've played the bigger hits from the album in recent years, the now-52-year-old rocker admits that "there's songs on that album that we've never performed ... and there's definitely a reason why we didn't perform them, I think."

He said the tour is for the band's "hardcore fan base," and will also include "obscure old material, from when we were a quote-unquote 'punk rock' band," going as far back as their fourth record, "Hold Me Up."

Though the guys had their first hit with "Name" off of "A Boy Named Goo," it wasn't until "Dizzy" -- their sixth album -- that the band really broke through.

"When that album came out it was, you know, we weren't kids anymore," Rzeznik said of their evolving sound. "The first two records were all balls and no-brains. I developed more than one feeling. It was nice to get to express that. It was scary too, people were used to seeing a much more quote-unquote -- I love using smart quotes -- 'punk show.'"

"I started writing songs that I felt like reflected who I was and where I was at, at that time," he continued.

Their career totally changed when Rzeznik wrote a song for a little Meg Ryan/Nicolas Cage film called "City of Angels," their insanely successful "Iris." While the song was written for the movie and on the film's soundtrack, Rzeznik put it on "Dizzy" as well, because he really didn't think anyone would hear it otherwise.

"They accepted it for the soundtrack, and I was like, 'Ok, good, I'm putting it on my record too,'" he explained. "I didn't expect that song to be a hit, because of where we were in the lineup on that album. Peter Gabriel, Alanis Morissette, U2 were on it. And it's like, who was going to listen to us when you have all of those people on there? We were the dark horse in that race and that's arguably the biggest song of our career."

Rzeznik said the song's success "definitely changed the course" of the band's trajectory and it's a song he'll never tire being asked about.

"I'm grateful every time somebody comes to see me to play that song, or every time I hear it in the supermarket or in an elevator, or on the radio, or on XM; I'm really grateful for it," he said. "I change the channel, but I always pause for a second and go, 'You could be working in a supermarket right now.' Never, ever get sick of that. As long as somebody wants to hear me sing it, I will, because it gave me a life."

When asked whether a particular fan encounter about the song stuck out, Rzeznik had one ready to go, too. "The one guy I remember is a guy working at Home Depot and I came in there and I was looking for something and he recognized me. He said 'That's mine and my girl's song,' and then he said to me, 'Do you know how much you got me laid?' and I was like, 'Well I hope it was enough!'"

"I'm just grateful and if I'm not grateful, then I'm a jerk," he added.

In the 20 years since "Dizzy" was released, the music industry has become a totally different place than it was in 1998. Nobody buys physical albums, sales have dropped dramatically and touring is where all the money comes from these days. Rzeznik sees the streaming age as both a blessing and a curse.

"One thing I love about it is, on a level, with the internet, cyberspace and all that it has democratized what people get to hear," he said. "On the other level, on the other side of that coin, it's more difficult to get paid, which I think is being worked out but it's not as though I'm going to get a retroactive check."

"I think the interesting thing that's going on now, a lot of people are just doing it for the love of it," he added. "Not for the money, because it's incredibly hard to make money now."

Another thing that's changed over the years: their after-concert routine. When the band hit the road with this album two decades ago, they did it alongside Fastball and Sugar Ray, who really knew how to party.

"I'm going to put this on the record and I'm gonna say this as best as possible, because it's meant in the best possible sense of the word, ok?" Rzeznik explained. "Never in my life have I met bigger rockstars than Sugar Ray. They lived it, they lived it to the hilt. They were also the nicest guys, just really unaffected, but they were like, 'F--k it, we're doing everything.'"

"I was allowed to go along for the ride a couple of times and that was plenty for me, but man, that was the most fun I'd ever had," he said. "When we talk about it, we call it the drunken brawl, which it kind of was. It was a drunken brawl that went around the world. It was so much fun."

"20 years later, I think after-show is going to be a little bit quieter, we're all gonna call home, you know, get sleep," he added. "But it's going to be fun. I'm really looking forward to it."

The Dizzy Up The Girl 20th Anniversary Tour kicks off September 30 in Phoenix, Arizona -- for info on tickets visit!

Due to overwhelming demand Goo Goo Dolls have added a third show in Buffalo on Sunday, October 21st!

As per @googoodolls: "We've just added a third night in Buffalo on our #Dizzy20 Tour on Sun Oct 21! Fan Club pre-sale begins Tue 9/25 @ 10am ET - Thurs 9/27 @ 10pm ET. Public on-sale is this Fri 9/28 @ 10am ET at"

So, be ready, folks!!
Goo Goo Dolls Ticket Exchange / Nashville show
« Last post by pattiepie on September 23, 2018, 09:35 PM »
We have i ticket to sold out Nashville Oct 7th Dizzy show..Main floor Sec 3 row Q. Seat 3. Face value 60$. Message me Pattie
The lotteries for Meet&Greets for the last six shows on the #Dizzy20 tour are now open!

These shows are

11/3 Seattle
11/4 Portland
11/6 San Francisco
11/8 San Diego
11/9 Los Angeles
11/10 Las Vegas

Click the link to enter and good luck! Remember - One entry per person per show. Lottery closes at noon, EST on September 30th. Must be 18 to enter. Meet and Greet does not include show ticket. You MUST have a show ticket to attend the Meet and Greet. Meet and Greet is for one person only & ID must match winning name.

John Rzeznik, the lead singer and guitarist of the Goo Goo Dolls, chatted with Digital Journal about their 20th anniversary tour of their seminal album "Dizzy Up the Girl."

"It amazes me that it has been that long," he said, about Dizzy Up the Girl celebrating its 20-year anniversary. "It's interesting to go back to it and to re-learn the songs, and get into the guts of the songs. It is taking me back to where my head was at that time. It is bringing back a lot of memories."

From that landmark album, Rzeznik selected "Hate This Place" as the song that he enjoys playing the best.

Dizzy Up the Girl features their signature song "Iris," and a very memorable performance of that song for Rzeznik took place on July 4, 2004, when they performed it in their hometown, Buffalo, New York. "Most of the music equipment got destroyed, I need to be honest," he said, referring to the downpour. "We got lucky, and just enough of it was left."

When asked what motivates him each day, Rzeznik responded, "I still love what I do, which is great. I still feel potential in what I am creating, and what I create with other people. My daughter also motivates me. I have lived a pretty blessed life."

Rzeznik described fatherhood as "fun, yet terrifying." "I had to learn not to drop f-bombs every five seconds," he said. "It forces you to become the person you should have been all along."

On Monday, October 15, they will be performing at the iconic Beacon Theatre in New York City. "The Beacon is a great place," Rzeznik said. "We are doing the album front to back, and the second half of the show will be the deeper cuts from some of the records. We will go as back as Hold Me Up and play a few songs from there. It should be fun. This whole event was put together for the hardcore fans."

Rzeznik continued, "The Beacon Theatre speaks for itself. It is so full of ghosts that it really makes every show there special. I always love playing there."

If he weren't a musician, his alternate career choice would have been a schoolteacher during the day and a bartender at night.

Rzeznik defined the word success as "Getting to do what I want to do for a living, without screwing anybody over in the process."

On the impact of technology on the music business, Rzeznik said, "Technology poses an interesting problem. Some of it will get sorted out with the passage of The Music Modernization Act. There's a certain democratization to the whole thing of having the Internet. Then, you can't put the genie back in the bottle, and just say 'you got the music for free for so long and now you have to pay for it.' Right now, it is a singles-driven world."

In his daily routine as a musician, Rzeznik records his song ideas in Voice Memos, and he does all his demos on his laptop. "There is no way around that. It is very convenient," he said. "Obviously, I use a lot of software for synthesizers and keyboards."

Rzeznik described the resurgence of vinyl as "pretty cool." "I never appreciated vinyl until I listened to it again," he said. "As a kid, I was always pretty bad with my records. I didn't save them, and I never put them away. Looking back, it really does sound different. Vinyl has a special sound."

For his fans, Rzeznik concluded about the 20th anniversary tour, "Come on out. If you knew that record when it came out, come and celebrate the whole thing with us. If you didn't know that record, and you are a fan of the band from the later material, come out and check out what we were doing."

Dizzy Up the Girl is available on iTunes.
To learn more about the Goo Goo Dolls and their tour dates, check out their official website.

Goo Goo Dolls News & Info / Dizzy Up The Girl - 20th Anniversary Vinyl?
« Last post by MHamberger on September 22, 2018, 10:08 PM »
Buddy of mine saw this in a record store in Austin today. Didn't see anything on the boards about this yet. Anyone have more info/know if it can be bought online anywhere? Or did this happen weeks ago and I missed it?

What an interview!! Such a good read.
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