New blog entry for InRock Mag courtesy of Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby Takac

Hey Hey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby, coming to you from the snowy city of Buffalo, NY! Happy New Year to all of the In Rock Readers, you should be well into 2019 by now and I hope it’s been great so far! I spent the first part of the year in Japan visiting family in Tokyo for the holidays. I took the trip over with my daughter, Hana and my wife Miyoko, the main reason for the trip was to see my wife’s family, but we always seem to find some adventure as we spend our holidays in Japan!

We arrived at Narita from the US on the day after Christmas and made our way to the train and our room in Ueno, we’ve never stayed in Ueno before, and it’s bustling for sure! We enjoyed being in the middle of the madness that is Ueno at night, wandered down by the vendors, sights and smells of nearby Ameyoko and enjoyed some Yakitori, we got a few bags of cheap candy from our favorite vendor and tried our best to stay up until 10 to beat our jetlag which is always one of our first challenges on these trips!

While in Ueno you must stop to have a visit with the Pandas and we have never gotten a chance to see the newest of the Pandas, so after a loooooong winding line of patient zoogoers made our way into the enclosure to have a look at Xiang Xiang and his Panda Dad (I guess Panda Mom was inside having a rest). We said hi to Xiang Xiang, spent a little more time at the Zoo and then made our way over to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art to see their Edward Munch exhibit featuring 3 different versions of the legendary woodcut/painting “The Scream”!

Munch is pretty dark and macabre as an artist, (and probably as a person I would imagine), we even heard a story that he was shot in an altercation after argument in which he refused to marry his girlfriend to maintain his dark outlook on life as an inspiration for his art. My daughter found it all a bit disconcerting so we quickly made our way through the exhibit and did our best to explain to Hana the significance of being in a room with a masterpiece like “The Scream”; she wasn’t all that enthused, I’m pretty sure it was pretty similar to going through a ghost house to her (which is not high on her list of ways to spend an afternoon).

We visited with some friends over the next couple of days and on New Years Day we had a great “Osechi” lunch with my wife’s family. In a once in a lifetime experience we went to Asakusa to join the throngs of Japanese and tourists traveling to visit Senso Ji for the holiday. So many people are funneled through the Tori gates of the temple wishing to start their year with luck, happiness, health and prosperity. After holding on tight to our 7 year old we moved with the crowd to the main temple and squeezed our way up to the front and made an offering for good fortune then made our way to the festival grounds outside the temple! My friend in Tokyo was so amazed that we went on New Years Day as he has been living there for decades and never braved the crowds; I must say it was handled so well, and I’m always amazed at the ability of the Japanese culture to handle these situations in such an orderly way.

We even got to attend a “mochisuki” event with some Sumo wrestlers on New Years Day in Shiodome, I had an opportunity to pound some mocha about 15 years ago and for some reason declined the offer, I had always regretted that decision so it was good to be able to right that wrong from my past in 2019, and this time with 2 Sumo, the whole thing couldn’t have gone better !!!!

The rest of our short, weeklong trip was full of Gotcha Gotcha Machines, UFO Catchers, Curry, Ramen, Yakiniku, Sushi, Shopping, friends, family and so much more … and as always, I can’t wait for our return… and …back in the USA, Goo Goo Dolls are writing, recording and doing random shows until we tour sort tour of Mexico in May and then do a 60 city US tour in June, July and August. We’ll have a new album out for you all soon, lots of new music circulating around our camp lately, can’t wait for you all to hear it this Spring!

Have a great month and check out to get to my socials or just leave a not saying hi! See you next month here in the pages of The Mighty In Rock !!!



Latest Edition of Robby Takac’s blog for InRock Mag is up!


Hey Hey In Rockers and Welcome to a wintery edition of The Lobby coming to you from the warmth of my little house in Buffalo, NY! Happy Holidays to you all and I hope you had a great New Year celebration and all your dreams and wishes come true for 2019. As I write to you this month Christmas is in a few days, and with a 6-year-old daughter in the house, as you could imagine, it’s a pretty exciting time of year! The trees up, The Santa is on the front lawn, even have nice twinkly light s in the bushes, and we did it up right this year! We have been spending our Christmases yearly between my wife Miyoko’s hometown of Tokyo and my hometown of Buffalo, last year we spent The Holidays in Japan so this year Hana got a good old chaotic American Christmas before we make our way to Japan to celebrate New Years with my wife Miyoko’s family!

It’s been busy with real life stuff since I got back from the tour, taking care of the house, school functions and such for the last few weeks, but I spend the first half of each day working on demos for new songs for the next Goo Goo Dolls release (due out in Spring / Summer of 2019). John’s been working on new stuff for the last few months as well and we are going to be getting things together soon to sort out the details of the next release accompanied by a 60 date tour of the US w/ San Francisco’s Train and Allen Stone.

The Music is Art foundation here in Buffalo became the beneficiary of an event thrown every year here by fellow Buffalonian Billy Sheehan (MR BIG/David Lee Roth). The organization is called MOB (Musicians of Buffalo) and they gather yealy around this time to play Christmas songs, some bad ass rock tunes and celebrate with some of the local talent that began alongside Billy in the 70s and have watched Billy’s career over the years. He’s a great guy, I know that for a fact because many years ago back in the 80s all of Goo Goo Dolls equipment was stolen and without even having met me Billy heard about the theft and sent me a brand new bass guitar …. Buffalonians are like that, if you ever get a chance to visit you’ll see …. Oh and you’ll probably get to see NIAGARA FALLS TOO!

I got up onstage with MOB for the last couple of songs they played, joining them in a rousing rendition on AC/DCs YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG and closing the night out with a group chorus of SILENT NIGHT led by Billy’s wife Elisabetta.

…. In the end Billy and the MOB gang raised a bunch of money to help with Music is Arts mission in the community and had a great time with friends …. Sounds like what the holiday season is supposed to be!

OK, Christmas time’s coming at us like a freight train and as I mentioned we’re headed to Japan for the new year, and that’s when I’ll be catching up with all of my In Rock friends next, I hope you all had a great holiday and I look forward to filling you in on my goings on during my next trip to Japan!

All the Best in 2019


Mediterranean Runaway To Paradise Lineup; Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik

Johnny Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls

Alternating between taking notes on his iPhone and scribbling on yellow legal pads with pencils, singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Rzeznik approaches songwriting with a workmanlike craftsmanship and analog sense of soul. Fronting The Goo Goo Dolls, he has imparted that energy and ethic into nearly three decades of music, penning cornerstones from the modern American songbook such as “Iris,” “Slide,” “Black Balloon,” and “Name”—among many others.

“Somebody once asked me, ‘What’s it like to write a song?’,” he recalls. “I answered, ‘It’s like getting dropped out of an airplane into the middle of a jungle and you’ve got to cut your way out. I like it that way, because I never had any formal training. For some reason, it works.”

It still “works” to this day. Moreover, his songs continue to influence subsequent generations. Everyone from Leona Lewis and Boyz II Men to Sleeping with Sirens and New Found Glory has covered the band, while Avril Lavigne, Echosmith’s Sydney Sierota, and Cash Cash jumped at the chance to duet with him. Recognizing the impact of his storytelling and songcraft, the Songwriters Hall of Fame bestowed the prestigious “Hal David Starlight Award” upon the frontman in 2008.

Since their 1986 formation in Buffalo, NY, The Goo Goo Dolls—Rzeznik and Robby Takac—have prolifically delivered a string of immortal anthems and albums, garnering four GRAMMY® Award nominations and selling over 10 million albums worldwide. After historically clinching #1 on the Hot 100 for 18 straight weeks, Billboard lauded “Iris” as #1 on the “Top 100 Pop Songs 1992-2012” chart, placing “Slide” at #9 and “Name” at 24. Grinding it out on the road for over a decade supporting four fan favorite albums, the group unveiled 1995’s seminal A Boy Named Goo. Propelled by “Name,” it eventually earned an RIAA double-platinum certification and elevated the band to rock’s vanguard. In 1998, Dizzy Up The Girl became a global phenomenon, moving 6 million copies, going quadruple-platinum, and boasting “Iris” and “Slide” on its divine tracklisting. Both Gutterflower [2002] and Let Love In [2006] achieved gold status as Something for the Rest of Us [2010] and Magnetic [2013] soared to the Top 10 of the Billboard Top 200. Most recently 2016’s Boxes received praise from People and Huffington Post as Noisey, Consequence of Sound, and more featured them.

Long before this success, the artist grew up surrounded by music. His parents were both casual musicians, while his four older sisters each boasted a diverse record collection. Inspired by everything from Cheap Trick’s Live At Budokan and The Ramones’ Rocket to Russia to Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, he wrote his first song at 13. By 1990’s Hold Me Up, he had tapped into raw energy by embracing signature alternate tunings in his writing.

“Using alternate tunings expanded the canvas I could work on to be able to come up with atypical sounds and chords,” he goes on. “By doing this, you fill the space more when there are only three musicians. There are were absolutely no rules involved. I could create anything I wanted. Songwriting constantly evolved. Around the time of A Boy Named Goo and Dizzy Up The Girl, it became time for me to really leap into my own space.”

It’s a space he proudly inhabits to this day. The 2017 EP, You Should Be Happy [Warner Bros. Records], sees him once again tread new lyrical territory, going from social commentary to examining his personal life over a rich sonic backdrop.

“Sometimes, I’ll sit down and think about an event, a person, or something I’ve read, and it’ll just spark an idea in my mind,” he explains of his process. “There are other times where I’ll be playing guitar and humming a melody. A phrase will come out and spark a memory. It causes a chain reaction of thoughts. A lot of the songs come out that way. As far as subject matter goes, some darkness is beautiful. For me, there’s always that little touch of remaining one step away from being connected. I’m there, I see it and feel it, but I’m always slightly removed from it.”

As You Should Be Happy arrives, he embarks on a high-profile headline summer shed tour with The Goo Goo Dolls and launches his very own SiriusXM show Chorus and Verse on the VOLUME Channel. The hour-long monthly program focuses on the nuances and magic of songwriting as Rzeznik interviews artists and musicians about the process inside and out.

“For every songwriter out there, I think it’s very important to gain the insight of other people’s processes, because it can only improve yours,” he says. “What is it about a song that provokes an emotion in a person? That’s what I want to learn most. I think songs are the snapshots of moments in our lives. They’re mile markers. I can’t wait to discuss these topics with guests that I respect. SiriusXM has given me an incredible platform.”

In the middle of everything, Rzeznik became a first-time father in 2017. “When I held my little girl for the first time in the delivery room, I said to myself, ‘You have to work a lot harder than you’ve ever worked in your life’,” he admits. “I have this desire to play and record more, because all I want to do is take care of her, make sure she’s okay, and give her the life I didn’t have as a kid.”

This year marks another new dawn for Rzeznik as a father, husband, radio show host, performer, and, of course, songwriter.

“I’m very proud that we’re still here,” he smiles. “This band is in my DNA. It’s my life. I’ve been doing it longer than I haven’t been. I feel more comfortable than ever in wearing The Goo Goo Dolls as my coat. I’m just a guy who wants to feel connected. It’s the one thing I’ve always craved. I lost my family when I was a teenager. That desire for connection has driven a lot of my lyrics. I can’t wait for my daughter to see me play. Hopefully, the songs mean something to her.”

Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby has posted his first blog for 2019; InRock Mag

Hey Hey In Rockers and Welcome to the next in a series of ramblings from my corner of the universe, we call this The Lobby and I’m Robby, a Goo Goo Doll, musician, producer, j-rock label owner, husband to an amazing Japanese woman and dad to a cute little halfu girl named Hana….. I’m glad you took a second to stop in this month, Welcome! ….

Since we’ve spoken last I’ve spent the past month continuing my travel around the US via tour bus with Goo Goo Dolls on our “Dizzy Up The Girl” 20th Anniversary tour, celebrating the release of the album that produced 5 singles for us and really moved us on to a new phase in our career. It was a great chance for us to do something completely different for our fans, but I’m glad to be home. The last portion of the tour had some great stops at places like the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco and The Palladium in Los Angeles. It was great to get to be in these smaller venues playing the full Dizzy album and deep cuts from our career to true GGD fans before we head out this summer on a co-headline bill with San Fran’s Train and Allen Stone for a run of larger Amphitheaters this summer.

Also this week Goo Goo Dolls have released the 2nd of a set of 2 live recordings, the last of which was called “The Audience is This Way” and the latest being entitled “The Audience is That Way ? The Rest of The Show ? Vol2”. Both of these recordings were recorded during our 2017 summer tour with Collective Soul and were released on Vinyl only on Record Store Day and Black Friday in a very limited number. We’ll be working on new music over the next few months and hopefully have something for release before this summer’s tour.

I’ve been home for about a week, doing mostly normal things like ringing my kid to school and lessons while my wife takes a quick trip to Japan and getting used to being in my house again. I was lucky enough to be able to spend the American Thanksgiving Holiday season here in the states with my family and friends, we even had family come from Mexico to celebrate with us this year. But there’s never a time of complete serene sanity in my world so I did record a single with a great band from a Buffalo, NY based indie band called The Eaves over a few days at my studio. I’ll be working on some new songs this week and I’ll let you know how that’s going next month! This morning, in about 3 hours actually, I’ll be doing a book signing for a kids book that Goo Goo Dolls are involved in called Buffalo Ato Z. The book helps support the Music is Art organization that helps support the arts here in our community.

OK, that’s it for me today, thanks for stopping in …. I’m moving on to waking up the kid, making pancakes, maybe a little finger painting and then making this whole thing happen in an awesome kind of way …. Hope you all are enjoying the change in seasons, the run up to Christmas Holiday and for goodness sakes try to stay warm!

All the best and Peace,



Music News- Multi-platinum, four-time GRAMMY-nominated band Goo Goo Dolls have released The Audience is That Way (The Rest of The Show) Vol. 2 via Warner Bros. Records, a brand new 10 track live album recorded across the band’s recent tours. The record marks the second volume of a two-part compilation series and was preceded by the companion live album The Audience is This Way , which arrived on July 21, 2018. Each release contains 10 different never-before-heard recordings of some of their most iconic hits. The Audience is That Way (The Rest of The Show) Vol. 2 arrives just in time for Black Friday and is also available on all digital streaming platforms and via the band’s website HERE . The band is currently in the studio working on their 12th studio album.

The Audience is That Way (The Rest of The Show) Vol.2 was recorded by John Schimke, and was produced and mixed by lead singer John Rzeznik, Chris Szczech and Brad Fernquist. Boasting transcendent songs such as “Black Balloon”, “Name” and “Here Is Gone”, the album visits territory from the band’s full discography and captures their dynamic live presence that continues to stun sold-out audiences worldwide.

Earlier this month, the band announced that they will be embarking on a massive 2019 summer co-headlining tour with Grammy-winning, multi-platinum selling band Train. The tour will feature special guest Allen Stone and hit over 39 stops across North America, kicking off on June 7th, 2019 at White River Amphitheater in Auburn, WA. View their full tour itinerary below.

Goo Goo Dolls recently wrapped a successful tour in celebration of the 20 th Anniversary of their acclaimed album, Dizzy Up the Girl. At each show, the band performed the record in it’s entirety along with an additional set of surprises and other hits from their repertoire.

The Audience is That Way (The Rest of the Show) Vol. 2 Tracklisting-

Side One:

  1. Stay With You (Live)
  2. Here Is Gone (Live)
  3. Naked (Live)
  4. Name (Live)
  5. Black Balloon (Live)

Side Two:

  1. Over And Over (Live)
  2. Bringing On The Light (Live)
  3. Come To Me (Live)
  4. Let Love In (Live)
  5. Boxes (Live)


Goo Goo Dolls 2019 TOUR ITINERARY*

June 7th – Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheater
June 8th – Ridgefield, WA @ Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
June 9th – Airway Heights, WA @ Northern Quest Casino & Resort
June 11th – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
June 12th – Phoenix, AZ @ AK-CHIN Pavilion
June 14th – Chula Vista, CA @ North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
June 15th – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
June 16th – Irvine, CA @ FivePoint Amphitheater
June 18th – West Valley City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre
June 20th – Denver, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
June 21st – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre
June 22nd – Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
June 23rd – Southhaven, MS @ BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove
June 25th – Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Council Bluffs – Stir Cove
June 26th – Rogers, AR @ Walmart AMP
June 28th – Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
June 29th – Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion
July 6th – West Palm Beach, FL @ Coral Sky Amphitheatre
July 7th – Tampa, FL @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
July 9th – Jacksonville, FL @ Daily’s Place
July 10th – Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park
July 12th – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
July 13th – Raleigh, NC @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek Amphitheater
July 14th – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
July 16th – Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater
July 18th – Walker, MN @ Moondance Jam
July 20th – Tinley Park, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
July 21st – Noblesville, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
July 23rd – Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 24th – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
July 26th – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 27th – Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
July 28th – Gilford, NH @ Meadowbrook Music Pavilion
July 30th – Bangor, ME @ Darling’s Waterfront Park Pavilion
August 1st – Scranton, PA @ Pavilion at Montage Mountain
August 2nd – Canandaigua, NY @ Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
August 3rd – Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
August 6th – Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest
August 7th – Burgettstown, PA @ KeyBank Pavilion
August 9th – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
August 10th – Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion
August 11th – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
August 14th – Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center
August 16th – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
August 17th – Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center

* Co-headline with Train

Goo Goo Dolls get sentimental on ‘Dizzy Up the Girl’ show at Palladium

Some albums can take you back to a very specific time and place in your life. For me, one of those albums is 1998’s Dizzy Up the Girl from the Goo Goo Dolls. That album turned 20 years old this year. Naturally, when they announced a tour to celebrate it, I had to be there.

I remember going to the mall with my grandma and buying that CD when it came out. I had two older brothers, and my grandma’s house had only two TVs. So I basically never got to choose what to watch. Usually, in cases I didn’t wanna watch what my brothers picked, I would go to my room and listen to music. I must have listened to Dizzy Up the Girl at least 1,000 times in that bedroom.

It’s an album I hadn’t really revisited much in recent years. I haven’t really followed the Goo Goo Dolls much the last decade or so. The last album of theirs I really connected with was 2002’s Gutterflower. Find me a song that brings a smile to your face the way “Big Machine” does for me.

Showing up at the Hollywood Palladium, it was awesome to see it packed. It was definitely an older crowd, probably a mid-thirties average age. It was great to see the excitement on people’s faces. One guy in particular was wigging out over hearing “All Eyes On Me”. He said he had never seen the band play it in the half-dozen times or so he’d seen them.

When they took the stage to the guitar riff for the album-opening song “Dizzy”, the eight-year-old version of myself squealed with joy. A few of the people in music I was at the show with waited around for the hits “Black Balloon” and “Iris” — obviously, they overlooked how strong an album it is. “Slide” was a mega hit when it dropped as one of the singles. Its guitar melody is reminiscent of sentimental ’90s rock like Gin Blossoms, Better Than Ezra and the like — the kind of music that doesn’t get its just due on alt-rock radio these days. John Rzeznik and Co. sure know how to write a fucking hook.

Considering I hadn’t really listened to the album in years, I still knew all the words. The song “Broadway” was always a favorite. These guys might be 20 years older, but the band sounds as tight as they did in 1998. Rzeznik’s voice has held up wonderfully.

“Black Balloon” was a clear crowd favorite. It’s crazy to think this song about heroin was such a pop radio favorite but I realize this was around the time Third Eye Blind had songs about crystal meth in commercials for The Tigger Movie.

One thing to note about this 20th anniversary — only Rzeznik and bassist and fellow songwriter Robby Takac remain from the lineup that put out the record. The rest of this band at this point are just touring members. They were able to play the songs up to the expectations of the crowd. Takac sang lead vocals on four songs on Dizzy Up The Girl. I mostly skipped those songs when I listened to them as a kid, but they grew on me.

“All Eyes On Me” was a deep cut that didn’t get its due respect when the album dropped because it had so many successful singles. Rzeznik’s voice as he slides into the chorus is powerful.

As expected, “Iris” was a massive sing-along, with couples slow-dancing to the tune that shook Rzeznik out of a bad case of writer’s block. I remember it being on the City of Angels soundtrack (one of the greatest ’90s soundtracks ever), paving the way to Dizzy Up the Girl selling more than four million copies.

My favorite deep cut was always the album-closing “Hate This Place”. It has a brilliant chorus, with Rzeznik shouting “Hold on, dream away / You’re my sweet charade”. I used to play that song over and over again listening to it.

It was a whirlwind of emotions listening to that album play front-to-back. It helped me time travel to a simpler time, for sure. The band left the stage, and Rzeznik returned for a gimmicky set of three songs where he had a video screen of himself. The video screen version played “Better Days” on guitar with the real-life version singing vocals. Then the video version sang on “Can’t Let It Go”.

The rest of the band returned to the stage with “Name” being a highlight. That was the song that broke them big off 1995’s A Boy Named Goo (also what first made me aware of them). They closed with an encore of “Big Machine” — only fitting that they ended things with another massive singalong.

If you ever get a chance to see a band perform an album in its entirety that played a big part in your youth, do it. As was the case with the Goo Goo Dolls, most bands only take these kinds of victory laps if they’re going to put the effort into doing it right. I ended up walking out with a vinyl copy of the record — one of few albums I’ve bought at a show this year.

Words by Mark Ortega
Photos by Betsy Martinez


Goo Goo Dolls get sentimental on ‘Dizzy Up the Girl’ show at Palladium

Goo Goo Dolls Are Coming to Dallas to Celebrate 20 Years of Dizzy Up the Girl

It’s been 20 years since the Goo Goo Dolls released Dizzy Up the Girl, an album that cemented them in the mainstream. Founders Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac remain active with touring and recording, but this fall, they’ve decided to play the songs from that album across the country.

Rzeznik says it’s hard to remember when and where the band played during the original tour for the album. Considering how much upheaval had happened in the band prior to their commercial breakthrough in the mid-’90s (including their original drummer leaving the band), they weren’t sure where they were going.

“It’s a bit of a blur,” Rzeznik says via phone. “We were sort of enjoying what we considered was going to be a very temporary situation.”

The band had been known in the underground with a sound frequently associated with Hüsker Dü and the Replacements. Their fourth album, Superstar Car Wash, received attention from college radio stations and Sunday night specialty shows. The follow-up, A Boy Named Goo, had a big hit with the somber acoustic-driven tune “Name.”

Going into recording the next album was daunting, as Rzeznik battled writer’s block. He wrote all the time, but he thought what he had was crap. The block went away when he finished a song called “Iris,” which became an enormous crossover hit on radio and MTV and was in a then-hit movie called City of Angels.

But making the album wasn’t easy. With new drummer Mike Malinin, along with studio musicians like keyboardist Benmont Tench (an original member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), percussionist Luis Conte and Tommy Keene (a huge influence on Rzeznik’s songwriting) contributing to the recording, the album sessions were a much bigger deal for Rzeznik and Takac.

“It took a village to make that record,” Rzeznik says with a laugh.

Before the album came out, Rzeznik himself said the songs contained some of the darkest material they had ever done. With lines about parental abandonment and a young man waiting in a bar for his time to die, the tunes attached to them were catchy as hell. And the songs “Slide,” “Broadway” and “Black Balloon” were all hits.

The appeal of the band was so widespread during this time that they reworked “Slide” as “Pride” and performed it with Elmo on Sesame Street.

“I can’t wait to show that to my daughter,” Rzeznik says. “My daughter’s going to be 3 years old in December. I’ll wait until she’s just old enough to go, ‘That’s you?’”

Rzeznik’s present and future are much clearer compared with 20 years ago. He still writes from the perspective of what he wants to say, not what a producer or a record mogul thinks he should say.

“When I start thinking about what the single’s going to be, then, I don’t know, I get weird feelings about it,” he says. “I kinda go, ‘Put that away for now.’ You really have to be selfish when you’re writing.”

The story of the band is about how, when things seemed like they were about to fall apart, something kept the band going. That was true in November 2014, when Rzeznik considered walking away from the band for good. They had parted ways with Malinin earlier in the year, and Rzeznik went to rehab for three months.

“I was terrified of my shadow and everything else in the in world because I needed acceptance and validation from the outside,” he says. “How was I going to keep these people happy? What was I going to do to keep making these people happy? I wasn’t being honest with myself. So that’s where the theory of being kind of selfish when you’re writing songs came from.”

He’s come to accept what he was when he was younger, and what he had to do.

“We were encouraged to behave badly,” Rzeznik says. “You gotta grow up and stuff.”

The band looks forward to their next album, but are happy to do this anniversary tour.

“I’m a busy boy, and I like it that way,” Rzeznik says. “I’m already writing the music for another album that will be out next year.”

Goo Goo Dolls launch ‘DUTG’ anniversary tour with sold-out show in Phoenix

The Goo Goo Dolls kicked off a tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their biggest-selling album, “Dizzy Up the Girl,” at the Van Buren Sunday with a sold-out show that started with them playing that entire album with the cover art projected on the screen behind them.

They came back for a second set of 13 songs that started with John Rzeznik interacting with a video projection of himself and playing three songs accompanied by that projection.

The Dolls were clearly into the nostalgic possibilities of celebrating the songs that made it possible for them to still play sold-out shows two decades down the road from that quadruple-platinum triumph.

And it showed in the enthusiasm Rzeznik and the other Goo Goo Doll who’s been on board from the beginning, bassist Robby Takac, brought to the proceedings.

He and Takac launched the Goo Goo Dolls in 1986, 12 years before the album they were there to celebrate.

“It is amazing that our relationship has lasted longer than most marriages,” Rzeznik said after leading the crowd in a spirited singalong on “Slide,” the second second song on “Dizzy Up the Girl.”

And he didn’t just mean him and Takac. He meant him and Takac and the fans who made a meaningful enough connection with those early records to keep coming back for more.

You could hear that in the singalongs.

By now, the Dolls have played the four hit singles from the album – “Iris,” “Slide,” “Black Balloon” and “Broadway” – more than 1,000 times each.

But there were other songs they hadn’t played live since the early 2000s (“Bullet Proof,” Amigone,” “Full Forever” and the album-closing “Hate This Place”).

They even had to relearn one song that they hadn’t touched since the recording session — “Extra Pale,” which sounded great.

After “Black Balloon,” Rzeznik told the crowd, “This is our first night on this tour, so if we (expletive) something up, just please understand. If you come see us in a week, we’ll be way better.”

The Dolls are touring as a five-piece with second guitarist Brad Fernquist, keyboardist Jim McGorman and drummer Craig MacIntyre rounding out the lineup.

Together, they managed the delicate balance of bringing the music to life in a way that was true to the sound of record while still tearing it up like a live rock-and-roll band.
The Goo Goo Dolls perform in Phoenix at The Van Buren for their Dizzy Up the Girl tour launch, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018.

Rzeznik’s solos, in particular, were electrifying, especially on “All Eyes On Me” “Hate This Place.”

He did most of the talking. He even cleared up who the woman on the album cover is.

“Everybody asks us about her,” Rzeznik said, going on to explain that she was the photographer’s assistant. “She was just lying on the bed because she was tired,” he said, “and they took a picture.”

He also recalled the making of the record.
The Goo Goo Dolls perform in Phoenix at The Van Buren for their Dizzy Up the Girl tour launch, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018.

“It was sort of the first time that we could make a real record,” he said, “with real producers and cocaine if we wanted. It was very exciting. But when I found out how much the cocaine cost, I was like ‘(Expletive) that. no way. Let’s just get a bottle of vodka.'”

It’s a very special album for Rzeznik, one that marked an important transition “from being a naive kid to being a naive adult and just trying to not get completely cynical along the way.”

He had to learn how to survive, Rzeznik said, in a world where all of the sudden, everybody treats you differently because you’ve had a big hit record.

“And you haven’t really changed,” he said, “but the people around you do.”

So he circled the wagons, he said, and the Goo Goo Dolls became more insular.

“I think that’s part of the reason we managed to stick it out for the last 20 years,” he said.

Then as Takac walked over, he added, to rousing applause, “I came into this with him. I guess I’ll go out of it with him. Because at this point, it’s like 80-year-old people getting divorced. Why?”

The second set off to a surreal, ridiculously entertaining start with “Better Days,” “Can’t Let It Go” and “Two Days in February,” performed by Rzeznik and that video projection of himself.

Then the other Goo Goo Dolls returned to rock their way through “Fallin’ Down,” “Lucky Star” and “Stop the World” from 1993’s on-the-verge-of-making-it “Superstar Car Wash” album. (It’s not too late to come back with a 25th anniversary tour on that one, guys).

“Name,” their breakthrough single from “A Boy Named Goo,” touched off a massive singalong, of course.
The Goo Goo Dolls perform in Phoenix at The Van Buren for their Dizzy Up the Girl tour launch, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018.

Then, after dusting off two relatively recent songs, “Think About Me” and “Notbroken,” they went back to the old-school, bringing the set to a raucous conclusion with “Another Second Time Around” and “There You Are” (from 1990’s “Hold Me Up”).

The encore started with a funky “Big Machine” and they signed off with a great choice, an anthemic “Flat Top” from “A Boy Named Goo” that climaxed with Rzeznik tearing it up on lead guitar over a classic garage-rock rave-up ending.

Set 1 setlist




“January Friend”

“Black Balloon”

“Bullet Proof”


“All Eyes On Me”

“Full Forever”

“Acoustic #3”


“Extra Pale”

“Hate This Place”
Set 2

“Better Days”

“Can’t Let It Go”

“Two Days in February”

“Fallin’ Down”

“Lucky Star”

“Stop the World”


“Think About Me”


“Another Second Time Around”

“There You Are”

“Big Machine”

“Flat Top”

**Hit Link for some awesome photos**

Goo Goo Dolls’ Johnny Rzeznik Reflects on Unexpected ‘Iris’ Success and ‘Drunken Brawl’ Tour with Sugar Ray

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!

Goo Goo Dolls Add a Third Night in Buffalo to the #dizzy20 Tour!

Due to overwhelming demand, Goo Goo Dolls have added a third hometown performance in Buffalo for their Dizzy Up the Girl 20th Anniversary Tour! Shows at Shea’s are sold out for 10/19 & 10/20, but tickets for 10/21 go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. As per “We’ve just added a third night in Buffalo on our 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 .”