Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls talks about supporting local businesses and gives a performance from his front porch.
Disney DTCI – Goo Goo Dolls frontman drums up support for local businesses amid COVID-19: “They drive the entire community”
Disney DTCI – Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik appeared on Live with Kelly & Ryan on Friday — remotely, of course — to promote an important message: During the COVID-19 crisis, support your town’s local businesses.
The singer lives in Westfield, N.J. and he’s been helping raise money to support that town’s merchants — which have been hard hit by the coronavirus quarantine — by live-streaming songs from his front porch. He says it’s important to support local businesses, not just in Westfield, N.J., but everywhere.
“What we’re trying to get out is that a lot of the mom and pop shops around here, all the great restaurants, all the great stores and bakeries and all that, they’re still open, but for pickup and delivery,” Johnny explained while sitting on his front porch.
“So let’s support our local businesses because they drive the entire community,” he added. “That’s why we have a beautiful downtown, and it makes our communities such a better place to live — because everything is not a big franchise.”
He then performed the song “Fearless” from the Goo Goo Dolls’ latest album Miracle Pill with just his acoustic guitar.
Johnny, who has a young daughter, also admitted that he’s really been enjoying performing without having to travel all around the world.
“It’s kinda cool,” he laughed. “I’m kinda thinking this might be the wave of the future!”
CNN.com – The Goo Goo Dolls’ lead singer held a porch concert to help local small businesses impacted by coronavirus
By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN
(CNN) A city in New Jersey got creative to raise money for their small businesses by invoking the help of the frontman for the Goo Goo Dolls.
Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle told CNN she is neighbors with the band’s lead singer, John Rzeznik, and decided he would be the perfect person to kick off the new “We Love Local” fundraiser.
The idea is to have a series of porch concerts, and other events, to help raise money for the small businesses affected by social distancing due to the coronavirus. Brindle was inspired by a porch concert the town had for St. Patrick’s Day.
“[Rzeznik] is incredibly generous and has always said to me to let him know if there is anything he can do for the town. His preference notably is he would love to raise money for good things,” Brindle said.
“I said, ‘Hey, would you be willing to do this porch performance to support this fundraiser?’ and in five seconds he texted back and said ‘Yes!'”
The concert was streamed Friday on Facebook Live and Brindle said people tuned in from all over the world.
The launch helped raise $25,000 for local businesses and unlocked a $15,000 match from the Westfield United Fund, an organization created for monetary relief after 9/11 and was also used after Hurricane Sandy.
“The feedback… has been crazy, not only from the town, but even on behalf of John Rzeznik,” she said.
There is a committee currently working on the parameters of the relief money and figuring out exactly how it should be distributed among independent businesses. The town will hopefully come up with a goal when they know about how much money they need.
Brindle said that even though there aren’t specific activities planned right now, everything the town does will go toward their fundraising efforts, and the porch concerts will be a regular thing.
Brindle hopes that Westfield’s efforts will inspire other local cities to do the same thing until more federal support comes into place.
By JILL REED SIROTY
WESTFIELD, NJ — Responding to public concern about the ability of Westfield’s independently owned businesses to survive the fiscal downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic, the town has started the “WE Love Local” Fundraiser in conjunction with the Westfield United Fund.
Organizers launched the fundraiser with a “porch performance” at the home of town resident and Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Rzeznik Friday. Video of the full concert is embedded below the text.
“We’re all sticking together, and this is a good thing,” said Rzeznik, who accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and performed several Goo Goo Dolls hits. “We can show the rest of the world how amazing our community is.”
Mayor Shelley Brindle hosted the performance from Rzeznik’s front lawn, keeping a safe six-foot distance from the singer in keeping with the social distancing guidelines that numerous public health officials are reiterating.
Rzeznik paused briefly during his performance of the song “Fearless” after reaching the lyrics: “Now’s not the time to hide.”
“Now is the time to hide by the way. … stay on the phone,” he added, referencing health officials’ calls for physical distance as a means to mitigate coronavirus’ spread.
The virtual concert came about quickly.
“John has reached out in the past to ask what he can do to help us,” Brindle told TAPinto Westfield. “After our livestream of Irish music on St. Patrick’s Day was so well-received, I texted John and asked if he would do this for Westfield. He texted right back and said ‘I’m all in.’”
The Westfield United Fund, which helped local residents after both Sept. 11 and Hurricane Sandy, has pledged to match the first $15,000 in donations. Funds will be used to help local independently owned businesses until state and federal funding becomes available, officials said.
Brindle said she hopes that Friday’s performance will inspire other residents to create their own performances or talent shows to help raise money.
The public may donate to the fund by adding “WE Love Local!” in the space that says “In Honor of” when visiting the donation page on the website of the Westfield United Fund. Click here for that link.
Establishing the fund was a coordinated effort between the town and the nonprofit.
“Town council members Linda Habgood and Mark Parmalee have worked with the United Fund on the details of the fundraiser,” Brindle said.
Multi-Platinum, four-time Grammy-nominated rock band Goo Goo Dolls have released a brand-new acoustic rendition of their song “Lost,” one of the standout songs from the band’s recent 12th studio album, “Miracle Pill” (Warner Records). The heartfelt, stripped-down track can be heard now via all digital streaming platforms. A lyric video for it can be seen now HERE.
“Miracle Pill” officially arrived in September 2019 via Warner Records. In addition to “Lost,” the engaging album also features numerous other instant-classics such as the smash single “Miracle Pill,” the uplifting slow-burn “Autumn Leaves” and the pop anthem “Fearless,” which was added to the LA Dodgers in-stadium playlist last season.
Last month, Goo Goo Dolls also announced they’ll embark on a summer headlining tour in support of “Miracle Pill.” Produced by Live Nation, the 29-date tour will kick off on July 23 and visit illustrious outdoor venues across North America. Lifehouse and Forest Blakk will provide support for all shows on the run. A complete list of dates and ticket information can be found at the band’s website.
Listen now here – https://ggd.lnk.to/lost-acoustic
It’s a stressful time right now, with quarantines, shut downs, and social distancing. But we’re all in this together, so this week Annie and Gen are talking about COVID-19, having to entertain yourself at home (Gen’s been practicing that for years), and to lighten things up, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘A Boy Named Goo’. We’ve got a podcast exclusive contest for some vintage Goo Goo Dolls swag – including an item that needs a disclaimer. So give it a listen. And wash your hands!
Happy 25th Anniversary to Goo Goo Dolls’ fifth studio album A Boy Named Goo, originally released March 14, 1995.
By Jeremy Levine
Most people don’t know that The Goo Goo Dolls used to be a punk band. For most of their early output, they peddled shouty vocals and three-chord progressions, sometimes successfully (see 1990’s Hold Me Up) and sometimes less so (don’t see 1989’s Jed). Of course, they would eventually reach mainstream success with International Superhit “Iris” in 1998, but there’s one record that sits in the liminal space between mainstream-focused pop rock and the early punk days: A Boy Named Goo (1995).
In spite of its simplistic structures, punk is limitless—it certainly outlasted the Goo Goo Dolls’ own time in the genre—but maybe there’s only so much one group can pour into that format before they leave it behind for the next group of kids with distortion pedals and the same three chords. On A Boy Named Goo, we see a group figuring out this moment of transition, taking some more risks in terms of form and instrumentation, and seeing whether they want to stretch the limits of their familiar genre.
Sonically, this tension results not just in a polishing of a punk sound (as was the approach on 1993’s Superstar Car Wash) or a loudening of a mainstream sound. Most tracks on A Boy Named Goo luxuriate in the fuzzy border between the two sounds, creating some of the most dynamic work in the band’s now-sprawling repertoire. “Only One,” for example, jumps to half-time after the second chorus, then makes a jump to light speed for one magnificent couplet before crashing to a final refrain.
Then there’s “Burnin’ Up,” which ends its first chorus with some magnificent Takac shouting, leading to a bridge and verse at full throttle before hitting a final chorus that replaces the shouting at the end with unexpected vocal harmony.
Maybe most interesting is “Flat Top,” the second-slowest track after “Name” and the longest in the band’s discography at the time of recording. It’s also the most lyrically punk cut on the album, taking aim at television, consumer culture, and slacktivism. Other miracles lie elsewhere: there’s the strong relationship between vocal delivery and lyrical meaning on “Impersonality,” the incredible tightness of “Somethin’ Bad,” and the a cappella bridge of “Naked.” While the band’s punk lineage (and sometimes punk itself) is still present on A Boy Named Goo, there’s a conscious broadening of horizons.
You’d think that the case in point here would be “Name,” the only acoustic song on the LP. This track would become the first Goo Goo Dolls song to reach the Billboard Chart, and it’s the thing that made them popular enough to get Johnny Rzeznik the job of writing “Iris” for City of Angels. Without “Name,” there’s almost definitely no polished second act to the Goo Goo Dolls career—certainly no “Better Days” or “Rebel Beat.”
Putting “Name” in the context of A Boy Named Goo is somewhat perplexing. You’ve got a massive mainstream hit sitting smack in the middle of a punk-adjacent record that ends with a track called “Slave Girl.” It’s tempting to say that “Slave Girl” and “Name” exist on opposite ends of the sonic spectrum that define the record, but that’s not entirely true.
The Goo Goo Dolls had been pulling this trick for years. Both Jed and Hold Me Up close with acoustic numbers (“James Dean” and “Two Days In February,” respectively) while Superstar Car Wash features “We Are The Normal,” which features rich acoustic instrumentation and a songwriting credit for Paul Westerberg. Breaking up their frenzy with something more low-key had been part of the Goo playbook for years. None of the previous acoustic efforts were hits, but they give us an aesthetic template for understanding “Name” within A Boy Named Goo outside of the “you’re a sell-out, maaaaaan” trap that the single’s place in history implies.
It’s also a bit of a trap to think about punk only as a sound. It’s also a community, a response, a position. If you watch Goo Goo Dolls footage from 1995 or 1996, while the transition period that I’ve been peddling in this essay was supposedly going on, you’ll find yourself watching a punk show. Everything about the energy—the full-throated singalongs, the crowd surfing, the clothes—is fully punk. Maybe it’s because crafting a new sound in the studio, where you have the benefit of overdubs and second takes, is more feasible than embracing a new identity on stage. Or maybe it’s because the audience didn’t buy in to the change in direction. Regardless of the reason, the Goos’ aesthetic in live performance reveals that so much of the punk ethos that defined their music up to this moment was still part of them.
A Boy Named Goo is both punk and not, both mainstream and not. It’s a convergence of many things that the Goo Goo Dolls had always been up to that point, with the encroachment of the future mixed in. Call it a harbinger of things to come, call it a swan song for a sound at the end of its run. Regardless of what it represents (or doesn’t), it’s still a singular artifact in the band’s catalogue, a collection of their most interesting songs and arrangements, a unified piece that’s uncertain of its past and future but confident in its present.
By Selena Ferro
With more than three decades together and over 12m albums sold, American Rock band Goo Goo Dolls have been touring the UK in support of the release of their 12th studio album Miracle Pill.
Formed in Buffalo, New York in 1986 by John Rzeznik and Robby Takac, the four-time Grammy-nominated band has earned their page in the music history books by achieving the all-time US radio record for Most Top 10 Singles. Their song Iris was number one on the Hot 100 for 18 weeks and was named number one Top 40 Song of the Last 20 Years.
For the London leg of their tour they played the gorgeous Roundhouse, wrapping up the final date of the run in style with a sold out show.
As soon as I enter the venue, there is a big queue to get into the main room which is already quite packed. Once I reach the photo pit, I can spot some of the most dedicated fans standing in the front row and super excited and ready for a mx of those nostalgic feelgood vibes.
The set features an electric mix of new and old, rock and mellow, showcasing the wide range of talents the group has perfected over the years. They start off by the fun singalong Indestructible as Rzeznik led the crowd into a fun singalong that brings the crowd to that sense of liberation that one feels at a Goo Goo Dolls concert.
Other songs included in the set included Here is Gone, Black Balloon and Slide. But of course, no Goo Goo Dolls set would be complete without Iris which got the entire venue on their feet dancing and singing along to one of the most iconic songs of the late 90s.
For this tour, they decided to use the Cinebody app to allow fans to film the all concert experience; quite cool!
Seeing them live reminded me about why they were at the top of the mountain for a long time. Their songs are catchy, fun and all carry a message of hope that broke generational barriers. The band have still got it and they show that they will continue to have it for years to come.
Click the link for photos – https://syncmusicblog.com/2020/03/04/live-goo-goo-dolls/
By Claire Stones
The Roundhouse is a great venue to watch a band at, even if on a cold winter’s day you get to queue for an hour to get through the doors, only to queue for another 30 minutes to put your coat in the cloakroom. Well, on the 27th February, a sell-out crowd did just that to watch the Goo Goo Dolls.
For those who aren’t familiar with the band, the Goo Goo Dolls formed in Buffalo, New York in 1986 and are best known for their single Iris – from their quadruple platinum (in the US) selling album Dizzy Up The Girl – which featured in the Nicolas Cage/Meg Ryan movie City Of Angels. With John Rzeznik on guitar and vocals, and Robby Takac on bass and vocals, the Goo Goo Dolls took to the stage the a huge cheer from the crowd and started with Indestructible from their latest album, Miracle Pill. They went straight into Home and then Slide, both of which were accompanied by much of the audience audibly singing along.
As the night went on, the Goo Goo Dolls continued to mix old and new, with songs ranging from Fallin’ Down from their 1993 album Superstar Car Wash, to Fearless from their latest release. Lead vocal duties, as always, switched between John and Robby. They put on a good show, treating the audience to a 23-song set, lasting more than 90 minutes, and included six from Dizzy Up The Girl.
This was a gig for fans, with great moments such as the dropping of black balloons during Black Balloon and more songs from their back catalogue than you would expect from a tour promoting a new album. They may not have ended the gig with Iris – but it was the penultimate song – and it was paired beautifully with Broadway. There are some people out there who would be willing to pay for a ticket just to hear them play Iris. If you are one such person, go for it – it will be worth it.
By Ian Pickles
There’s packed out shows and then there’s packed out shows, but I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere that seemed quite as full as the Leeds Academy on Saturday night, February 22nd, when The Goo Goo Dolls brought their ‘Miracle Pill’ tour to town. Shooting from front of house I arrived 45 minutes early and the place was already so full that even at the very back we were standing on each other’s toes as we strained to see the stage. It was four years since the boys from Buffalo had played Leeds and it was clear that they’d been missed.
The set list for the night offered something for everyone – a greatest hits package for the seasoned fans and plenty of the new stuff. If you haven’t had a chance to hear Miracle Pill yet you should give it a go, not for the philosophy but just for the sheer exuberant synth driven dad rockiness of it all.
The Dolls are one of those bands that can be relied on to put on a no quarter asked or given show, playing the whole crowd, front back and balconies, not just the front few rows, and if you’re partial to a spot of slightly overblown, highly sentimental rock music played with real energy and style then they’ve got it in spades. They’re a band that can evoke happy resonances of whoever it was you grew up with. Me I heard early Bruce Springsteen in the semi-spoken introductions, hints of Tom Petty in the sharp little pop verses, but you may hear someone else entirely.
Of course there’s no doubt about the highlight of the show – and they left it to the encore, which opened with “Iris” and closed with “Indestructible”. “Iris” is one of those songs that seems to stop the world in its tracks – and the band allow the melody to unwind with enough subdued spaces to allow for plenty of audience participation. “Name”, from 1995’s Boy Named, has similar power to get a room full of strangers singing together like old friends, which is possibly the key to The Goo Goo Dolls success. Not only do we like them but there is something about them that means we like other people who do too. Packed to the gunwales and hot as Hades it may have been, but there was a real feeling of community about the place (apart from the occasional fight, but hey this is Yorkshire).
Among the new material it was “Autumn Leaves”, which closed the main set, that the fans seemed to have taken most to their heart, falling silent for the slow burn introduction and then coming massively alive as the band turned things up a gear, with Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac striking some great poses – they’re old hands at the giving great show and nothing that they did on the night was less than fine. “Life’s a Message” and “Fearless” went down pretty well too, and judging by the amount of singing along to the new stuff, the fans have taken Miracle Pill to their hearts already.
Hopefully it won’t be another four years before they head this way again.