Robby’s Lobby-InRock Blog

Robby’s Lobby-InRock Blog

Robby’s Lobby – InRock Blog

Heyheyhey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby coming at you this month while enjoying a nice hot cup of Japanese Sencha at a little tea shop outside of Detroit. It’s a day off in the very middle of a super busy Goo Goo Dolls tour with Train and neo-soul singer Allen Stone that runs through mid August snaking around the USA, stopping at over 50 cities along the way. It’s been a great tour full of packed houses and tons of sing-alongs in all kinds of weather, as most of these Summer shows are at outdoor venues it’s been interesting navigating the rains and winds that come with an amphitheater tour. But the bands are so great to tour with, it’s really been a pretty amazingly harmonious and rock filled summer!

In the midst of this jam packed schedule we’ve been keeping, GGDS released the first single from an album to be released on Sept 13th called Miracle Pill and have been performing the song live in the set now for the past month. It’s great having newer music to play for people, and it’s even better when the Internet allows them to hear your new ideas right away to enjoy that night at the show. It used to be strange to play new music for your audience, but since the immediacy of streaming people discover new music much more quickly now. People seem to dig the new song, new video (which we talked about last month) and seem to be eagerly awaiting the new release.

On our Summer tours we do Meet and Greets nightly, sometimes up to 100 people, it’s great because we get to meet a ton of amazing fans and briefly share stories with people who we’ve shared an emotional relationship with from afar, some for many decades now. It really feels like family out here, with all of our kids running around, everybody getting together for dinner every night, and just maneuvering all of the details of real life at home while you’re traveling with a small group of people every day. It really is a strange situation in a large scale touring situation, connections that are somehow so close but yet so distant and while we are in the middle of thousands and thousands of people every night we’re strangely insulated from the entire experience, the meet and greets tend to bridge that gap. It’s a lot of energy before going out to do a show, but I think it completes the cycle and for that I’m truly grateful.

There was a scary moment on the tour when one of the crew bus drivers had a seizure and their bus crashed on the highway. Luckily, although some of the crew was hospitalized and the driver was pretty badly hurt, no one was killed in the crash and the tour continued on a couple of days later. We look forward to the next moth of shows and will be heading to South America soon to do shows with Bon Jovi including a performance on the beach at the legendary Rock in RIO!

My wife and daughter have been in Tokyo for the past couple of months spending some time with our family in Japan, my daughter’s Japanese is getting much better, and they’ve gotten back to Tokyo Disney a few times! I’m so glad they get to spend the summer visiting Japan while I’m gone away on tour, but wow, I really miss them. They’ll be back in the USA in a bit and will join us for a week on the tour!

Shonen Knife returns to the US to play a bunch of shows in the US this fall, representing Osaka internationally in a big way this year supporting their Sweet Candy Power album, they just completed a tour of Europe, are currently in the UK with an Australian tour scheduled in the fall after the US run!

Thanks so much for checking in on me here in the pages of the mighty In Rock! I’ll be back next month with more touring and the frantic lead up to The 17th Annual Music is Art Festival in Buffalo …. more on that next month! See you soon !



Check out the latest edition of Robby’s blog for InRock Mag!

Hey Hey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby for this week’s visit and thanks for joining me for a little celebration of the first month of Summer! I’m here in St’ Louis, MO today as Goo Goo Dolls are well into a 3 month Summer tour of The US with uber pop rockers Train and one of my new favorites, the ever so soulful Allen Stone! Our new single “Miracle Pill” from the soon to be released “Miracle Pill” album was released this week as we are on the road. For the first time in a very long time we were out playing the new song for a few weeks before the single was released so we had a pretty good feeling about the song from the reactions we had received as we performed it for unknowing fans during our summer set.

Since the dawn of MTV (when MTV actually played rock music videos) with every new single released comes a new promotional video, and we have made dozens of music videos over the years, it becomes a tough to come up with ideas that seem like they will stand out. In a medium that has been explored in what seems like every way possible we are always trying to find a new twist, this time I think if nothing else, well we figured out a way to have a ton of fun and I’m pretty sure we made a great video too!

The band had always wanted to make video where we just made a big mess, we didn’t have much of an idea beyond that, but we knew it could be exciting to just make a huge mess. Our friend Dan Cooper came up with a video concept that we shot over a day in East Los Angeles on a day off from the tour. We built a small white room in a warehouse studio and filled it with white furniture and white picture frames and the director had John and I dress in all white for the video. I don’t think I’ve worn all white since early childhood, but we found some outfits that worked for us and headed into the set.

We started by performing the single in the room with our white boots, white guitars amongst the white furniture, which included a small white cup atop white table. At one point John tips over the glass to reveal a cup of red paint splashing across the white table and floor, this leads to a chaotic scene of paint dripping down walls, dropping onto the set from the sky and being rocketed at us as powder and glitter is blown around the set. The video ends with a good old fashioned room trashing with guitars, couches and chairs being smashed in a wet, slippery, colorful mess …. And there it was, that mess we knew we were always looking for, our mission was accomplished as we collapsed, covered in paint and rock and roll on the couch amongst the debris ……. Can’t wait for you all to see it! We continue on the Summer US tour with Train and Allen Stone for about 40 more shows and then we will be off to South America for an appearance at Rock in Rio among others.

Osaka’s Shonen Knife’s new album “Sweet Candy Power” album was released this month on my Good Charamel Records label in North America, Europe and Mexico. You can pick it up on P-Vine records in Japan. Shonen Knife will be touring North America in 2019.

My wife and daughter are in Tokyo for the next couple of months so I’m spending a lot of time on Facetime and texting (yes I sais TEXTING) with my 7 year old from America, if you see them wandering around Tokyo please say hi!!!!! OK, That’s it for this month, thanks so much for stopping in to check up on me here in The Lobby, Enjoy the summer, and I’ll see you next month here in the pages of The Mighty In Rock!!!!



InRock Magazine: New Blog by Robby Takac

Hey Hey In Rockers, coming to you today from the windy city of Chicago as Goo Goo Dolls are in rehearsals for a big Summer Tour with the band Train and singer/songwriter Allen Stone which runs through August of this year. We’ve just returned from a short tour of Mexico, which was the very first time in 33 years that we’ve been able to make a tour happen down there. It was really great, great food, the friendliest people and truly amazing crowds. We played in Monterrey, Mexico City and we did The Corona Capitol Festival with Chemical Brothers, The Yhea, Yhea, Yheas, Tame Impala, OMD and a whole bunch of other amazing acts in a dusty field in Guadalajara with over 20,000 of our newest friends from Mexico! I happened to have some relatives who are in Mexico City, so I got to spend some time catching up with them as well, it really was a great trip and we look forward to our return.

In early May we celebrated The Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival over a week at The Japanese Gardens in my hometown of Buffalo, my wife Miyoko and I are on the planning committee and perform at the event every year. This year we featured The Molice, Pinky Doodle Poodle and DJ Sashimi from Tokyo as well as local Taiko groups, kendo performers, a kendama champion, tea ceremonies, traditional dancing and more as we help our community celebrate Japanese Culture during Cherry Blossom time! The weekend prior to the Buffalo event all 3 acts also performed at The Brooklyn Sakura Matsuri at The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens as well alongside singer/songwriter Kana Uemura who sang the 2010 Japanese hit “Toire no Kamisama”. We had watched her sing that song many times on NHK here in the US with emotional tears in our eyes and it was very special for us to see her perform the song in the US where she now resides.

Last week when we arrived in Chicago and had a couple of shows before we began rehearsals, one of them was a show for a charity organization Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps created a few years back called “The Golf Give Gala” which helps raise over a million dollars a year for children in the St. Charles, Illinois area. Nice guy and a very cool event, we were glad we could come and play some music for their party and help out a bit.

Our newest single, the title track from our upcoming album “Miracle Pill” is to be released in June to coincide with the summer tour, the whole album will be dropped in September with 11 new songs that we’ve been working on over the last year between Los Angeles and NY. Sam Hollander produced the song “Miracle Pill”, Sam has gained notoriety working for bands such as Panic at The Disco, Fitz and The Tantrums as well as many others. The album artwork for “Miracle Pill” was once again done by Brian Grunert at White Bicycle in Buffalo, I’m pretty sure you guys will dig it!

Oh! and don’t forget to check out the new single from Osaka’s Shonen Knife- “Dizzy” – released last month on our Good Charamel Records label in N. America and Europe as well as P Vive Records in Japan!

I’ll be checking in with you from the road next month, we will be well into the tour by then so I’ll have a ton of stuff to share with you as we make our way around the US playing our rock music for the summertime audiences. Hope you are all enjoying the Spring and I hope to see you again next months here in the pages of The Mighty InRock !!!!!





Hey Hey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby, it’s been a strange, strange winter here in the US, I just returned from the desert city of Las Vegas, Nevada for a show with Goo Goo Dolls and when I landed it was one degree colder than my hometown of Buffalo, NY and it snowed for 2 days! It NEVER EVER snows in Las Vegas; I think they said it happens maybe once every 10 years, but certainly never two days in a row. It really was a unique occurrence and since I grew up in what is sometimes considered the “Hokkaido of the United States” I was instantly blamed repeatedly by our crew and the locals for bringing the unusually cold weather to the desert, although I’d bet it’s something much more scientifically complex than my inherent snowy vibes going on! Anyways, we had a great show, and had another stop in Oklahoma before returning home to spend some more time with the family before a month long studio lockout begins in Los Angeles as we finish up the new Goo Goo Dolls album (Due out this Summer)!

We’re working with a bunch of producers on this new album, Sam Hollander (Panic at the Disco, Metro Station), Derek Fuhrman (O.A.R., Great Big World), Drew Pearson (Switchfoot, Lights) and Alex Aldi (Passion Pit, Bad Wolves) to name a few, we’ve been mostly coming up with ideas, writing and pulling things together for the past few months, now it’s time to make the whole thing into an actual album for you all!

Goo Goo Dolls have an incredibly busy 2019 on the books, recording in March, rehearsals in April, a tour of Mexico in May, June through September with Train across the US and we just found out September and October will be bringing us to South America for our first ever shows on that continent! Some big news that I can’t share the specifics about as of yet, but we will be sharing the details of these trips and the shows we’ll be involved in very soon!

In other news …. I recently produced a single for an amazing young band called Beach Slang; an EP called “MPLS” is comprised of a couple of covers by Minneapolis legends Paul Westerberg (Replacements) and Bob Mould (Husker Du). Both of our bands were really a product of this Minneapolis music scene and it was a pleasure getting together and combining 3 generations of appreciation for that scene in this tidy little release. The EP was put pout this month on Bridge Nine Records on limited edition colored vinyl, the first pressings already sold out! Beach Slang came to my studio in Buffalo to record with myself and engineer Jay Zubricky a few months back after performing at The Music is Art Festival held every September here in Buffalo. Truly a bunch of awesome people, who are unbelievably creative and motivated and we hope to see more of this amazing band at our place in the future.

We have our Good Charamel Records label revving up for some action this year as well as another tour and release this Fall by Osaka’s Shonen Knife who are currently in studio working on their latest release to be followed by a tour of Europe, The US and Australia at the years end. We also have a Brooklyn Sakura Matsuri appearance with The Molice, Pinky Doodle Poodle and DJ Sashimi all appearing together onstage for the annual April event in NYC. This will be the first time all 3 acts will be performing together, should be a great day!

That does it for me this month, I’ll be writing next month from the studio in Los Angeles and maybe we’ll try to give you a little taste of the actual recording process next time we meet up, a little tough to do in 700 words, but we’ve been good like that for over a decade now! Have a great month and we’ll be talking to you soon here in the pages of the Mighty In Rock!




Heyheyhey In Rockers and Welcome to this month’s edition of the Lobby coming to you from Anchorage, Alsaska as GGDS make our way through a short 3 show run through Vancouver BC, Alaska and then Oregon. We perform a trio of shows after a short break back home following a month long tour of Europe. A few days off at home spent camping with my daughter, going to the circus, amusement parks and much more as I try to get in as much time w/ Hana as possible before we were jetting off again to make some more rock!

The European tour was amazing, it has been almost 20 years since our last trip across Europe and the crowds were unbelievably excited to sing along with us after our absence. The tour started at a festival in Portugal made it’s way through Spain, Belgium, Germany, The UK, Latvia and we did an unbelievable festival in front of 300,000 attendees at The Pol And Rocks Festival, surely the biggest crowd we ever had ever performed for, and one of the most enthusiastic for sure. We then made our way through Scandinavia and then headed back to Eastern Europe once again finishing up in Hungary and then Vienna, Austria.

We did a variety of different types of gigs, from small concert halls/bars to large theaters and festival camping grounds built up like small cities for the 10s of thousands people flocking to the shows. These European festivals seem like a rite of passage for these teenagers, some odd the festivals were up to a week long with constant presentations of art and music throughout the day and night, some of the headline shows starting at 1:30am our later. The crowds over in Europe really love to sing and every night seemed like a giant sing along as we made our way through the busy schedule, it was really a truly, truly amazing experience.

Even with the crazy busy schedule we kept while we were traveling abroad, I amazingly got to do a bunch of sightseeing; visiting a castle in in Prague, a restaurant open since the year 800 in Vienna, wandered Old Town in Oslo, took a ferry ride to Sweden, spent a day off in Amsterdam and so much more, a fringe benefit of the job for sure. Lots of great food as well, meatballs in Stockholm, Goulash in Hungary, Fish and Chips in London, Paella in Spain, Schnitzel in Vienna… oh and Swedish Fish Candy (a band favorite) in Sweden was definitely on of the highlights for me! My family even came to visit during the 3 UK shows and they got to see a sold out show at The Brixton Academy. I love when my daughter gets to come out and see a whole show, she clapped along saying that she loved watching me make faces and run around, whatever part of the show she enjoys, I’m just glad she gets to be part of the fun and gets to see some of the world!

Tonight GGDS are playing in Alaska, our 2nd time to this remote area of the world, so beautiful, last night we had a crew/band dinner in Anchorage after a drive through the mountains and glaciers and even a few Beluga Whale sightings along the way. Beluga Whales and Rock, not always a common combination, but here in the wilds of Alaska it all just sort of makes sense. Last time we were here we shot a video called Music in High Places where we were filmed performing acoustically all around the wilderness of Alaska, it’s really worth seeing and gave us a great opportunity to see the sites as we played on glaciers, icebergs and other breathtaking locations.

My Good Charamel Records label has Japanese band Shonen Knife coming to the US in September and October and my wife Miyoko will be out with them for the trip! I will be home for a month with my daughter (I can’t wait!) and the band will be busy preparing for a US tour celebrating the 2oth Anniversary of our Dizzy Up The Girl albums release. More on that soon!!!!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and I hope to see you next month here in the pages of the mighty In Rock!!!!




Hey hey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby, a chance for us to catch up, and this month I’m truly catching up as I just returned from a quick 6 days in Japan with my wife and daughter and a trip to Canada, now I am now sitting in my house after a whole lot of travel over the past few weeks. Lots and lots of flying and more to come as GGDS are about to embark on a European Tour, well, once we do a string of Canadian shows in the meantime. Keeping track? I’m finding it a little tough myself, but I’ll get into some more details in a bit.

Our trip to Japan was amazing as always, we go to visit the new Yayoi Kusama museum in Tokyo, there is nearly a 2 month wait for tickets so we were very glad when the available tickets coincided with our trip. We love Kusama and I’ve seen her shows on numerous continents, but there was something very special about being in her museum in Japan. Id you’re not familiar, she is a Japanese artist in her 80s who came up through he Avante Garde art scene in NYC in the 50s and 60s who continues to make her art in her very identifiable style. She claims that she is driven to do these paintings to control her hearing “voices” in her head, because of this dynamic there are now many, many of these large vibrant pieces shown around the world. The museum looked at her early career in the 1950s as well as her current work on canvas, sculptures as well as one of her infamous mirrored “infinity” rooms.

Also on this trip, I got to experience my first Obake Yashiki ghost house at Tokyo Dome City called “ONRYOU ZASHIKI” . The ghost house was designed by Gomi Hirofumi, who is responsible for some of the scariest attractions in Japan and he has been doing installations at Tokyo Dome City for over 20 years. My wife and 6-year-old daughter refused to go through the ghost house, so I had to make the decision between not seeing it at all and going through by myself! After some careful consideration I decided to go for it …

After taking off my shoes and being led into a dark hallway waiting for the first door to open I realized the Obake Yashiki was much different and much more suspenseful and scary than the “haunts” I grew up with as a child. All alone I carefully and cautiously made my way through the darkness and came out the other side a seemingly changed person! Wow, I realize now the Japanese designers take these things pretty seriously and I’m so glad I got to experience it, although maybe next time I would prefer not to do it alone.

We had many great meals as we do every visit, w, visited our favorite places to shop and explore and as always it was over way too fast as I had to leave our trip to Japan early as Miyoko and Hana stayed behind to spend some more time as I head to a rock show with TLC, Blind Melon, Eve 6 and a bunch of other bands in Edmonton. The event was called The Soundtrack Festival, it was the first year of the event and considering the event sold out of tickets I have a feeling they’ll be doing it again! We’ve 2 more shows in Canada and another in the US before we head to Europe, I’m glad I have a tour manager keeping track of this all …

GGDS have just finished up mixing a second live album to be released later this year on WB records, the first offering is called “The Audience is this Way” and will be out soon! We’ve headed back to Buffalo with the entire touring band to do some photos for our upcoming European Tour as well as this Fall’s “Dizzy Up The Girl” 20th Anniversary tour of the US. We’re shooting with a photographer named Mark Dellas who we have known since we were just starting out. He’s a super moody high fashion style photographer and we’ve never done a session with the entire touring group, so this should be fun and different for us!

So much going on right now that I haven’t even mentioned, here’s the short list, the MiA team in Buffalo are furiously gearing up for the annual Music is Art Festival in September. Good Charamel Records artists “The Molice” from Tokyo are still here based in Buffalo touring the US, Pinky Doodle Poodle also from Tokyo are also here based in Athens OH doing shows around the US as well. We’re about to make an announcement regarding another visit from Osaka’s Shonen Knife to the US this fall to promote their latest “ALIVE! In Osaka” CD/DVD set, which was released earlier this year.

OK, off to take care of some things at home and then back to making it all happen, as always thanks for checking in, we’ll be talking again soon here in the pages of the mighty InRock …





Hello In Rockers, and Welcome to the Lobby this month coming to you from sunny Los Angeles, California as Goo Goo Dolls begin rehearsals for a Summer Tour of Europe which begins July 20th at The Mare Vivas Festival in Portugal.

We’ve released our first live album, “The Audience is this Way”, it is the first release in a set of 2 live recordings we’re releasing from a collection of shows captured on tours for the “Boxes” and “You Should Be Happy” releases. The first disc came out April 21st on Record Store Day here in the US on Vinyl, CD and download. We’re getting the second disc ready for release as we speak, so hang tight, enjoy some new live GGDS and get ready for another blast of live recordings coming soon.

In other GGDS news, we just made a pretty exciting announcement for Goo Goo Dolls fans here in the US, we are going to do a 2 month tour this fall performing the entire “Dizzy Up The Girl” album to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of it’s release this year. Dizzy was the album that really changed our lives in pretty much every way imaginable, time sure does pass quickly when you’re having fun (and super busy), and it’s great to be able to celebrate this album by performing it in it’s entirety for the first time ever.

In past columns I mentioned my daughter attending Nihongo School here in the US, it is held at a local University on weekends for Japanese kids living in the area. The Japanese students at the school put on a Talent Show with many of the Japanese students attending the University participating, singing, dancing, playing music and having some fun together after classes. As they were tabulating the results of the contest a local Buffalo Taiko Drum Group called “Niagara Shibuki Taiko Group” performed for the students and attendees. One of their members is my daughter’s Sensei and she had heard I played a little Shamisen, so they asked me to perform “The Theme from Naruto” with them at the event.

I had never played Shamisen anywhere but in front of my wife and daughter (and usually in my pajamas), so I reluctantly accepted and ended up having a great time performing with them. Actually we had such a great time that we are planning on doing it again at The Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival in May.

The arts not or profit organization Music is Art that I helped to start 16 years ago is one of the sponsors of Music Day at The Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival. We helped put together a great day of entertainment featuring Taiko Drummers, Japanese Folk dancing, Haiku readings, live painters and performances by Tokyo’s The Molice and DJ Sashimi. I will be performing for the 2nd time in my life on the Shamisen in front of the Cherry Blossom crowd with DJ Sashimi as well as doing “Naruto “with The Shibuki Taiko Group. DJ Sashimi and The Molice will also be performing at The Brooklyn Cherry Blossom Festival and The Molice will be at The Roosevelt Island Cheery Blossom Festival in NYC as part of their 2018 US Tour, which began in Trumansburg, NY in Mid April.

Ok, off to more rehearsals today as well as some time filming promos for the upcoming tours, I hope everyone enjoyed their Golden Week break and we will talk to you next month in the pages of The Mighty In Rock!

Peace …


Heyhey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby, a Springtime version of the monthly column here in the pages of The Mighty In Rock, but here as i sit in Buffalo, NY, it’s been freezing (and I hear it was also cold on the first day off Spring in Tokyo) and just a short distance from here in NYC they were hit with a huge storm on the very first day of Spring. So, let’s think some warm thoughts as we make our way through our journey this month, let’s generate some heat here and look ahead to the warm and sunny days of Cherry Blossom time.

Goo Goo Dolls headlined The Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia this month! A 31 hour total flight from Buffalo to NYC to Jakarta through, you guessed it, Narita Airport. This was surely my shortest trip ever to Japan, but I did manage to get a nice Curry lunch during my layover. I felt like I wanted to run out of the airport just to scream KONNICHIWA and kiss the ground before I got onto the plane for another 8 hours, but once I had some rice and Curry i felt a little better about things and made my way to the gate my 3rd plane.

Having never been to Indonesia I spent most of my short time there wandering around Jakarta visiting the National monument and just walking around the city taking it all in. This year was the first time we had ever been to Southeast Asia having visited Manila ands Thailand late last year, Jakarta was very reminiscent of these places, lots of motor bikes, tuk tuks and people rushing around in a chaotic blend of different kinds of folks making their way through their every day lives. Wish we could have stayed longer to see more of Indonesia, but most of our short time there was filled with press conferences, sound checks and just trying to keep our jet lag at bay long enough to have a great show.

The Java Jazz festival was a eclectic mix of bands from every genre imaginable quite honestly, tons of regional acts as well as Jazz legends like famed guitarist Lee Rittenauer and living legend Dionne Warwick as well as Vanessa Williams, Relish, Incognito, pop newcomer Lauve from San Francisco and many others to make up one of the most diverse mixtures of musical acts i believe we’ve ever been involved with. The audience was amazing, the people we met around the city were so friendly and happy to have us visit for the first time, but as quickly as we made it over to Indonesia it seemed like were just as quickly back on an airplane to the US. A crazily busy few day, although the saving grace was it did mean another one of those ultra short visit to Japan and another awesome bowl of Curry (but this time beef)!

After returning home my wife Miyoko and I began preparing for a string of releases from some of the bands on our Good Charamel Records label over the next few months including the single Sakura Sakura by Tokyo’s DJ Sashimi, she will be performing along with Tokyo’s The Molice at Brooklyn’s Sakura Matsuri celebration. The Molice has a new DVD maxi single being released next month to accompany their US tour which will begin in April and run through August including a string of Cherry Blossom Festival dates across the Northeastern US. And lastly, but certainly not least, the legendary Shonen Knife from Osaka will be doing a tour of Europe in April supporting a new live DVD/CD set called “ALIVE! In Osaka” which will be released in May worldwide! So as I said, busy, busy, busy; but still making it happen

Goo Goo Dolls will be releasing a live album “The Audience is This Way”” later this year, we are putting the finishing touches on it now and we’ll be touring all over Europe / The UK this summer, and some pretty special stuff coming up in the fall too, stay tuned, promise that I’ll frill you in! Have a great Spring and I hope to see you all next month here at The Lobby. …


Robby’s Lobby – June Edition


Heyheyhey and Welcome to The Lobby, Springtime is in the air here in Buffalo, NY …. well, little bursts of Springtime and then more snow and cold. Buffalo is a lot like Hokkaido, we’re very proud of our ability to deal with harsh weather, but right around the end of February we’ve all had just about enough! Luckily, my travels with Goo Goo Dolls get me to some warmer climates to thaw out a bit, and this month offered me a few great opportunities for some personal “climate change” and made things a little nicer in the last few weeks of another harsh Buffalo Winter.

The first gig we played was a private party in Minneapolis Minnesota, that certainly did not help with the cold (maybe made us a little colder), but it was a lot of fun and it’s always fascinating to be in a city when a humongous event like the SuperBowl is taking place. GGDS were also invited to play an amazing event in Miami, Florida through the NFL Football team The Miami Dolphins as they hosted a Running / Biking Marathon with thousands of attendees making their way through the streets of Miami to benefit Breast Cancer Research. The show was at Joe Robbie Stadium after the run where the Dolphins play and we were lucky enough to have the band Big Head Todd and The Monsters as openers for the day. 85 degrees Fahrenheit and Sunny in Miami …. thaw completed.

There’s an old saying in the US when you want someone to know you’ve experienced something before, it goes like this ….. “This aint my first rodeo you know ….”, well let me fill you in. A Rodeo for the uninformed is (for lack of a better explanation) a “Cowboy” show, livestock show, horse riding expo, roping competition accompanying a whole bunch of pageantry surrounding a week long series of events for the attendees including concerts! GGDS made our way down to San Antonio, Texas to perform at this event for a second time, as I mentioned, this was not our first rodeo! We played 9 years ago at the same event, in the round on a spinning stage in a basketball arena usually full of well dressed sports fans. That week it was full of cows, bulls, horses and some pretty brave Cowboys atop thousands and thousands of pounds of dirt brought in to cover the floor for this annual event. In no time at all once the Rodeo ended they wheeled out a huge circular stage and the show began, it really was a great time and after we got over the motion sickness of a spinning stage the night was amazing …. and it was still warm …. I was still thawed.

In other news, I’ve been practicing my Japanese Shamisen as I’m about to perform 2 shows with Tokyo’s DJ Sashimi at The Sakura Matsuri Festival in Brooklyn in April as well as the Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival in May. It will be my first time playing Shamisen anywhere (aside from my living room and the safety of my recording studio), so I’m excited to be asked to be part of the event. Tokyo Rockers and Good Charamel labelmates The Molice will be returning to The US as well to play both of these festivals too as well as The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival in Philadelphia to begin their 2018 US tour which begins in mid April. Both acts will have new music out soon, check our to hear them and some of the other great Japanese bands on the Good Charamel Records label!

Tonight I head out to do a DJ set at a club in Buffalo, NY I used to work at as a DJ sporadically all through the 90s, The bar is called The Pink Flamingo, just a simple, dirty little place to have a sandwich and a drink and listen to some great music. I’ll be joining the alumni DJs from the decades of personalities that shared music with the clientele over the years. But tonight, 20 years later I’ll be playing sonic jewels like The MC5, Flaming Groovies, Shonen Knife and The Bad Brains on a computer instead of turntables …. time moves forward and so must we !

Ok, That’s it for me this month, I’ll be in the studio most of March and also headed to Jakarta for our first appearance in Indonesia with Goo Goo Dolls for a headine slot at The Jakarta Jazz Fest and more…. busy, busy, busy and loving it ……stop by next month and I’ll fill you in on the rest !

All the best


March Edition of Robby’s Lobby!

Hey Hey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby … Happy New Year to you all! I’ve just returned from a nice little mini vacation with my family in Palm Springs California, which is like heaven when for 4 months a year you live in a frozen winter wonderland like Buffalo, NY. Making music with the band around the globe allows me a lot of changes in climate as I travel and this month took me to the warmth of Florida, Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California for shows, recording sessions and rehearsals.

We survived the holidays with a ton of travel bringing our family to Tokyo for Christmas to spend the holidays with friends and family in Japan. I have been spending every other year in Japan for the Christmas break for many years now and have really grown to look forward to all of the familiar sights and sounds of the city. We took a trip to Kawasaki City’s Fujiko F. Fuji Art Museum to see an awe inspiring Doraemon exhibit by a number of acclaimed artists including Morakami, Nara and Sebastian Masada. I took a necessary trip to the farmers market at The United Nations University and bought a suitcase full of our favorite Japanese teas from our favorite tea farming family. We made our way around the city to visit some of my daughter’s favorite places, she’s 6 so every trip is a nice mix of kid’s fun and the general bustle of Tokyo during the Holidays. A few days before Christmas Day we made a nice little tree out of colored paper and you know that Santa found us, even in our hotel room he found us, Santa is an amazing man, and we love Christmas time in Japan.

Unfortunately my Japan trip was cut short and i left my family to further enjoy the stay, but it was for a pretty amazing reason as I made my way to Narita and flew back to New York City a couple of days after Christmas for a couple of Goo Goo Dolls shows. The first New Years Eve at The Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan ringing in 2018 with a roomful of folks which is a truly amazing old school theater. The next morning we set out to Met Life Stadium in Queens to do a short set during the break of an NHL Hockey Game, oh, i should mention, the performance was outside on a 19 degree F (-7c) New Years Day. Yes you heard that right, so we bundled up and alongside Max Weinberg from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and Ace Frehley of Kiss we braved the cold and performed for 40,000 fans and millions of hockey fans around the globe through their televisions and computers. I was pretty jet lagged through the whole thing, but had a great time and made it home to Buffalo to spend a little time recovering.

The next week we performed a couple of unusual shows, the first of which was on a huge Cruise Liner in Tampa, FL with rapper FLO-RIDA and the other on a golf course after a PGA tournament featuring some of the world most famous golfers in the awe inspiring Palm Springs, CA desert. I even got to bring my daughter Hana to celebrate her 6th Birthday swimming and exploring the desert as well as escaping the cold back home!

Between the shows GGDS have been working on combing through tracks for a new live album due out this year on Warner Brothers as well as doing some recording for future use. I have to say it feels great to be back in the studio making music after all of the touring we’ve done over the last couple of years. We’ve been working with the band in LA and I’ve also been spending a bunch of time in the studio here in Buffalo working on the live tracks as well as some other projects; including a new DJ Sashimi (Tokyo) offering for some US performances in 2018 and a new young band from my home town called Mom Said No.

Lots of exciting things coming up here in The Lobby over the next year; international touring for GGDS throughout the year, a crazy list of places, here’s a few, Indonesia, Portugal, Alaska, Sweden and many, many more …. see what i mean? …..and expect new releases from our Japanese acts on Good Charamel Records as well as numerous acts coming from Japan to the United States for touring as we continue to share some of our favorite Japanese music with the North American public.

Hope the new year has been great so far, I know there was just a pretty crazy snow storm in Tokyo, so let’s enjoy the snow for while while looking forward to the warmer temperatures of the spring and catching up with you next month in the pages of the mighty In Rock!!!!