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Goo Goo Dolls' John Rzeznik Puts Partying on South Beach Behind Him

By Wendy Rhodes

Goo Goo Dolls lead singer and guitarist John Rzeznik loves his fans.

Except the ones who try to break into his house.

“It’s such an ugly, dark, scary thing,” Rzeznik says. “You really feel sorry for these people, because they’re sick, and for some reason something goes a little crazy and they are like, ‘You wrote that about me.’”

And then, there is another type of fan – a little less frightening, but maybe equally disturbing.

“I once met a girl at a show and she said, ‘I can put my legs behind my head for 20 minutes,’” he says. “I started laughing and said, That’s awesome. Good for you. I turned it down. I was married. I try to make smart choices.”

Five years of sobriety have certainly affected Rzeznik’s decision-making. “Lost weekends” partying in South Beach, while fun at the time, he says are now a thing of the past.

“The whole thing with me and alcohol is it just wasn’t fun anymore,” he says. “I was just trying to get away from me. I couldn’t face me. I was terrified of everything in the world, and I didn’t realize that until I got sober.”

Sobriety has been good for Rzeznik, now 54, but he concedes there is one part of drinking he misses.

“I don’t get to get fucked up anymore!” he says, laughing. “I loved it. I loved drinking my wine, going out to dinner. There were a lot of good times.” Then, lowering his voice, he adds, “But I just went way, way too far.”

A three month-stint in rehab set Rzeznik on the straight and narrow. Today, he’s loving life in New Jersey with his wife and 4-year-old daughter.

“When I sit down with them, I go, OK, this is my tribe — this is who I belong to,” he says. “But nobody else, really.”

Feeling slightly disconnected from those around him has long influenced Rzeznik’s perception of his place in the world.

“I’ve always had this feeling of being an observer and a bit of an outsider, so I sort of carry that with me through everything I do,” he says of feeling this way since growing up the youngest, and only, boy in a family of sisters. “I never feel completely connected.”

It is perhaps that honesty, that willingness to explore his own pain, that helped spawn Goo Goo Dolls earlier hits such as "There You Are" and "Name;" and “Black Balloon,” “Broadway” and “Slide” from its sixth and four-time-platinum album Dizzy Up the Girl.

But it is the song “Iris” — written for the heart-wrenching 1998 Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan film City of Angels — that many people most associate with Rzeznik and the Goo Goo Dolls.

The song has topped radio’s most-played lists year after year, and it is unlikely anyone has attended a wedding or anniversary party in the last two decades without hearing those tender, longing lyrics.

Goo Goo Dolls has sold over 12 million albums and been nominated for four Grammy Awards. Miracle Pill, released in September, is album No. 12 for the guys and already emerging as a fan favorite.

The title is a metaphoric panacea for the world’s ills. Recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood, Cal., the album is chocked-full of messages of hope, featuring celebrated songwriter Sam Hollander, who has worked with acts like Train, Weezer, Joe Cocker, Katy Perry, and Panic! At the Disco.

Expect to hear “Iris,” “Miracle Pill” and the rest of your favorites when Rzeznik and the Goo Goo Dolls hit the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood on Wednesday, January 29. The exclusive show marks the only U.S. stop for the band this year before heading off to tour Great Britain and Singapore.

Rzeznik, who with Robbie Takac co-founded Goo Goo Dolls in 1985, says music is the only place he has ever “gained any sort of acceptance.”

But along with admiration came stinging criticism. “Everything gets very personal and very nasty,” he says.

Rzeznik has a way of vacillating between grief and laughter in the course of seconds. Like when he talks about suffering from vitiligo, a disease that affects skin tone.

“It’s very bizarre,” he says about the ailment he rarely discusses. “I was always kind of pale, but it’s embarrassing. It’s really humiliating. I didn’t wear a short-sleeved shirt for years. I covered myself up completely.”

Then, like a switch, he brightens up. “But, you know, you can rub some self-tanner on yourself,” he says, cracking up. “I am lucky I’m such a pasty-white guy.”

While his complexion may be atypically fair, there is a darkness that occasionally peeks through when he speaks – it is something he quashes so quickly, you question if you heard it at all.

“I don’t want anybody to feel like they know me, or they’re a bit too familiar with me when I’ve just met them,” he says. “I understand you relate to what I’m writing, but that doesn’t mean you understand who I am.”

It’s not that Rzeznik is ungracious; in fact, he’s far from it. He repeatedly reiterates his appreciation of the outpouring of love from fans and acknowledges his good fortune. It’s just that honesty and authenticity, particularly with himself, have been hard-won, and are things he values.

“You can’t hide the raw truth of your own life and your own perspective. I can’t hide that, and I need to just go for it,” he says of his desire to write a song or album that “just connects with everyone.”

Odd words from the man who wrote “Iris,” which seemed to have done precisely that.

“Yeah, I wrote that,” he says after a short hesitation. “I think it’s something that people related to. But, I don’t know man, I want to make a record that I’m completely happy with. Like, I’m never happy with the final thing. I feel like I’m still searching for the right sound or the right words.”

Bruce Springsteen would be his ideal writing partner, he says, because Springsteen “has a keen eye for the human condition.”

“I think guys like him and Pete Townsend, Bob Dylan….I don’t know if they’re making people like that anymore,” he says, wistfully. “The world is so shallow now, and I think there’s so much brilliant work that just gets overlooked because …. I don’t know.”

While Rzeznik says he feels more confident these days, he credits his former insecurities for some of the bands greatest hits.

“I feel like I took that part of me, that need for approval for many, many years, I think is what drove me so hard on some weird, unconscious level,” he says. “I’m here. Love me!”

Goo Goo Dolls. 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 29 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $50 to $130 via or

Goo Goo Dolls News & Info / John Rzeznik Performing at NAMM 2020
« on: January 20, 2020, 02:49 AM »
A couple videos from John's performance at NAMM.

And an interview with Taylor Guitars:


The inaugural One Love Asia Festival is set to take place over this year’s Labour Day weekend, and the initial lineup is pretty impressive.

The music and lifestyle event will take place on May 1 and 2 at the Bayfront Event Space, and will feature Singapore’s own Stefanie Sun and Tanya Chua; Taiwanese singers Jolin Tsai, Hebe Tien and Show Lo; South Korea’s BoA; and Goo Goo Dolls and Greyson Chance from the US.

The festival will also feature China’s Joker Xue; bands EggPlantEgg, Potato and KLEAR from Taiwan and Thailand; and Japanese singer-songwriter Naoto Inti Raymi. Count in local hiphop rappers ShiGGa Shay and THELIONCITYBOY and that’s a pretty eclectic, multi-genre and international showcase.

“For the first time ever, we have an amazing lineup of big acts gracing one stage and entertaining fans with full-set (30 to 45 minutes each) performances,” said IMC Captasia Group Chief Operating Officer Romell Song.

Presented by IMC Live Global, the festival will also feature other activities and food options at the event’s “curated village” space. The event is expected to draw from 25,000 to 30,000 people, and there are plans to bring it to Japan and other Asian cities in the future.

Pre-sales for tickets start on Friday (Jan 17) at 10am at this link. Regular sales begin the following day. Tickets are priced at S$88 per day and S$158 for a two-day standing pass for general admission; and S$128 per day and S$218 for a two-day standing pass for premium admission. For more information, visit

Goo Goo Dolls News & Info / New Goo Goo Dolls Show in Hollywood, FL!
« on: January 08, 2020, 08:12 PM »
We've got some great news for you! The Goo Goo Dolls have announced a new show in Florida at the Hard Rock Hollywood on 1/29! American Express and official platinum pre-sales begin on 1/8 and general sale begins this Friday, 1/10. Get all the information and your tickets here -

By Charlie Meister

As the holidays approached, it was typical that a few seasonal shows came through town to help us celebrate the season. Buffalo got a very special show, but not in the traditional “holiday” sense. Rather, we were treated to a homecoming of Buffalo’s own Goo Goo Dolls, as they headlined the “Deck the Hall Ball,” also featuring Rob Thomas and Dean Lewis.

The Goo Goo Dolls have gone from hard rock-punk roots in the 1980s to a much more accessible hard rock-alternative sound in the 1990s and have matured into a mainstream rock act in modern years, as they currently tour in support of their current release, Miracle Pill. Just over a year ago, they came through town and played three shows at Buffalo’s historic Shea’s Theater when they toured for the 20th anniversary of their Dizzy Up the Girl album. This time around, it’s a new album, and they couldn’t have come to town on a more exciting evening this December. Shortly before the Goos were set to take the stage, the Buffalo Bills were kicking off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in what turned out to be a playoff-clinching win on Sunday evening.

Doors opened early for this show as fans piled into Buffalo River Works, an enormous entertainment complex that’s become increasingly known for hosting big shows here in town. The sold-out crowd appeared to have already shown up when up-and-coming Australian rock artist Dean Lewis took the stage. While I wasn’t familiar with his music at the time, I’ve spent some time listening to his debut album, A Place We Knew and it’s solid. Check out some standout tracks that were performed at the show including “Waves,” “Be Alright” and “7 Minutes.” Lewis spent his performance trading off between a keyboard and a guitar as he performed his brief six-song set.

Rob Thomas took the stage next, Clearly, in need of no introduction, he performed a career-spanning set, including some of his own hits “Mockingbird,” “Her Diamonds” and “This Is How a Heart Breaks” as well as some Matchbox 20 songs “If You’re Gone,” “3 A.M.” and “Unwell” and a cover of his smash-hit duet with Carlos Santana “Smooth.” He appeared on stage with a microphone stand wrapped in red garland. Later in the night, he performed “A New York Christmas” as the sole holiday selection of the set, before later closing out the set with another smash hit “Lonely No More.”

Ordinarily, this would have been a fantastic headlining set for any crowd, but tonight, the fans were itching for Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac to take the stage and perform once again in the Queen City. Fortunately, the set change didn’t take long and the Goo Goo Dolls hit the stage promptly at 10 pm as scheduled, opening things up with “Indestructible” from their latest album, Miracle Pill. They immediately followed it up with a pair of massive hits from 1998’s Dizzy Up the Girl including “Slide” and “Black Balloon” before performing the title track from Miracle Pill.

The rest of the set was somewhat of a greatest hits package, including “Here Is Gone,” “Name,” Better Days” and “Broadway” alongside a few more selections from their latest effort including “Fearless” and “Autumn Leaves.” They closed out the show with their career-making smash-hit “Iris.”

For a reasonably short set (typical of a co-headlining act), the Goo Goo Dolls did a fantastic job of hitting the right notes throughout their catalog as well as promoting their latest release. As a hometown show, it’s hard not to want to hear more tracks from the early-mid ’90s on albums like Superstar Car Wash and A Boy Named Goo. That said, you can pack just so much into a 90-minute set. It’s great to see these guys still putting on such a big show after all these years and continuing to put out relevant music in a pretty timely fashion. As this was the final date on the tour, there’s nothing else on the agenda at the moment. The Goo Goo Dolls head to the UK after the new year, but I suspect we’ll see them around again in 2020.

Click the link for a photo gallery -

Enter to win! One entry per person per show. Entries close January 15, 2020. Must be 18 to enter. Meet and Greet does NOT include show ticket. You MUST have a show ticket to attend the Meet and Greet. Meet and Greet is for one person only & ID must match winning name. Cannot be resold or transferred. Please follow the AG site on Twitter, ( to enter.

By Aron Medeiros

6. Goo Goo Dolls – Miracle Pill

Like Hootie & The Blowfish, John Rzeznik and Robby Takac were one of the biggest bands of the 90’s. The Goo Goo Dolls were in the ranks of the Counting Crows, Matchbox Twenty, Gin Blossoms and Bon Jovi as they were about as American as rock radio could get. In their sixteenth album, The Goo Goo Dolls prove they are gifted with being able to write songs that connect in some way. “Miracle Pill” is my favorite album of theirs and their best in years. Rzeznik puts his personal demons he had been fighting out into the albums lyrics, that leads to his best songwriting of any album. The album is full of joyous, introspective lyrics, and it highlights Johnny Rzeznik’s powerful lead vocals, smartly written lyrics and bassist Robby Takac’s versatility.

Check out the entire list here -

By Crios Valentino

It was a lovely night at The Paramount as the legendary Goo Goo Dolls with special guests Beach Slang took the stage at The Paramount in Huntington, New York recently.

Philadelphia’s own Beach Slang took the stage to warm up The Paramount audience.  Their music is loud, fun, boisterous and full of swagger.  Beach Slang brings music back to what music is meant to do, and that is a celebration of life and just to listen and have a good time.  This is the kind of music that you roll the windows down, let the wind blow in your hair and just cruise that open road to no particular destination.  They played some cuts off of their latest record entitled “The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City” along with some other favorites.  Beach Slang definitely won the crowd over with their vibrato and their arrangements.  Goo Goo Dolls were next to take the stage!

Goo Goo Dolls came out to a crowd that was ready for a mix of those nostalgic feelgood vibes while hearing new cuts off of their latest record “Miracle Pill”.  They started off by the fun singalong “Indestructible” as Johnny Rzeznik led the crowd into a fun singalong that brought the crowd to that sense of liberation that one feels at a Goo Goo Dolls concert.  The guitar solo that the touring guitarist brought along was crazy good, then they broke into “Slide”.  The crowd sang this song with so much passion and feeling before breaking into “Miracle Pill” and “Black Balloon”.  They closed off the night with “Autumn Leaves” and “Iris”.

Goo Goo Dolls reminded us 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.  Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac absolutely still show that they’re here to stay as they not only still have it but will still continue to have it for years to come.  Here is the setlist:

 Miracle Pill
 Black Balloon
 Here Is Gone
 Life’s A Message
 So Alive
 Bringing On The Light
 Tattered Edge/You Should Be Happy
 Stay With You
 Autumn Leaves

Goo Goo Dolls have a few gigs in the United Kingdom coming up in February.  Check out the gig dates below:

Wed. 2/19- O2 Academy in Glasgow

Fri. 2/21- Albert Hall in City Centre

Sat. 2/22- O2 Academy in Leeds

Mon. 2/24- Rock City in Nottingham

Tue. 2/25- O2 Institute in Birmingham

Thu. 2/27- Roundhouse in London

Click the link for photo gallery -

Goo Goo Dolls News & Info / The End of the Year AG Podcast!
« on: December 21, 2019, 02:45 PM »
As we wait for Barbara Walters to announce “This … is 2020”, Gen and Annie talk about the upcoming Festivus contest, review the holiday shows and say hi to our 30 actual listeners (you know who you are). Check out the merch you can win in our podcast exclusive contest below!



Buffalo Riverworks was proud to host and present STAR 102.5’s Deck the Hall Ball. Headliners were none other than Buffalos Goo Goo Dolls as well as Rob Thomas, Dean Lewis an opener. This concert sold out fairly quickly after its announcement and by the time Goo Goo Dolls were on stage every square inch of that building was packed!!! These two acts together really are a massive crowd draw and between the both of them packed with hits and number one chart toppers it is easy to see why!

Rob Thomas was shadowed with singing from the crowd the whole set. His hits are widely enjoyed by all and easily a tune you can usually catch walking into any retail store in America. Playing his solo hits such as “Her Diamonds”, “Someday” and “Mockingbird”. Also playing acoustic renditions of Matchbox 20 wonders such as “3am” and “Unwell”. When you hear Rob perform live you, it sounds like the audio rendition in the sense that his vocals are just on point and so strongly recognizable. He delivered a great setlist which naturally had to include “New York City Christmas”. The holiday vibes were being felt with the lavishly huge tree near the stair case and the greenery with lights draping the perimeter of the second floor balcony. I personally was pretty excited to see Rob Thomas live, been listening to him since the 90s and after a little and his showmanship with talents just made for a great stage show.

Goo Goo Dolls met the spotlight with loud cheers and clap backs. These guys are stacked with knockout songs and their set list didn’t disappoint. From all the classics “Slide”, “Name”, “Iris”, to their newest of hits such as “Miracle Pill”, “Indestructible” and “Autumn Leaves”. When “Black Balloons” was being played, a huge magnitude of black balloons fell onto the crowd. They bounced around for quite frankly until the crowd was blasted with confetti at the end. This band has such a solid, strong fan base and not just from this general area they clearly have paved a strong path in the mainstream and on. Even if you don’t realize it, it is hard not to know a Goo Goo Dolls song. They are really an energetic stage presence as well as fun crowd bantering, I would highly encourage seeing them live. At the end of the show the big screen in the main floor area of Buffalo Riverworks was turned onto the Buffalo Bills game and we were able to witness more local love and awesomeness with the Bills clenching a playoff spot. It truly felt like a night of Buffalo love and wins all around. It is looking like the Buffalo Bills are finally seeing “Better Days”.

Click the link for a photo set -

WCBS-FM’s Scott Shannon In the Morning with Patty Steele will broadcast their final ‘Big Show’ of the year LIVE from Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York on December 20.

Patients, families, staff and supporters will enjoy performances by Matchbox Twenty lead singer Rob Thomas (back for his 20th consecutive appearance), Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, Work in Progress featuring Gaten Matarazzo of Netflix’s Stranger Things, Billy Joel’s longtime saxophonist Mark Rivera, Acapella group Six-13 and Tim McLoone with Holiday Express.

Scott Shannon has been a longtime supporter, both professionally & personally, of Blythedale’s mission and has helped raise more than $4 million through his radio benefits over the past 27 years. Every year there is a live auction to benefit Blythedale. This year’s items include autographed guitars by Rob Thomas, Johnny Rzeznik and Jon Bon Jovi, plus, VIP experiences to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Billy Joel concert, a Yankees/Mets/NY Giants game and much, much more. Items are available to browse and bid until Friday, December 20, 2019 at 10:00 p.m.

To make a donation in support of the event or bid on an item, please:
Call (914)831-2424
Text BCHKIDS to 52182

All proceeds support Blythedale’s Infant & Toddler Unit, providing care and treatment to the Hospital’s smallest and most fragile babies.

On the season finale episode of The Adamantium Podcast, we are joined by Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac of The Goo Goo Dolls. We discuss their ambitions for their 12th studio album, Miracle Pill, and the openness to be vulnerable this far into their career. We also talk about the Buffalo & Toronto music scene in the early years, their favourite Canadian bands, what their life was like in the late 90s when they were one of the hottest bands on the planet, and their illustrious 2004 Buffalo homecoming gig in the pouring rain.

Miracle Pill is Goo Goo Dolls' twelfth studio album, and Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac explained how their songwriting process has changed, why Johnny cut himself off from social media, and what they have planned for Christmas.


What are the Goo Goo Dolls doing for the holidays?!

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