THIRTY YEARS STRONG, THE GOO GOO DOLLS ARE NOW GLOBETROTTING ON A CELEBRATORY TOUR THAT LANDS IN NEW JERSEY THIS OCTOBER
BY JON DOMENICK
As legend has it, the Goo Goo Dolls got their name in a split-second decision made while perusing a toy ad in a magazine. “We had a gig one night and needed a name,” recalled lead singer John Rzeznik in an interview. “It’s the best we came up with, and for some reason it stuck. If I had five more minutes, I definitely would have picked a better one [laughs].” In any case, the name has stuck through 30 years of worldwide performances and 11 full-length studio albums.
Formed in 1986 in Buffalo by guitarist/vocalist Rzeznik and bassist/vocalist Robby Takac, the group’s approach has been described as a blend of punk, power pop, and alternative rock, with a classic rock and roll edge, and they have sold more than 12 million albums and achieved 14 Top 10 radio hits, including “Name,” “Slide,” and “Iris,” the latter spending nearly 12 months on the Billboard charts; holding the Number 1 position for 17 consecutive weeks.
While they started as a cover band, the Goo Goo Dolls’ (other members drummers George Tutuska and Mike Malinin) migration into original songs led to an eponymous debut album in 1987. The group’s 2002 release Gutter ower attained gold status via hit singles “Here Is Gone,” “Sympathy,” and “Big Machine.” The band has also released two greatest hits albums with rare and cover songs, B-sides, and live performances. Their hit single “So Alive,” from their 2016 Boxes album, propelled them further into pop consciousness after BMW used it in a 2017 commercial. Touring partners have included Bon Jovi, the Rolling Stones, Soul Asylum, Third Eye Blind, and Matchbox Twenty.
The boys are currently touring in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their sixth album, Dizzy Up e Girl, playing the entire disc, along with other favorites. The tour began in Norway in August, with shows in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria, before coursing back to Canada and the U.S. Venues include the Fillmore in Philadelphia, the Beacon eater in New York City, the House of Blues in Boston, Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and the Hollywood Palladium. The final show is scheduled for November 10 at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas.
Fans can gather at the band’s only New Jersey date at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 16. Four different VIP packages, ranging from $250 to a $3,500 Ultimate Experience, are available.