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Cleaning up a Gooey mess / feud ends
« on: Jul 21st, 2007, 2:51pm »
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Saturday, July 21, 2007
Cleaning up a Gooey mess
Just about a year ago, Rock Music Menu started a war with the Goo Goo Dolls and its fans.
It stemmed from a piece where I called the Top 40 mainstays fake, eliciting a response from co-founding member Robby Takac. Another not very flattering article was written, fueling more heated correspondence with the bass player, who then printed our e-mail exchanges on his MySpace blog, along with a picture of yours truly, and encouraged his “little fighters” to drop me a line.
My e-mail box was subsequently flooded with more hate mail than when I referred to .38 Special as “the poor man’s Lynyrd Skynyrd.” The Goo Army came out in full force in an attempt to make their voices be heard. Even singer Johnny Rzeznik got in touch with an impassioned response to his songwriting authenticity being called into question.
Eventually, it all died down, and except for the occasional dig on, say, the choice to peddle another version of its most recent CD on QVC, the band faded from these pages.
Recently, a press release came across my desk touting the Goo Goo Dolls’ continued tour for Let Love In, and its stop July 27 at the Borgata in Atlantic City. “The band is available for interviews” the notice said, and after getting in touch with the tour publicist, a date with Takac was set; finally, a chance to get everything out in the open.
Then, at the absolute last minute, I was informed that the interview was off. This happens all the time; there was a rescheduled date – right? “No, (management) is denying you the interview altogether,” the publicist said.
Figuring that I’d be off the Goo Goo Doll Christmas card list anyway, I e-mailed Takac directly and chided him for not allowing the interview to take place. He denied any knowledge of the situation, but promised to look into it. Weeks went by, and then, out of the blue, his publicist contacted me and let me know that “Robby has overruled management, and insists on doing the interview.”
“The interview request got to someone who was familiar with the history, and it basically hit a wall,” Takac said. “I had no idea.”
So what of that time last year when battle lines were drawn, what did Takac think in retrospect?
“It was interesting watching it play out,” he said. “Because it just kind of took on a life of its own, and [fans] that had strong feelings about it and made it really explode.”
Just like my inbox.
“All you gotta do is take a look at those five, 6,000 faces singing that song that you wrote on your couch, and you realize that none of that really matters,” he said.
The thing about Robby Takac, and probably the only slight I’d fully take back from the past, is when I insulted him by sarcastically asking if he “remembered when it was about the music.” The fact is, this guy’s whole life is about the music. If he’s not on-stage in front of 18,000 people, he’s running a label trying to introduce the world to a bunch of really cool upstart bands. And if he’s not doing that, he’s interacting with his fans via his MySpace page.
There simply isn’t time for the critics who don’t get what the Goo Goo Dolls are selling to get him down.
“I think you just gotta ignore all that and grow the way you want to grow,” he said. “When people end up coming out to the shows and see what we’re doin’, the opinion of what we are and what kind of band we are changes drastically.”
Many bands deal with the sell-out tag once they hit the charts with a song perceived to be further from the heart than the usual fare. In the case of the Goos, this happened with the song “Name” in 1995.
Since then, it seems like the majority of their dozen or so hit singles have followed the acoustic ballad format, which leads some to question how much is contrived for radio success.
“Most people who say that, but they’ve never heard our records before A Boy Named Goo, they’re not familiar with Jed which did have acoustic songs on the record,” Takac said. “To some people, we’re the band who plays “Iris,” and I’m more than happy to be that person if that’s all they require, but otherwise there’s a whole lot of other [stuff] we do. For the casual listener, let the prom rock flow.”
“I think to maintain some sort of a credible radio presence, we tend to push those songs, which can give a pretty one sided view of who you are,” he added. “To us the band is a package; it comes with the record, the radio, the rock show, the web presence – things that are available to people who are interested.”
But it’s the old school fans that have levied the harshest criticism, the ones who were interested from day one, but feel slighted by the change the band has made over the years, not only trading in the busted-up van for the spaciousness of the tour bus, but being dishonest about it; the Goo Goo Dolls February appearance on QVC appears to bolster the claim.
“For someone to criticize us for going on TV – playing live by the way, you know what, if QVC plays more live music than MTV, which they do, then that’s where we go,” Takac said. “We play the Kid’s Choice Awards, cause it’s fun! We got to play the Hollywood Bowl that day, a lot of people got to see us, so it’s a winner to me.”
The logic is solid; after all, today’s music climate led former Beatle Paul McCartney to recently appear on the Home Shopping Network to push his latest record. If that doesn’t validate the need for alternative measures in shopping music, nothing will.
“As the music industry changes, we gotta find a way to change with it,” said Takac. “We’re always looking for that hole in the system to dive into; we’re more than willing to jump in there as long as we get to do what we do.”
The Goo Goo Dolls have been doing it since 1987 - that’s longer than most bands stick around. Maybe it’s time for some of the experts to take another look at just what makes these guys tick, because it seems pretty rock ‘n’ roll what they’re doing.
“Here I am 20 years later making a living, writing cool music and having a blast,” Takac enthused. “It all sort of works out in the end.”
Original article appeared in the July 21 edition of The Daily Times
http://thechroniclesofmc.blogspot.com/2007/07/cleaning-up-gooey-mess.htm l
« Last Edit: Jul 22nd, 2007, 10:53am by Shannon » IP Logged

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Re: Cleaning up a Gooey mess / follow-up article
« Reply #1 on: Jul 21st, 2007, 4:44pm »
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Wow. That was actually a pretty decent interview! It makes me happy to think that critics can admit when they're wrong.  Tongue It also makes me think Robby's right, you've got to see a show (or obviously talk to Robby, who is just 100% cool!) to fully get what the Goos are all about. Thanks for posting that, Shannon! :thumbsup:
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