Goo Goo Dolls - Biography
Goo Goo Dolls
On A Boy Named Goo, America's best known unknown band, The Goo Goo Dolls,
up the alternative music ante with thirteen new songs that defy convention,
the odds and your preconceptions. Produced by Lou Giordano (who's worked
with everyone from Pere Ubu and Husker Du to Sugar and the Smithereens),
and featuring the Goo's new single and video, "Only One," A Boy Named Goo
puts The Goo Goo Dolls front and center in the back-to-basics revolution
that began with the Ramones and continues unabated with this rabidly
original Buffalo band.
The group's third Warner Bros. Records release, A Boy Named Goo is also a
full-bore follow-up to their critically-acclaimed 1993 release, Superstar
Car Wash, bringing to the band's hook-ladened hardcore pop a whole new<
dark-edged luster. "This is who we really are," asserts guitarist-vocalist
Johnny Rzeznik. "This is what we sound like to ourselves."
It's a sound that has taken The Goo Goo Dolls a long way from their upstate
New York stomping grounds, even as it remains true to their raw,
uncompromising roots. The group, which also includes bassist/vocalist Robby
Takac, got their start on the small, but lively Buffalo music scene in
1986. Garnering a loyal local following, they released their first
independent album, Goo Goo Dolls, a year later, even as they expanded their
base with a spate of national touring.
Signing to Los Angeles-based indy powerhouse Metal Blade Records, The Goo
Goo Dolls released Jed in 1988. By that time, word on the grapevine had
already made them a major club attraction throughout the Midwest with
growing pockets of fervent Goovers on both coasts. The word was out, and
critics wasted no time in picking up on the deafening buzz. "A blast of
school's-out exuberance," enthused the Los Angeles Times, "a roar of
youthful rage." "Thrash-packed pop and well-articulated rage," was how
Rolling Stone described The Goo Goo Dolls chemistry, while the Austin
American-Statesman predicted that the band "just might be to the '90's what
R.E.M. and the Replacements were to the '80's..."
With that kind of response, it was only a matter of time before the group
began attracting major label attention. In 1991, they released Hold Me Up,
under Metal Blade's distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records.
Additional, non-stop touring ensued and, in between time, the band recorded
an original song,"I'm Awake Now" for the soundtrack to Nightmare On Elm
Street 6. It wasn't until the Spring of the following year that they found
time to return to the studio to begin work on a new album.
Produced by Gavin McKillop, of Toad The Wet Sprocket renown, Superstar Car
Wash went even further in proving The Goo's axiom that gut-level,
guitar-based rock and roll had a place in the pure pop spectrum. "It's
about time The Goo Goo Dolls conquered the world," insisted their hometown
paper, the Buffalo News, and the group took up the challenge with six
months of virtually continuous touring. Aside from headlining their own SRO
dates, the band also opened for Soul Asylum nationally and took a swing
through Europe for some selected dates. They made numerous TV appearances,
including a performance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien and contributed a
version of the Rolling Stones' "Bitch" to the AIDS benefit album, No
It wasn't until early last year that the group returned to Buffalo to begin
writing and pre-production on what would become A Boy Named Goo. Work
proceeded at home and in a local studio as the songs and the sound of the
album began to take shape. "At first we tried a real high-tech approach,"
explains Rzeznik, "with all sorts of bells and whistles. But after awhile
we realized that the best way to get what we were after was to get a
boom-box, hit the record button, and just start banging away."
The "banging" was shaped and molded into actual songs with the able
assistance of the group's longtime collaborator, Armond Pietrie, and by the
time Giordano (the group's first choice for producer) arrived in June, they
were virtually ready to begin the recording process. Basic tracks were cut
in New York, with additional recording and overdubs done in Buffalo. "What
we were getting was very natural, very true to form," Rzeznik explains.
"We'd done our homework...we knew exactly what we were going for and Lou
locked right in."
But the process was not quite complete. Additional sessions were scheduled
in Los Angeles, this time with producer Rob Cavallo, the man behind the
boards for Green Day's multi-platinum Reprise debut abum, Dookie.
"Originally we were going to do some 'B' sides," explains Robby Takac, "but
the tracks came out so well we ended up using two of them on the album."
The songs in question: a cover of "Disconnected," from the pioneering
Buffalo punk band, The Enemies, and "Slave Girl," from Australia's Lime
Now, it's all come together on A Boy Named Goo. "I look at our career as
having three stages," remarks Rzeznik with a smile. "Drunk, hungover and
sober. I wouldn't exactly say we're in our sober phase now, but we are dead
serious about making the best music we can."
Which is exactly what The Goo Goo Dolls deliver on A Boy Named Goo: the
very best from one of the most promising young bands in America.
D I S C O G R A P H Y
- 1987 - Goo Goo Dolls
- 1989 - Jed
- 1991 - Hold Me Up
- 1992 - "I'm Awake Now" Nightmare On Elm Street 6 soundtrack
- 1993 - Superstar Car Wash
- 1994 - "Bitch" No Alternative compilation album
- 1995 - "Only One" 7 inch (pro-s-7440 picture Sleeve, bubblegum pink vinyl)
- 1995 - A Boy Named Goo