|Having created a sound that seamlessly blends elements of classic American rock, alternative and pop music, the Goo Goo Dolls have built a legacy that has spanned more than 20 years. The band, which consists of longtime members John Rzeznik on lead vocals and guitar, Robby Takac on vocals and bass guitar and Craig McIntyre on percussion, as well as a host of other alternating touring members, is known for popular hits such as “Slide,” “Broadway” and “Black Balloon.” Originally hailing from Buffalo, New York, the group has gone on to become an incredibly successful traveling act, both domestically and abroad. If you’re looking to experience a high energy performance matched with an arena-filling, ballad-driven sound, then purchase your Goo Goo Dolls tickets today!
The group first came to be on Memorial Day 1986, when Takac and Rzeznik joined forces with former drummer George Tutuska in Buffalo. The three members began playing together as a garage rock band and, by their own description, didn’t have a ton of interest in signing a record deal at the time. Their name came from a popular toy of the same designation that was being heavily advertised in the late eighties, and their popularity in the local scene caught the attention of Mercenary records. Mercenary released the band’s first album, a self-titled work, in 1987. The album gained footing in Buffalo’s underground music scene, and was ultimately re-released by a larger label, Celluloid, the following year. Under this contract, the group also put out its sophomore album, Jed.
Commercial success and vocal transitions
While Rzeznik is now known as the signature vocalist of the band, it was not until the Goo Goo Dolls’ third album that he truly came out of his shell as the lead singer. He sang on a number of tracks on Hold Me Up, and the record is thought of something of a turning point for the group’s rock sound. With the popularity of Hold Me Up, the Goo Goo Dolls became a prominent force on college radio stations around the country. This was only reinforced when the band put out its fourth studio album, Superstar Car Wash, in 1993. While the group was clearly trending upward, there were internal differences between Tutuska and several other members, and he left the group shortly after the band finished recording A Boy Named Goo, which proved to be one of its most successful records of all time. Mike Malinin, a friend of several Goo Goo Dolls members, was brought in to fill the percussionist’s spot. Since then, the band has released five more studio albums, all of which have been commercial hits and solidified their presence as a radio mainstay, including Dizzy Up the Girl, Gutterflower, Let Love In, Something for the Rest of Us and Magnetic.
Touring and affiliated acts
The band has bolstered its popularity even further since the mid-90s by associating with other acts popular in both the alternative and pop genres. During the summer of 2014, the Goo Goo Dolls went on a nationwide tour with Daughtry, which featured numerous arena shows as well as concerts in smaller, more intimate venues. While the band has also toured with a number of other high profile artists, some of its most historic shows came while working with Colbie Caillat and Lifehouse, with whom the band had audible similarities. The Goo Goo Dolls have also used their fame for a number of philanthropic endeavors, including USA Harvest and the Food Bank of Western New York, two charities aimed at ending hunger domestically.