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Album: A Boy Named GooReleased: 1995Charted:
Lead singer John Rzeznik wrote this about his childhood. He sings it to his sisters who raised him; both his parents died when he was young and his father was an alcoholic. The line, "We're grown up orphans who never knew their names" reflects his past.
This was the Goo Goo Dolls' first hit. They had released four albums by then and had a large following in upstate New York, but this brought them national fame.
For The Goo Goo Dolls, this ballad was not typical of their sound. Considered an "Alternative" group, this crossed over to Pop and Adult Contemporary radio, greatly increasing their fan base, but alienating some core listeners who were used to their harder sound.
The album title is a play on the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue
." The cover shows a young boy smeared with blackberries, which caused a problem when Wal-Mart refused to stock the album because they thought it depicted a child abuse victim. When this story broke in the media, Wal-Mart backed off, convinced the cover was simply a boy and his goo.
The Geoff Moore-directed music video follows a bus full of passengers on a journey to nowhere (in reality a six-hour trip around Los Angeles) and incorporates black-and-white scenes of Rzeznik singing.