Their original name was The Sex Maggots. They changed it when a promoter refused to book them until they got rid of it. They got the name "Goo Goo Dolls" from an ad in True Detective magazine. Of the band's name, Johnny Rezenik said, "We had a gig that night and needed a name. 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 name."
They released five albums before their fifth, A Boy Named Goo, became a hit in 1995. Their early albums did well on college radio and in their home town of Buffalo, New York.
Their biggest hits, "Name
" and "Slide
," are ballads which are not typical of their ordinarily harder sound.
Rzeznik started living on his own when he was 15.
Goo Goo Dolls songs show up all over the media, including the movies Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, City of Angels, Son in Law, Transformers and Tommy Boy, as well as a promotional video for their hometown NHL team Buffalo Sabres, the television show Jericho, and promos for the 2008 Olympics.
Malinin replaced their previous drummer George Tutuska shortly before the just before the Boy Named Goo tour. He knew all their previous songs and was a fan before he joined the ranks. (thanks, Jonie - Alameda, CA)
Their single, "We Are Normal" was penned by The Replacements singer, Paul Westerberg. Initially, it got attention from college radio and MTV's show 120 Minutes. Their next single, "Falling Down" appeared in the 1993 Pauly Shore comedy, Son in Law.
Goo Goo Dolls were originally singed to Metal Blade records and hold the distinction of being the first band on that label's history to achieve double platinum status. That success, however, would prove to be bittersweet. The band soon found themselves in the middle of legal battles with the label and eventually settling. Soon after, Goo Goo Dolls would sign to Warner Brothers.
Singer/Guitarist, Johnny Rezenik penned the song "Iris
" for the Nicolas Cage/Meg Ryan romance, City of Angles
. The song would spend 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earn the band three Grammy Nominations. According to Rezenik, prior to writing "Iris" he was suffering from serious writer's block and considered leaving the band. "Iris" changed all of that.
John Rezenik's last name means "butcher" in Polish.
John Rzeznik married his long-term girlfriend Melina Gallo on July 26, 2013 in Malibu in front of his bandmates and 120 guests. The couple have been together since 2005.
Rzeznik does the majority of their songwriting, and considers that his musical legacy. "I don't really care about the whole rock star thing," he said in his Songfacts interview
. "It's more important to me to be a writer. I'd like to be remembered more for being a songwriter than a guy in a band."
Rzeznik was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008.
Asked about his typical songwriting process by American Songwriter magazine, John Rzeznik replied: "I guess the process starts with sitting down and figuring out where my head is – where I'm at in my own life – and then spending a lot of time with the guitar, just going over and over and over things, playing for hundreds of hours. There might be a little piece of an idea in something. I try hard not to judge too much at that stage of the game. Then I get together with a producer or my writing partners and we try to take the ideas to the next level."