Discovering the Goo Goo Dolls


American music bands have stayed at the top of Billboard charts majority of the time. Through a diverse array of styles and singing genres, the American music is a reflection of the country’s pluri-ethnic population. The unique mix of West African, Latin American, and Irish music has assisted the American music in gaining a near-global audience as well. With more bands and singers joining this line, the American music industry has gained much fame. One of the most famous and oldest bands in the American music industry is the Goo Goo Dolls.

Goo Goo Dolls

The band was formed in 1986 and focused on the rock genre. During the 1980s, the rock music was already quite popular along with the hip hop music, and an addition of a rock band contributed further to the popularity. The band was formed in New York and consisted of four members which included Johnny Rzeznik, Robby Takac, Mike Malinin, and George Tutuska.

However, the two drummers, Mike Malinin and George Tutuska left the band later. One of the main reasons for the fame and success of The Goo Goo Dolls is that the band has Warner and Metal Blade as its labels. As of the date, Goo Goo Dolls has been able to sell more than 12 million albums worldwide.


George Tutsuka and Robby Takac were school friends when they met Johnny Rzeznik while he was playing for “The Beaumonts” band. The trio soon got inspired to have their own band and picked the name from a “True Detective” advertisement as well as a toy. The lead role in the band was played by Robby Takac who was a bassist and performed the vocals as well.  Johnny Rzeznik was also beside him being the vocalist and performing over the guitar.

The name was decided on an urgent basis since the band was called on a performance and had to decide a name. Rzeznik stated that the band did not intend to play on a large scale and was just performing on the smaller gigs. In 1987, The Goo Goo Dolls released their first album on Mercenary Records. However, seeing the greater interest and massive audience listening to the music, a larger record company named Celluloid Records then picked it up.

One of the main ways in which The Goo Goo Dolls got in sight of the audience was by making the opening for punk bands. This included Gang Green, Big Drill Car, Uniform Choice, The Dead Milkmen, Motorhead, and Bad Religion etc. The second album, JED, was released in the year 1989. However, getting the massive spark was becoming difficult as the band was only getting nominal attention and not something extraordinary which they were looking for.

The 90s for the Band

Although, the initial time period was just fine, the era of 90s was quite successful for The Goo Goo Dolls. In 1990, the third album was released by the band which was named “Hold Me Up”. The album was so good that it was embraced by local radio stations as well as the band was asked for multiple openings and punk scenes as well.

Heavy metal, pop rock, and punk rock were now the main genres being followed in the 90s and by the band as well. The Goo Goo Dolls started to gain fame when the band recorded the song “I’m Awake Now” for the famous slasher film Freddy’s Dead : The Final Nightmare. The movie was quite a success which resulted in the band getting more recognition as well.

Superstar Car Wash

In 1993, the album “Superstar Car Wash” was released which gained fame from the public. Much of its songs hit the charts right away and the band was getting higher media attention too. A significantly larger budget was announced by Metal Blade Records after this album which helped in motivation as well as promotion of the brand even further.

Since the college music was also popular among the youth, the song “We Are the Normal” provided the band with an opportunity to target college students, as well as independent radio as well. Another song from the album, Fallin Down, was made as the soundtrack of the top hit film, Son in Law. It can be rightfully said that this time was crucial for the band in order to gain further recognition and importance.


Success with some problems

The band had earned major recognition and fame, but it faced several problems as well. The famous album, A Boy Named Goo, was released in 1995 which had several different songs that were liked by the audience. However, the band filed a legal lawsuit against the record company, Metal Blade Records.

It was alleged that although the album had received a double platinum status along with many songs being popular at the Billboard Charts, the record company did not give the right royalties to the band members. Shortly after the release of this album, George Tutuska (drummer) was fired from the band and Mike Malinin was put in his place. However, Malinin also left the band in 2013 after an official statement being provided by the drummer over Twitter and Facebook.


Biggest Hit Single

The Goo Goo Dolls did not have as much success in the start as much they did in 1998. This is due to their famous song “Iris” which was released in this year and hit the Billboard Charts right away. The song was so popular that it stayed on the Billboard Charts for 12 months. On the Hot 100 Airplay Chart, the song was on number one for over 4 months. The two-decade list of Billboard namely the “Top 100 Pop Songs 1992-2012” was published where Iris was ranked on first once again. Johnny Rzeznik was the guy behind the composition of this song. Even today, Iris is considered to be the signature song by the band.


The Good Times

Following the success of Iris, the band was now able to have major attention and its peak period of success began. The band was now approached for single soundtracks for action films such as Transformers. The Goo Goo Dolls produced “Before It’s Too Late”. The band also started to perform in the different night shows which used to help it in gaining audience and recognition via presence on the national television. The Greatest Hits Albums version one was released in 2007 while the second version was released in the year 2008.

Onwards 2008

By 2008 and onwards, the band now had created its official website as well where the band used to post related to its latest songs, concerts, and performances in different events as well. The band had added performances with many companies now collaborating and recognizing the band as well. In 2008, the band performed at the O2 Wireless Festival in London’s Hyde Park. The Goo Goo Dolls also performed further in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

The ninth studio-based album was released by the band in 2010 which was a unique album by the band focusing on the differentiated aspects. This album, something for the Rest of Us, released more serious single songs rather than purely rock ones. In December 2010, the band was approached by Apple as well to perform a live-mini show at the Apple store based in Manhattan, New York.

The 20th anniversary of “A Boy Named Goo” by having a special edition released in November 2015. 7 new tracks were now released in this new album. Most recently, on August 24, 2020, the band announced its first Christmas album which is yet to release on October 30th with the name of “It’s Christmas All Over”.



The Goo Goo Dolls got their fame in the 1990s mainly due to their song “Iris” as well as through attending the different types of musical events. Today, the band remains to be one of the most popular ones in the United States as well as in the other parts of the world. Although the band went through a range of different problems including legal problems as well as the band having problems with its drummers, the band still continued to emerge as one of the most successful ones in the rock music industry.