Week's Worst: Goo Goo Dolls

By Brian McManus
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 29 | Posted Jun. 29, 2010

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I’m walking my two adorable dogs—a Frenchie and a Shih Tzu—in a park. There’s a woman sitting on a bench eating a sandwich. Suddenly, unprovoked, she begins spewing an unholy index of racist and homophobic remarks at me at top volume. I calmly (and quickly) walk away. But she doesn’t stop yelling about the “filthy fucking dogs” and the “white faggot” (perhaps a snap judgment based on my dogs’ breed?) who has just ruined her lunch. Others begin to stare, possibly thinking I’ve done something to provoke this. She doesn’t stop screaming until I’m out of eyesight. The whole thing is weird and sad and disappointing and deeply, deeply troubling. Almost as weird, sad, disappointing and deeply, deeply troubling is the fact that our beloved hometown hip-hop heroes the Roots are opening for the fucking Goo Goo Dolls at the WaWa Welcome America celebration on the 4th of July. Oof! At least dogs are welcome.

Sun., July 4

8 p.m.


With the Roots, Chrisette Michele + Chuck Brown

Eakins Oval

Benjamin Franklin Pkwy


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Comments 1 - 29 of 29
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1. anonymous said... on Jul 2, 2010 at 01:14PM


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2. Anonymous said... on Jul 2, 2010 at 02:10PM

“goo goo dolls rock dude”

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3. Anonymous said... on Jul 4, 2010 at 10:48PM

“The Roots were good but did not care at all for their "guest stars!" They should have just stuck to their own music. Goo Goo Dolls rocked!!!”

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4. Anonymous said... on Jul 5, 2010 at 09:36PM

“maybe when the roots write a #1 hit they can open up for a songwriting HOF'er like John from the Goo's.

I loved some of the roots stuff, their guitar player and drummer especially, but lets face it the hip hop culture is counter culture, and that is half the reason American's can't get their heads out of their asses.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Jul 5, 2010 at 10:48PM

“Maybe she knew you were going to write this offensive comment about a beloved rock band whose been around for 20 years now and decided you deserved to be yelled at.”

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6. Anonymous said... on Jul 5, 2010 at 10:59PM

“Haha! "Beloved."”

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7. EBA said... on Jul 6, 2010 at 10:21AM

“haha maybe you're just unlucky. I was just in Baltimore and my prissy little eskie bitch got mad love from even the most hardcore street people. And i'm as white and nerdy as they come.

Goo Goo Dolls aren't that bad, they're just not that sexy. Just a band that writes solid tunes that are non-pretentious. Like every one else, when "Iris" came out I really felt it man, maybe it's because i was 18 and impressionable then.”

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8. slavin said... on Jul 6, 2010 at 10:30AM

“goo goo dolls suck. they were a punk band from buffalo that couldn't get any play so they switched to writing vaj pop tunes. throw in that johnny reznick has the absolute worst ink of all time and there's nothing to like. if you like them, i hate to be the one to tell you this, you suck. listen to portugal. the man.”

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9. Anonymous said... on Jul 6, 2010 at 11:29AM

“In response to these comments...

“Maybe she knew you were going to write this offensive comment about a beloved rock band whose been around for 20 years now and decided you deserved to be yelled at.”


“maybe when the roots write a #1 hit they can open up for a songwriting HOF'er like John from the Goo's..."

Maybe you should realize:
- The Roots have been around for just as long as the Goo Goo Dolls...
- The Roots have won a Grammy and been nominated more times than the Goo Goo Dolls
- They've held top ten chart positions for 5 albums while the Goo Goo Dolls have only had 2 albums in a top 10 position.

Lets not forget Johnny Reznick's little tantrum when his guitar was out of tune...

So... yeah lets consider these facts before we go around saying who deserves to open for who.”

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10. Anonymous said... on Jul 6, 2010 at 09:08PM

“John's guitar didn't go out of tune,

If you knew anything about guitars and alternate tuning you would not have typed that comment. It was the wrong guitar for Slide the "E" string was tuned down......guitar techs fault, he gave him the wrong ax.

If you notice he uses a new guitar for just about every song, ask yourself why? It isn't to be cool, as a lot of you morons would think....

The roots have never had a #1 hit, let me repeat myself. And certainly will never write a song like Iris or Name, it just won't happen......

I like their performance (the roots) but all the hate for the Goo's is just immature bashing, but thats what I would expect.

I listen to the roots studio stuff and it isn't even close to their live material, I find their studio stuff boring and cliche.....

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11. Jake said... on Jul 7, 2010 at 12:19PM

“Actually I've played guitar and bass for almost 15 years and I realize his guitar was the wrong tuning.

My apologies for wording it poorly.

And technically if you knew anything about guitars or the goo goo dolls you'd know that his alternate tuning does not just tune down on string.
he plays open chord tuning which involves tuning the entire guitar differently
Otherwise he would have just tuned the low E himself...
Most of the songs he writes are not standard tuning.

I was making a point more towards his attitude towards the situation.
(plus I wouldn't exactly call his acoustic guitar an "axe")

I never once said I hated the goo goo dolls. I grew up in that era and have a respect for what they do, but in regards to the roots opening for them in their own hometown while they have busted their ass for years... well that just doesn't sit well with me or a lot of philly residents.”

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12. Anonymous said... on Jul 7, 2010 at 09:03PM

“I happen to play guitar for 15 years myself, and cover name and have covered slide black balloon naked we are the normal with my band just for fun, I understand the concept pretty well

and yes if you listen to the the intro it was the E string that was not tuned correctly, every other string was fine.......I don't know why he didn't tune it himself, but why bother when someone is paid to do that for you.

I think I already establish that he uses alternate tuning

The goo's aren't coming to philly to open for anyone unless their management thinks it will promote them,

people need to face it, most people want to hear lyrics they understand, and hip hop doesn't appeal to the masses because of that. I didn't understand 80% of what the rapper was saying, I grew up with NWA, and all that gangsta stuff, and it still hasn't changed since then......that is the same with heavy metal death metal grind core all that stuff, I used to play in a death band, it is a niche play, thats all it is.”

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13. JB said... on Jul 8, 2010 at 07:06PM

“I just wanted to respond to all the voices who took a courageous 4th of July stand against one of the most easily derided rocknroll bands ever, the Goo Goo Dolls. Whatever they are now, the Goos were not a punk band that sold out when they scored a hit on a Megan Ryan flick. They were a guitar pop band that happened to play fast and loud in the mode of the times, who became increasingly tuneful as they matured. Their trajectory is analogous to that of the Replacements, only later and, clearly, not near as important. I remember Flipside loved them back in the '80s when they were just another band touring the country in a van. They received even more exposure when they were noticed by Westerberg, and though they aped the 'Mats sound from the start (listen to Up Yours off Jed and the Replacements' Shut Up back to back for more proof than you need), they had a spark of personality that distinguished them from a lot of more 'serious' bands whose main legacy would be getting big ups on some aging music geeks' blogs about their high school record collections. Sure, I remember when the video for There You Are came out and it looked like what Bon Jovi might do if they had no budget, but that was sort of the point. At the time, there was a strong 'everybody-lighten-the-fuck-up' movement in the indie rock world, beginning in the early- to mid- eighties with, of course, the 'Mats, but also discernible in Husker Du's be-yourself lyrical ethos, which suggested that simply liking some alternative pop music does not necessarily make one a dastardly rebel, so you should probably relax and stop writing anarchy symbols on your Chuck Taylors. The Goos rode the wave, hitting their stride from the beginning to the middle of the '90s as they put out a few records that stand up to later Soul Asylum or anything Superdrag did. Those who say much of their output lacked a certain weightiness all get my nomination for the No Shit Sherlock Award for Pointing Out the Bleeding Obvious, which is made possible by a grant from the No Duh Foundation. A few songs about girls, some buzzy throw-away rippers, the occasional poignant ballad from Johnny -- you were just supposed to get a beer buzz and shake your head to it, and try not to take yourself so seriously. Had it ended there, it might be considered cool today to look back and give Johnny and Robby Goo a nod, but, as we all know, it didn't... Still, however, Power Pop fans who claim to love the likes of Superdrag, Tommy Keene, and the Magnolias, but hate the Goos are just caving to hip popular opinion. (This is not to mention the enormous credit the band deserves for spearheading Vag Pop! Hardcore Slavin just needs to stay strong in Satan and stop worrying about what faggy guitar pop bands do, anyways...and ignore the feelings he gets from Johnny Goo's soft, streaked hair.) That said, I gave their performance at the river a wide berth myself. I was at a bar at the shore watching it muted on a big screen as a cover band played mechanical reproductions of bland top 100 hits from the past decade, one of which was Slide. The crowd loved it.”

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14. SLAVIN said... on Jul 11, 2010 at 01:59PM

“i stand by my previous remark despite jb's emphatic diatribe on the brief history of alternative music/reasons why the goos don't suck. jb: you prove my point. and they still suck.”

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15. Anonymous said... on Jul 12, 2010 at 01:04AM

“Sorry bro, but the Goos > the Roots. Don't get me wrong, the Roots are a great-great band, but they're not on the same level as the Goos. SO many of their songs are tied to many different events that happen (good or bad), so many people get married to Iris. The Goos have made a far greater impact on people's lives. Get over it.

And who cares if they changed their style as they got older? Johnny wrote a song with Paul Westerburg and found what he's good at, and it's what he wanted to write. So too bad you don't respect them, they're not for you then. But to millions of others, they are.”

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16. Randy said... on Jul 13, 2010 at 01:23AM

“johnny did not throw a tantrum, i was there , it was just a mistke , and you cant suck by being around for 25 years, while smashing the charts with every album that you produce. Not many people appreciate a man or woman who can still sing after 25 years of performing. It is a tough gig. The roots singer does not really hit the high notes that often. he's a rapper.”

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17. Anonymous said... on Jul 14, 2010 at 07:14PM

“to comment #15: the goo goo dolls write songs about personal experiences, while the roots write songs about politics and events that effect the world. many different events is sort of a broad/vague statement to make in their defense. i'll admit the goo goo dolls write catchy pop songs, but look into them any deeper and you get the same shallow emotional baggage as dashboard confessional.

as for randy: he threw his guitar across the stage... most people would be a little more subtle/apologetic when they realize their guitar is out of tune (especially since he usually plays taylor's that are over $3500)
if it wasn't a tantrum then it was damn close.
also in terms of singing he has a 2 octave range at best...

someone pointed out already that the roots have had more top 10 albums than the goo goo dolls and when I checked for an exact amount of time the bands have been around... the roots were formed 1 year later than the goo goo dolls.
(continued in next comment...)”

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18. Anonymous said... on Jul 14, 2010 at 07:35PM

“Its amusing that these people are making the googoodolls out to be one of the greatest rock bands of our time. they're a pop sensation (or borderline country if that makes you feel more comfortable) like Brittany Spears or any Boy Band from the past 2 decades. People also use Back Street Boys and N'Sync in their marital repertoire, would you like to back them up on being so great? Come to think of it most boy bands have more talented singers with a broader vocal spectrum.
Now let's look at these "chart smashers"...
Name - Sad song with vague references loss/wasting time
Slide - Song about a girl/abortion
Black Balloon - Drug Addiction/Love
Iris - Love
Excuse me for being cynical but these don't seem at all innovative or different from any other generic rock/emo band. The majority of people like things that they can relate to. These songs are just enablers for our already narcissistic way of thinking. At least the roots try to inform us on topics we may not already know”

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19. Anonymous said... on Jul 14, 2010 at 07:38PM

“also you're sticking up for a band you keep referring to as "the goo's"

that alone should suggest you may want to re-evaluate your current ideals of music and life in general.”

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20. Randy said... on Jul 18, 2010 at 01:10AM

“First of all, the goo goo dolls have the most ac top ten hits in music history. ( And what rocker does'nt destroy a guitar or two?)
Apparently you have not researched enough. Have you seen the revenue and fan base that the goo goo dolls have world wide. It's phenomenal. As a singer, i know how tough it is to keep your voice in check. ]e John suffered from vocal nodes back in 2005.This can be a career ending condition. This is like a pro quarterback tearing both of his ACL's. Look at what nodes did to Whitney Houston. These days bands make their money on concerts, not albums anymore. Those nodes could have destroyed the band, but john fought through it. Now people are still giving him crap. He sounded amazing at the Borgata on July 3rd. I would not defend any other band, but this is one i will defend to the bitter end.”

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21. DJ said... on Sep 11, 2010 at 02:26AM

“People like to build people up only so they can tear them down... It's a sad world, but it's true.
On the topic of the change in their sound- they didn't sell out, they grew up. Honestly, if I bought a cd from a 45 year old guy singing about a 'pimply d**k' and 'being undersexed and overworked', I would think they are creepy weird old guys trying to be young. So it's a good thing they wrote those sort of things in their early 20's!
Their music HAS changed, and it's no longer a young man's angsty average-joe style college rock. But when they were writing those songs in their early days they rang true because they were relavent to THEIR personal emotions (and lack of ability to produce some heartfelt melodic and lyrical masterpiece) at that moment in time.
Fast forward and they started to pull out tunes that stood out to a large crowd, Iris was the most played song in a few countrys the year of it's release (Cont next post)”

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22. DJ said... on Sep 11, 2010 at 02:33AM

“But by the time 2000 came it had been so grossly overplayed on radio that the 'radio audience' who just listened to whatever station was playing were sick of it- and how coulld you not be when it was played an average of 5 times a day each station- it would be frustrating! (That being said, I've probably listened to it a few thousand times myself, because I do love that song to pieces!) In fact, I remember the first time I heard it- I was 8 and went in my 18y/o sisters room to get a hairbrush and the song came on the radio. I was only 8, but I stood there and was captivated by it so much that I started to cry- and I wasn't some emotionally disturbed kid who would cry a lot either! I remembered that song (almost word for word) for the rest of my life until I heard it again when I was 15 (and realised google wasn't just for homework!) Now I know, I am going to be bias because of that, but I don't care. Cont again..”

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23. DJ said... on Sep 11, 2010 at 02:42AM

“Johnny does write incredible songs and I know, I'm a fan so am more inclined to just instantly like whatever he, Robby and Mike come up with, but actually, it's the opposite. Because I like them I am a harsher marker of them because like a parent I want 'my favourite band' to 'reach their potential'! The thing is Johhny's lyrics are compareable to Bob Dylan's in the sense of what is memorable. The difference is JR has the ability to use few words and make a huge impact, where as Dylan would go into enormous detail in his lyrics- I have yet to meet anyone who hasn't heard a Dylan song where at least a couplet stood out to them.
And GGD songs DO stand out, and appeal to a mass crown because they do write about Universal themes. Sure, a song that tells a direct story about a singular event- for example that Dixie Chicks song 'I'm not ready to make nice', that struck a chord with anyone who thought Bush was a d**k who screwed over the US because that's what the song's about. cont again”

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24. DJ said... on Sep 11, 2010 at 02:48AM

“Now maybe, someone going through a break up or fight period in a relationship could relate to that song, but a song so defined by an event you need to be knowledgeable of to understand the song, will just never be as popular as a song that can be played at weddings, funerals, breakups, etc.
I'm not saying these songs aren't great, but when I get my heart broken, I don't want to hear a song like Dear Mr President, I want to hear a song that I can relate to in that moment, and that's the biggest appeal of most GGD songs!
You can call them 'generic', because you think they haven't written a song that obviously directs your attention to a matter with such deep substance and importance as a protest song in the 70's, but they aren't generic because if they were, they would be on a 'where are they now' special and wouldn't be signed to a major label continually releasing music. cont again”

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25. DJ said... on Sep 11, 2010 at 02:58AM

“Since 2002 they have put out 6 records, which wouldn't have been budgeted if they didn't have a fan base and credibility to warrant it!
Their music is continually improving while not conforming to what the modern radio demands are- EG, singing songs about being famous, dance machines and so many special effects it becomes impossible to play the song without a laptop!
And if you listen to their latest release, Something For The Rest Of Us, you would understand what I mean.
They have managed to incorporate well written lyrics, with original melodies and what impresses me most, have slid some of their gritty grunge style sounds into a pollished pop song! You don't get very many songs like that these days.
Anyway, I've written so much now that I don't even remember what my arguement was about (but I have a weird medical condition so I'm alowwed to completely zone out from time to time! lol)

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26. DJ said... on Sep 11, 2010 at 03:05AM

“But yea, the bottom line is they have followers because they are worth following!

I wonder if Jeff Buckley was still alive today what we'd be saying about the music we all know he would haev kept on writing... Would he have become just 'the guy who did the best cover of that Leonard Cohen song' or would he be as adored as much in death as he could have been in life?

We'll never know, but the thing is They're a good band who write, play and record with integrity and don't act like deuche bags!! Something very rare for a successful act to maintain!

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27. DJ said... on Sep 11, 2010 at 03:11AM

“As far as the 'guitar tantrum' goes too... If he meant disrespect to a Taylor guitar, he would have smashed it to pieces- the thing is Johhny is dependant on his guitar in a song, it is his shield- just look at the 2002 Winter Olympics performance (I cant remember what song) but his guitar string snapped and he didnt have a back up plan-he was pissed because he didnt know what to do, and being televised, probably embarrassed.

If he didn't do something, but just polietly stopped the song, blushed and walked off stage and said he had the wrong guitar- everyone would be saying 'he couldn't hack it and needed a break' or that 'he was too scared to do something wrong and acted like a b**ch'!
He laughed it off and apologised to the crowd- not much more could be done than that. And it did sound off because the different tuning is an integral part of their songs!
And if he was acting like a brat rockstar with no respect - he wouldn't have been an advocate for VH1's Save The Music!

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28. barnstormer said... on Oct 21, 2010 at 09:34AM

“You can't equate commercial success with artistic merit. There a ton of very mediocre people out there with very mediocre tastes that will love a very mediocre band like GGD. to be fair, some of their harder-rocking songs are OK. The guitarist is decent. It's the songwriting that blows chunks, big-time.

What in the hell does "love's suicide" mean anyway? It's a crappy phrase with no meaning. Stupidest song line since "someone left the cake out in the rain." Bogus.”

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29. jonstewart said... on Jul 9, 2013 at 10:06PM

“the goo goo dolls are like whitebread,it is the most popular bread yet has little nutritional value. Thegoo goo dolls are some lameass lite rock band who play insipid ,bland commercial pop band.And to compare this guy johnny to Dylan is one of the most fucked up thing I have ever heard. A Dylan song was named the number 1 song on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs ever written I bet the go go girls didn't even have one song that made it in.And Dylan has been named by rock critics as one of the greatest songwriter in rock music period.You should stop sniffing glue because it seems it has already destroyed your ability to make informed decisions. I am just baffled by your utter stupidity. If you just say Dylan many
people all over the world would immediately know who your talking about. But if you say johnny maybe 10 people would actually know who you were talking about.Get a clue dude.


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