Many people remember the ‘80s as a decade when pop culture seemed to be ruled by Madonna's latest fashion statement, Duran Duran's early boy band appeal, and the apparently endless list of hair metal bands that, even at the time, seemed impossible to tell apart. However, there was something else going on in the ‘80's that was a quiet continuation of the alternative scene that broke in England in 1977 with the Sex Pistols and the Clash. There were plenty of kids who felt the same frustration and outright boredom that Johnny Rotten and Joe Strummer spoke about so well.
America had it's own underground scene going, most noticeably in Southern California and New York City. However, there were also bands in the rest of America that spoke even more effectively to kids trying to ignore what the mess of pop culture was throwing at them. Many of these bands, fueled on cheap beer and a general disdain for "The American Dream," looked to Paul Westerberg and The Replacements for their inspiration.
The Goo Goo Dolls were such a band. Formed in 1986 in the crumbling rust belt city of Buffalo, New York, the band was probably started for no better reason than to kill time, make some music, and hopefully get a few free beers from the clubs where they were lucky enough to get a gig.
And then, as lead singer/guitarist John Rzeznik says, "Somewhere in the there we sort of figured out how to write songs." Their fifth album A Boy Named Goo landed the band their first hit song, "Name" in 1995 and went on to sell over two million copies. The band toured extensively around the world to support their newfound success.
But it was in 1998 that the Goo Goo Dolls proved that they were not destined to be another "one hit wonder." In that year Rzeznik penned "Iris," which originally appeared on the City of Angels soundtrack, and was also included on the band's sixth album Dizzy Up The Girl. "Iris" spent almost a year on the Billboard charts, including a phenomenal 17 weeks at #1.
And that, as it turned out, was just the beginning. Dizzy Up The Girl also contained the hits "Slide," "Black Balloon" and "Broadway," all of which were top ten hits on the Billboard charts. The band spent the next two years touring relentlessly all around the world, building a loyal following that most bands can only dream of. It became clear that the Goo Goo Dolls were not going away anytime soon.