By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Busch Gardens Wine and Food Festival Concert Series, Tampa, Florida. Sunday, March 18, 2018
For a band named on a whim – the trio picked their name from a True Detective ad for a toy called a Goo Goo Doll. According to lead singer/guitarist John Rzeznik, “We were young and we were a garage band not trying to get a deal. 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’ve done pretty well. Rzeznik is still fronting the band, and Robby Takac still handles vocals and bass. Along the way they’ve expanded to a quintet, on the road at least, joined by Brad Fernquist – guitar, mandolin, backing vocals, and Korel Tunador – keyboards, guitar, saxophone, backing vocals since 2006, and Craig Macintyre – drums, percussion, backing vocals since 2014.
Along the way they’ve churned out a number of hits, with “Iris” – a song that almost didn’t get written, according to several interviews with Rzeznik, he was experiencing serious bouts of writer’s block when he was approached to write a song for the City of Angels soundtrack, and was on the verge of quitting the band days before he wrote the song – pushing them to superstardom, spending 18 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay charts and being nominated for three Grammys.
Naturally, that song was the next-to-the-last song they played Sunday, with “Boxes” as the encore, and other hits sprinkled throughout. Some in the crowd remarked they “weren’t going anywhere until they play Iris,” but I didn’t see anyone rushing to leave until it was very clear there would be no more Goo to be heard! And you could tell the band would have liked to keep going, they were having as good of a time as the crowd! Find out more about them and their tour at the official Goo Goo Dolls website, or Facebook, Instagram, or other social media sites!
When not in custody, I've been involved with music, photography, and writing my entire life. Ever since I was a young boy and played those silver tunes, I've had the beat, but being a drummer didn't suit me so I became a lead singer, which lasted a few years. Settling down, sort of, I translated my knowledge of audio and glib tongue into mobile emcee work, and my training as a photographer and videographer into a living in the wedding, party, bar/bat mitzvah, and entertainment industry. During this time I also managed to bamboozle my way into a master's degree in writing, worked for a couple of magazines (yes, I took photos for a nudist magazine!), have photographed hotels, done commercial work (shot the cover of Tablet and Capsule magazine), published a few articles, hosted some public access shows (a couple times in drag, but that's another story), and generally made a nuisance of myself until I landed here.
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