RECORD STORE TALES Part 172: The Goo Goo Dolls
Back in 1995, when the Goo Goo Dolls finally made the big time with “Name”, I sold an assload of those albums in my store. People couldn’t get enough of them back then. I personally had never even listened to it. I mean, there were so many alt-rock bands in 1995 and ’96! Better Than Ezra, Presidents of the United States of America, Matchbox 20…and I wasn’t interested in any of them. I was a metal head.
As it turns out, (this is complicated, so bear with me) my uncle worked with the mother of the fiance of bassist Robby Takac. So my aunt started asking me all these questions about this band, Goo Goo Dolls. Do you know them? Do you sell them in your store? Etc.
I told my aunt, yes I know Goo Goo Dolls, and yes, I sell a ton of them in our store. They were definitely one of our top sellers, for pretty much a year straight. I mean they were huge at the time.
My aunt and uncle ended up being invited to the wedding, and Goo Goo Dolls played at the reception. They had a great time, very much enjoyed herself, and met the band. Not knowing that I had never listened to a Goo Goo Dolls song in my life, my aunt told Robby and the band that I was a big supporter and sold a whole bunch of their discs in my store for them.
To their credit, they were very thankful (if a tad misled), and FedEx’d my aunt a signed glossy in gratitude!
“Hi Michael,” it says, “Thanks a lot for your help!” It was signed by Robby, lead singer Johnny Rzeznik, and new drummer Mike Malinin.
A tad bemused, I thought it might be a good idea to actually do them the service of listening to their music. So I began to do that, in store, and found that I actually enjoyed the band quite a bit. I like A Boy Named Goo, the album that I supposedly helped them out with, but I think Superstar Car Wash (the album previous) and Dizzy Up The Girl (the album that followed) are both superior. I still like them today, leaning towards the early punk material, with a preference to their excellent deep cuts compilation, What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce.
So there you go. If it wasn’t for a slight misunderstanding, I might never have discovered the band!