Goo Goo Dolls' Robby Takac

Robby Takac is bassist/singer for the Goo Goo Dolls, the highly successful

thrash-pop band best known for such smash ballads as "Iris" and "Name."

Takac is a founding member of the group, which actually specializes in

punk-influenced rock, like its recent single "Slide."

Takac was born 35 years ago today in Buffalo, N.Y. He delivered pizzas

and attended Medaille College, where he earned a communications degree.

Takac also worked as a DJ and played in a punk band called the Monarchs.

In 1985 Takac was introduced to guitarist/singer Johnny Rzeznik. The

pair decided to form a power-pop/punk band called the Sex Maggots with

Takac's school friend drummer George Tutuska.

The Sex Maggots played in Buffalo clubs, but encountered resistance to

their name. They decided on the less controversial moniker Goo Goo Dolls,

a phrase they saw in True Detective magazine. The band covered

artists as diverse as Prince and Creedence Clearwater Revival, while

Rzeznik began writing original songs.

On the Goo Goo Dolls' eponymous raw, punk-influenced debut in 1987,

Takac handled lead vocals. Jed (1989) included covers of the

Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" and CCR's "Down on the Corner."

Hold Me Up (1990) got the Goo Doo Dolls noticed on the

alternative-rock scene. The album, which featured Rzeznik and Takac on

lead vocals, drew comparisons to the Replacements and featured tracks

such as "Laughing" and "There You Are."

Superstar Car Wash (1993) included "We are the Normal," a track

co-written by Replacements leader Paul Westerberg. When it didn't become

a hit, the band considered quitting music.

But they stuck together and achieved mainstream success with the ballad

"Name" from 1995's A Boy Named Goo. The LP, which also featured

rockers such as "Long Way Down," was a best-seller. Nonetheless, around

this time Takac and Rzeznik fired Tutuska and replaced him with Minor

Threat drummer Mike Malanin, who has since become an official member of

the band.

The group then battled its record company, Metal Blade, over royalty

issues and ultimately signed with Metal Blade's distributor, Warner Bros.

A Rzeznik-penned song, the Grammy Award-nominated "Iris"

(RealAudio

excerpt), from the soundtrack to the movie "City of Angels,"

became a #1 smash and also was featured on the Goo Goo Dolls' next LP,

Dizzy Up the Girl (1998). "Iris," which became the label's biggest

single of 1998, was inspired by country singer Iris DeMent.

Dizzy Up the Girl also became a hit on the basis of such uptempo

numbers as "Dizzy," "Broadway" (RealAudio

excerpt) and the Takac-sung "January Friend." The band toured

Europe, Japan and the U.S. in support of the album.

Also in '98, the band contributed a thrashy version of the Stevie Nicks

song "I Don't Want to Know" to Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's

"Rumours."

In October the Goo Goo Dolls will headline the MP3.com Music and Technology

Tour of college campuses.

Other birthdays: Cissy Houston, 66; Johnny Mathis, 64; Gus Dudgeon, 57;

Dewey Martin (Buffalo Springfield), 57; Marilyn McCoo, 56; Sylvia Peterson

(Chiffons), 53; John Lombardo (10,000 Maniacs), 47; Frank Zincavage

(Romeo Void), 47; Patrice Rushen, 45; Barry Williams (Brady Bunch), 45;

Basia, 43; Dave Betts (Honeymoon Suite), 42; Marty Stuart, 41; Marley

Marl, 37; Marc Bolan (T-Rex), 1948-1977; and Frankie Lymon, 1942-1968.