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 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"
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
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.