As the Goo Goo Dolls prepare for the 20th anniversary tour of "Dizzy Up the Girl," look back through the band's chain of events - the highs and the lows of 33 years in the music industry.
1985: The Goo Goo Dolls form in Buffalo when punk-rocker Robby Takac meets "hippie metal guy" John Rzeznik, and the two strike up an instant bond. George Tutuska is added on drums, the band soon drops its first moniker -- the Sex Maggotts, no less -- and takes up residence in the Continental.
1987: Significant buzz surrounding the band's pop-punk fire, ably displayed during live shows, captures the attention of Metal Blade Records, which signs the Goos and releases the group's eponymous debut. (The band will later regret this signing decision, as battles over royalty payments will plague it throughout the '90s and require relocation to Warner Bros.)
The debut album features Takac as lead vocalist, and includes a punked-up take on Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper."
1988: The Goos are transformed into a tight live band through constant gigging, opening for the likes of the Doughboys, the Dead Milkmen and Gang Green. Buffalo’s underground punk scene begins to coalesce around the band.
1989: "Jed" is released, and it immediately announces itself as a trashy pop-punk classic. Rzeznik takes over lead vocals on a pair of tunes, and the inimitable Lance Diamond joins in for a rousing “Down on the Corner.”
Around this time, indignant critics begin referring to the Goos as "Replacements wannabes," referring to the critical darling, power-pop outfit led by Paul Westerberg.
1990: “Hold Me Up,” considered by many to be the Goos' finest album, is released. Rzeznik emerges as the band’s principal vocalist. Diamond shows up again for an inspired romp through Prince’s “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.”
The marriage of punk, classic rock, pop and garage rock helps the album earn substantial college rock buzz. Rzeznik, Takac and Tutuska basically live on the road. The band’s reputation as a rowdy and formidable live act begins to spread.
1993: This writer's personal favorite Goos platter, "Superstar Car Wash," hits the bins. Rzeznik has the last laugh on critics by co-writing "We Are the Normal" with -- you guessed it -- the Replacements' Westerberg. It's not a smash hit, but it clearly should have been.
Surprise, surprise -- the band hits the road, and stays there for most of the year. By the end of this tour, Tutuska is no longer in the band.
1995: “A Boy Named Goo” is released, and reveals a much more polished blend of pop, punk and garage rock. “Long Way Down,” a spirited rocker, makes it to No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. The acoustic-based “Name” becomes the band’s first major hit, making it to No. 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart.
"A Boy Named Goo" is certified double platinum by year's end, signifying 2 million copies sold. Suddenly, the little band from Buffalo is big news. Mike Malinin, late of Minor Threat, is added as the band's new drummer.
1998: The upward climb continues, as "Iris," a stirring ballad penned by Rzeznik on the "City of Angels" film soundtrack, becomes a huge hit. "Dizzy Up the Girl," the band’s sixth album, is released, and it's a monster. “Dizzy” would eventually sell more than 4 million copies, and yield five hit singles.
2001: "What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce," the band's first "greatest hits" collection, hits the bins. The Goos begin working on the follow-up to the massively successful "Dizzy Up the Girl," as Rzeznik and Takac have moved to Los Angeles.
2002: "Gutterflower" is released, and though it packs the same radio-friendly punch as "Dizzy" and racks up a radio hit in "Here Is Gone," the album sells far fewer copies than its predecessor. It’s the band’s most polished and commercially accessible album to date. Takac comes home, starts splitting his time between Buffalo and L.A., opens a recording studio and launches his own record label.
2004: A now-fabled concert on July 4 in front of Buffalo City Hall finds the band playing to tens of thousands of enthused fans throughout a torrential downpour. The Goos turned in one of their finest performances, a fact borne out by the eventual success of the "Live In Buffalo" DVD release.
2005: Rzeznik runs headlong into a lack of inspiration in L.A., packs his gear in a U-Haul, and heads east. The Goos take up residence above the Century Grill and begin writing and pre-production with local engineer Marc Hunt.
2006: The band wraps up recording its new material with producer Glen Ballard -- known for his work with Alanis Morissette and Dave Matthews, and a man given to dressing all in white and claiming writing credit on the albums of artists he produces.
Ballard doesn't grab authorship of much of the album that will eventually be released as "Let Love In," but his glossy production values are in ample evidence. The album yields hits in “Stay with You,” the ballad “Better Days” and a cover of Supertramp’s “Give a Little Bit.”
2007: The Goo Goo Dolls hit a high water mark by selling out the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado for the first time. “Better Days” becomes the official anthem for the Buffalo Sabres' 2007 playoff run.
2010: The comparatively darker, more ruminative “Something for the Rest of Us” is released with the single “Home.”
2012: “Iris” is ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 100 Pop Songs 1992-2012 chart. The band also placed “Slide” and “Name” on the list.
2013: “Magnetic” is released, and offers a much sunnier outlook on life than did its predecessor. “Rebel Beat” is the album’s first single; "Come to Me" is another. Malinin announces his departure from the band.
2015: The Goos spend much of the year writing and wood-shedding new songs, fine-tuning and then recording the material that will end up comprising "Boxes," their 11th album. They also release the 20th anniversary edition of the "A Boy Named Goo" album.
2016: "Boxes" is released. The band hits the road for a summer tour with Collective Soul.
2018: The Goos launch a tour commemorating the 20th anniversary of their watershed "Dizzy Up the Girl" album, including three sold-out homecoming shows Oct. 19 to 21 at Shea's Buffalo Theatre.