John Rzeznik (pronounced REZ-nick), commonly known as Johnny Rzeznik, is the guitarist/vocalist of rock band the Goo Goo Dolls. He was born on 5 December 1965, and grew up in Buffalo, New York. His last name (which means butcher in Polish) betrays his Polish ancestry, his parents (Joseph and Edith Rzeznik) both being immigrants from Poland. He has four older sisters (Phyllis, Fran, Glad and Kate), and often jokingly complains it's "...one of the worst things that can happen to a man." Unfortunately, his father died of alcoholism when Johnny was fourteen, and his mother the following year from heart problems. He got an apartment on his own and turned "punk". He was the only punk at his school, Buffalo's McKinley Vocational High School, where he was studying to be a plumber. Of course, the Goo Goo Dolls happened instead.
Within his band, he plays guitar and sings lead vocals. However, prior to the album A Boy Named Goo, his bandmate, Robby Takac was the lead singer. During the era of the album Superstar Carwash, they collaborated on several songs. Even as John transitioned into becoming the lead vocalist, both men still share the duties of writing songs for the band's albums, and Takac still sings lead vocals on several songs.
Around 1998, John claimed to have 'writer's block' when it came to song-writing. However, he claims that his block was broken when Goo Goo Dolls were approached to write a song for the movie "City Of Angels". The resulting song, "Iris", is arguably Goo Goo Doll's biggest hit to date.
In recent times, John has focused some of his attention to producing music for various artists; He wrote a couple of songs for Ryan Cabrera's debut album Take It All Away. The traditional Goo Goo Dolls 'sound' is very evident on Cabrera's song "Illusions".
The Goo Goo Dolls released the single "Better Days" in winter 2005, and the single "Stay With You" in April 2006, both from new album "Let Love In," due out on April 25th, 2006.