Concert Review: Goo Goo Dolls, Howlin’ Maggie & The Gufs @ the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, OH (8/15/96)

Although I was from Buffalo, I didn’t know the Goo Goo Dolls any better than your average music fan. It wasn’t until A Boy Named Goo made a huge splash nationally thanks to the single Name that they appeared on my radar. Of course, being a music junkie, that meant discovering the numerous albums from their punk rock past, and hearing a subtle yet consistent growth in the band from album to album.

While the Goos were enjoying recognition, apparently they were not enjoying success as well, due to a bad record contract. Years later, the band would confess that they played the county fair circuit around the country as a means to support themselves out of necessity, not choice. Not only where the band not making money off of A Boy Named Goo, they actually owed the label quite a bit. But I didn’t know that at the time, I was just interested in seeing my hometown boys done well.

I drove down from college, having stayed the summer to take classes with someone but I can’t recall who. It was my first (and only) trip to a state fair. Livestock and low quality food just don’t interest me, although I’ve heard the food has gotten better.

Now, this is one of the few times I don’t need to write a review, because I already have, it’s posted below. It should be noted that this review was submitted in response to another review on a Goo Goo Dolls listserv in 1996. No idea what a listserv is/was? Google it, and have a good laugh.


From timm@ Sat Aug 17 21:20:30 1996
Date: Sat, 17 Aug 1996 14:06:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: Timothy David Minneci
To: penberth@oswego.Oswego.EDU
Cc: “Sarah D. Davis” <>
Subject: Re: concert review

I was also at the Ohio State Fair Thursday and got a chance to see the Goos for the first time live (I’ve always had bad timing in the  past).  Just to add my two cents:

-The Prince (or guy with no name as Johnny put it) song was ”Never Take The Place Of Your Man” which they cover on Hold Me Up with the Incredible Lance Diamond on vocals.  This is a cool coincidence because just last Friday I played this song on my radio show here at college (I felt the need for Lance’s vocals).

-I had a chance to review the Gufs single and full length for this radio station (WFAL is the name), and gave it 3 out of 4 stars.  Their music is catchy, but the vocals can get montonous.  Crash and Sunday Driver are cool songs, and they did both in concert.

-Howlin’ Maggie is a band I like a lot and was very pleased to see them on the bill instead of the boring Dishwalla.  I don’t get the Dave Matthews comparison, Harold Chichester has a hell of lot more personality and is and incredible guitarist.  If you don’t believe me, try playing the riff to the song “Alcohol” (which is incredibly hard in the first place), and then try singing at the same time.  Their album is great, I picked it up used at Record Theatre on Main St. in Buffalo for $7.95 and the damn thing won’t leave my CD Player.  However, I don’t think HM is a good opening band for the Goos because their music is a little more, ah sonic.  They sound more like a Pumpkins opening band.

-One last thing, I got really pissed when 2/3′s through the show they played Name, and then people started leaving.  Hello, show’s not over.  Oh well, their tough luck, they missed the Fair Queen on stage.  Overall, great performance by the Goos.  They looked like kids up there running around on stage having a good time.


Timothy D. Minneci