AFC East: Goo Goo Dolls

More from Robby Takac on the Bills in Buffalo

August, 16, 2008
Posted by's Tim Graham

 Debbie Smyth/
 Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls said it would be a "devastating blow" to Buffalo to lose the Bills.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Robby Takac admits "he's never been a sports guy." He pursued a love for music instead, never imagining his career would take him closer to the big games than if he'd been a jock.

Takac is a founding member of the Goo Goo Dolls, one of the most successful rock bands on the planet.

As their bassist he has performed at the Winter Olympics, the NBA All-Star Game, a Dale Earnhardt tribute concert at Daytona International Speedway and at halftime of a Detroit Lions game on Thanksgiving Day. He was involved in a season-ticket push to help the Buffalo Sabres emerge from bankruptcy.

The Goo Goo Dolls' latest single, "Real," debuted on NBC with an Olympic highlight montage the night the U.S. men swam to their epic, 400-meter freestyle relay goal medal.

"I get swept up in stuff," Takac said this week in an interview with about his hometown and its beloved Buffalo Bills.

Takac is such a proud native that when he lived in Los Angeles for nine years he would purchase the NFL Sunday Ticket so that he could feel connected with what his father would watch from his armchair.

He and the rest of the Goo Goo Dolls moved back to Buffalo eight months ago. Takac has a recording studio in the Allentown neighborhood, is on the Medaille College board of trustees and is involved in several endeavors to promote music education and provide opportunities for local kids through his Music is Art foundation.

"We're trying to shake things up a little bit," Takac said.

Not enough of Takac's interview appeared in Thursday's story about the Bills opening their $78 million, eight-game series in Toronto with an exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Takac acknowledged it's a nervous time for western New Yorkers, that many worry this deal is a harbinger the Bills can't stay.

Here's the rest of what Takac had to say in a 40-minute conversation about his hometown, which last week made Forbes Magazine's list of America's 10 fastest-dying cities:

You could live anywhere in the world. Why move back to Buffalo?

Robby Takac: Having just come back here -- and my wife has lived in only two places in her life, Los Angeles and Tokyo -- we came here after much discussion. This is much different than being in a thriving metropolis. Buffalo at this time is neither thriving nor a metropolis. It's a small, struggling city right now. The glory days of Buffalo was when I was a kid back in the 1970s, when the steel plants were raging and we were polluting the lakes and making a lot of money doing it [laughter] ... Those days are gone.

Until you drive into the nooks and crannies of the city, you don't get the whole picture of what's going on. Nikon recently asked me to do a promotional thing called "Visions of Rock," and they sent me a camera to take some pictures. I drove into the East Side. It seems like some sort of horrible hurricane has gone through this place and knocked damn near half the houses down. It's a horrible thing to see, but it's a stark reality of what's here.

But seeing that puts a little bit of fight in you. A man with a blank canvas can create beautiful things. You need to make this place a blank canvas in some places and start over again.

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