Goo Goo Dolls Guitarist Recalls Keith Richards' Take on Sobriety

By Kelly Burch 08/09/17

Goo Goo Dolls guitarist Robby Takac talked about discovering Richards' unique definition of sobriety in a new interview. 

Goo Goo Dolls guitarist Robby Takac and singer Johnny Rzeznik
Goo Goo Dolls guitarist Robby Takac and singer Johnny Rzeznik

Goo Goo Dolls bassist and singer Robby Takac once received a pretty interesting take on what it means to be sober while his band was the opening act for The Rolling Stones. 

“We walk into Keith [Richards]’ dressing room, and they had a whole bunch of bottles of vodka on the table and orange soda,” Takac told The Washington Times. “I was with my friend [record executive] Phil Quartararo, [and] Phil said to him, ‘Keith, I thought you stopped drinking.’ He goes ‘No, no, no, that’s just vodka — that ain’t drinking.’ According to him, he was ‘sober’ at that point.”

Richards reportedly went on to say that only the “brown stuff” constituted drinking, Takac said. 

Takac said that the Goo Goo Dolls’ tour bus has improved, adding that there’s now a lot less alcohol on board than there once was. 

“We’re not in a van with no windows and a mattress on top of our gear like we were for the first 10 years,” he said. “But I guess that’s what happens when you manage to keep it going for a few decades. A lot of people don’t get the chance to see that happen.”

After “Name” catapulted The Goo Goo Dolls to fame in 1995 the band’s frontman, John Rzeznik, had to confront his own addiction issues. Last year, he spoke about his addiction after two years of sobriety. 

“I’m not a miserable prick to everyone anymore,” Rzeznik said at the time. “That’s a good thing. I wake up in the morning and actually feel hope in my heart and I look forward to getting through my day, which was not the case.”

However, his early sobriety wasn’t easy and Rzeznik had failed before.

“About three months into getting sober for the 50th time, I realized that I had no coping skills because every time I felt something that was uncomfortable, I would just drown it. So sitting there were all these immature, childish, out-of-control emotions and needs that have never been really addressed or taken care of and put aside so that I could actually grow up,” he told The Huffington Post

In the same interview he said that if he is tempted by the bottle now he calls friends and family who remind him of his “greatest hits… an unbelievable list of ridiculous shit I did when I was drinking and don’t remember. And I’ll be like, ‘All right, that’s cool. I don’t ever want to have another drink again.’” 

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
Kelly Burch Contrib.jpg

Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.