“Name” by Goo Goo Dolls

On The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Name”, the vocalist is addressing someone whom he obviously has a lot of admiration for. And conclusively, what he is telling this individual is that he will not reveal his or her name. There is no apparent reason why he is making this promise. But the implication is that, in the least, this person would actually like to remain anonymous.

Who is the Addressee?

Now there have been two plausible explanations put forth concerning whom exactly is being addressed. During one part of the song, the singer refers to himself and the addressees as being “grown-up orphans”. It has been popularly deduced in that regard that he is actually referring to his elder sisters. The reason this theory has been put forth is because the Goo Goo Dolls lead singer, John Rzeznik, became an orphan in his mid-teens and was subsequently raised by his older sisters. As such, it has been theorized that this song is meant to serve as an ode to these ladies who took it upon themselves to look after him.

However the more accepted idea, due to the fact that Rzeznik himself has supported it, is that this song is about a media personality named Kennedy whom John was apparently dating at the time he penned this tune. Now to put the whole situation into its proper context, “Name” was actually released prior to the internet becoming a mass-media tool.  In other words, at the time, most people who were familiar with Kennedy did not actually know her real (i.e. entire) name. So in that regard, in addition to bigging his lover up the singer is also pledging not to publicize her actual legal name, as her stage name was like her trademark.

“I won’t tell ’em your name”

So conclusively, despite the complex metaphors used throughout, “Name” can ultimately be classified as a love song.

Facts about “Name”

Metal Blade Records in conjunction with Warner Records released this track on 26 September 1995. It is the third single from the Goo Goo Dolls’ album entitled “A Boy Named Goo”.

It proved to be one of the band’s most-successful tracks. For example, it topped Billboard’s Alternative Songs and Mainstream Rock charts. And the song also scored a number one on RPM’s Canada Rock/Alternative listing.

Arguably more impressively, it peaked at number 5 on the all-important Hot 100 itself and number 2 on Canada Top Singles. And it also charted in Iceland and Oceania.

And despite the fact that “Name” is actually featured on the Goo Goo Dolls’ fourth album, it is recognized as the song which actually brought them into the mainstream spotlight.

The music video to this track was directed by Geoff Moore.

“Name” was written by Goo Goo Dolls members J. Rzeznik and Robby Takac. And the song was produced by Lou Giordano.

8 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s about his sisters who raised him as their parents died when he was very young.

  2. Maggie says:

    This song makes me feel so nostalgic

  3. Bobbi Lynn says:

    I think it’s about someone that had a bad childhood /teenage years and ran away. Maybe stayed in touch with early bestfriend / boyfriend/girlfriend who wants to stay in desperately wants to stay in touch.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s about done who has died.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The song is about a stripper.

  6. Diane says:

    The sound is about Kennedy ( from MTV and later Fox Business) they dated when the song was written

  7. A.M.Pierre says:


  8. Joe D says:

    It’s about being a drug addict, he’s talking to the drug when he says I won’t tell no one your name. This reflects how an addict tries to hide it.

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