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Rocker Robby Takac admits it: The Goo Goo Dolls grew up on Minnesota music, specifically the Replacements, Hüsker Dü and Soul Asylum. In fact, the 1990s hitmakers from Buffalo, N.Y., learned directly from those Twin Cities bands.

"We toured with both Soul Asylum and the Replacements," Takac said of the Goo Goo Dolls' early career. "The Replacements were a little haphazard, they were crazy. It felt a little looser. When we were out with Soul Asylum, it really felt like those guys were finely oiled. It was a great learning opportunity for us, as well."

The Goo Goo Dolls studied Replacements records to learn "how you should make a record. As we were searching for our voice, we were pretty sure they had it figured out. We were immense fans," Goo Goo Dolls bassist Takac continued. "We've always been huge Hüsker Dü fans. So Minneapolis for us has always been a special place in our hearts."

So special that Goo Goo Dolls will play in Minneapolis twice this year — Saturday at the PACER Center gala at the Minneapolis Convention Center and Aug. 2 at the Basilica Block Party at Boom Island.

Takac said the Goo Goo Dolls — he and guitarist/singer John Rzeznik — weigh offers for benefit performances. PACER's mission resonated with the rock stars.

"These folks are do-gooders, helping kids with disabilities and with bullying issues," he said. "So if we can do what we do every day and come in and help these guys, then it seemed like a good thing."

Takac, 59, has been very involved with nonprofits. More than two decades ago, he started Music Is Art.

"It's a festival we do every September. Local music, artists, dancers. Pretty much every discipline you can think of," Takac said. "Then throughout the year we run workshops and jazz concerts with high schools and battle of the bands and instrument donations and a bunch of other stuff. That's right here in the Buffalo region."

With no new album since 2022′s "Chaos in Bloom," the Goo Goo Dolls weren't planning to tour this year but then they received offers for festivals and other one-off concerts like the PACER gala. Since they had the crew ready — and on salary for 20 years — they decided to perform a handful of shows, explained Takac, whose band includes three additional touring musicians.

The Goo Goo Dolls started as a punk trio in 1986, fired their original drummer over a pay dispute before scoring a hit with 1995′s Replacements-evoking "Name." The band's big breakthrough came with the enduring smash "Iris" from the soundtrack to the 1998 movie "City of Angels." "Iris" spent a record of 18 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Airplay (which was broken 22 years later by the Weeknd's "Blinding Lights").

Last year, the Goo Goo Dolls released "Live at the Academy, New York City, 1995" and this year they dropped a new single "Beautiful Lie," with a video featuring a woman who covers her face with a handheld screen. Takac has no idea who the woman is.

"I'm not really sure to be honest with you. She's faceless," he said. "I'm sure if we check the pay stubs we can figure it out. The song came together in a much different way than most of the songs we've released. It was sort of an idea a producer had hanging around and John jumped in and worked on it. It was much less communal than most of our recordings."

Rzeznik has been writing for a new album for possible release next year when the Goo Goo Dolls plan a big summer tour. Takac thinks their fans still prefer the "journey" of albums rather than random singles.

Despite litigation with band members and record labels, Rzeznik and Takac have endured as the Goo Goo Dolls for nearly 40 years.

Why have they lasted?

"We want it to," Takac said. "I guess people start running out of options when they don't want to find any options. We've never gotten to the point where we both say 'I can't do this anymore.'

"There's been times when we've done things independently largely as an exercise to stretch our wings. John and I often talk about it we're stronger together when we do this."

One thing that may help make them stronger is they don't see each other when they're not on the road.

"We're together for six, seven months at a time when we're touring. Then we spend a couple months at home. Unless we're in the studio, John and I aren't chatting. I'm hanging out with my kid, cleaning up the leaves in my backyard."

Takac is the guy with light purple hair raking his Buffalo lawn. He promises to have a bolder purple hue when he comes to Minneapolis on Saturday because it'll be the same night that Nicki Minaj, the rap star with pink hair is performing at Target Center.

"She's got it going on," he said with a chuckle. "I can't hold a candle to Nicki Minaj."

Goo Goo Dolls

What: A benefit for the PACER Center

When: 8 p.m. Sat.

Where: Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Av. S., Mpls.

Tickets: $100,