Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik is the latest celebrity to take part in Elle’s popular song association challenge, and along with his perfect score, the rocker showed off his wide range of musical interests.
With 10 seconds to think of and sing a lyric featuring a key word, Rzeznik started off strong by associating the word “girl” to Tom Petty‘s 1976 classic, “American Girl,” singing the chorus with his characteristic rasp.
“I love that song. It’s just so exuberant. My band has been covering that song for 20 years,” Rzeznik gushed. “It’s just an awesome song and the words are great. I just think [Petty] was a master songwriter. I had the pleasure of meeting him and speaking with him. We talked about people’s interpretations of music and leaving a little room for people to interpret what you’re saying. They own a piece of that song and it becomes part of their life. The story becomes their story, in a way.”
When he got to the word “forever,” Rzeznik burst out laughing before singing the chorus of Taylor Swift‘s 1989 single, “Blank Space.” “Taylor Swift and I performed ‘Iris.’ I guess Taylor Swift said that was the best song ever written. I didn’t know that she had said that, but it was really cool,” the rocker recalled. “The only part of playing with Taylor Swift that made me feel a little uncomfortable was when I was under the stage and they sort of did one of those ‘whoop’ and I popped out of the stage. I was like, ‘Eh, I don’t really want to do that.’ But it’s her show, I’m her guest. I’ll be here to do it.”
He continued that his biggest regret was that he didn’t “stick around” after the show. “I get really anxious after I play,” he said. “I need to escape from it as quickly as possible.”
Rzeznik breezed through Carpenters’ “Superstar” for the word “baby,” The Trammps’ “Disco Inferno” for “burn,” Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” for “out,” The Beatles’ “Yesterday” for the word “yesterday,” The Flaming Lips’ “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton” for “everyone” and more — all while sharing sweet anecdotes along the way.
Rzeznik final “Song Association” score was a flawless 15 out of 15, tying with Charlie Puth for the perfect score. Watch the whole clip below.