Their new album, Gutterflower, taught us what the Goo Goo Dolls learned about ego, opinion, art, and commerce; the Clash's 1977 self-titled album taught the Goo Goo Dolls what they learned about music. Getting three rockers to agree on anything isn't easy, but bassist Robby Takac, drummer Mike Malinin, and frontman Johnny Rzeznik -- who recalls covering the primitive pioneers in a start-up punk band -- unanimously cite The Clash as their greatest influence. -- Adam Duerson
Rzeznik: ''[The Clash] were the first punk rock band I could actually take seriously. They weren't like the Sex Pistols, which was mostly a bunch of contrived garbage. They had something important to sing about, and I think that they were a far more important band. I learned a lot about songwriting from those kind of people.'' Takac: ''When I heard that record as a kid, I didn't really get what it was all about, but I knew there was something great there. Now when I listen, it kind of does something to your brain. To hear a record like that and the power that comes off of it is really amazing.''