Following last weekend’s mass shooting in Buffalo, New York — in which 18-year-old Payton Gendron allegedly killed 10 Black shoppers in what’s been described as a racially motivated shooting — one famous Buffalo artist says the event has sent “shockwaves through the whole community.”
The Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik, born and raised in Buffalo, tells ABC Audio, “I feel mostly for the community that it’s in and the people who live and work and shop in that neighborhood.”
The shooting took place at a Tops supermarket, a local chain, and John notes, “[It’s] such an important sort of anchor for that community, because there’s not a lot of big supermarkets in that neighborhood. There aren’t any, other than that one.”
Indeed, since the supermarket’s been closed, local organizations have had to step in to provide food for the locals. John says, “My biggest hope is that they keep that store open, because that community really needs that.” He also says he and his Goo Goo Dolls bandmates are “willing and available” to do a benefit, if asked.
But earlier this week, John had happier news in another part of the state: He was in New York City to be honored as Rocker of the Year at the Little Kids Rock 20th anniversary benefit. The nonprofit supports music education in public schools nationwide.
“It’s something that we wanted to get more involved with. I was pretty surprised that I was going to be one of the honorees. I thought that was really cool,” John tells ABC Audio.
But it wasn’t that cool for John’s daughter, Lilliana, who accompanied him.
“I asked her, ‘Well, did you like when I was singing?’ And she said to me, ‘I don’t like when your hair is in your eyes,'” he laughs. “That’s typical. You know, she’s my kid. I’m her dad … I don’t think she gets it. I don’t think she’s all that impressed with it!”
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