Music In High Places
The Goo Goo Dolls
The Goo Goo Dolls formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1986 and spent many struggling years before the hard work and sweat finally paid off with the 1998 release of Dizzy Up The Girl.  This breakthrough album generated worldwide sales of six million with smash singles including Iris, Black Balloon and the webmaster's favorite Slide.

Enter MTV with an original television concept called "Music in High Places." Musicians are brought to remote and scenic locations with a camera and recording crew where they perform their songs outdoors and interact with the locals.  In July of 2002, the Goo Goo Dolls were flown to Alaska where they visited several towns and performed their songs.  Some of the environmental sounds actually can be heard on the recording such as water flowing around the glacier ice.  The program also includes interviews with the band as well as video footage of them having fun with the town's residents.  Here is the performance list:

    Performed the song Black Balloon at Lake George

       Exprienced the Alaskan tradition of dog sledding at Punchbowl Glacier

          Performed the song Acoustic #3 on an iceberg at Knik Glacier

             At the Seaview Bar in Hope, they belted out a rendition of the Broadway

                Members of the band got down and dirty as they joined kids in mud sliding fun in Hope

             Alaska Railroad employees are treated to Here is Gone as the Aurora travels from Moose Pass to Tunnel

          A Kotzebue highway bridge became the stage for Big Machine

             The Goo Goo Dolls made a personal appearance at radio station KOTZ in Kotzebue

                Children from Kotzebue performed an eskimo dance at a beach for the band

             The Goo Goo Dolls returned the favor by playing What a Scene

          Bass guitarist Robby Takac got a big thrill as the people of Kotzebue send him flying during a blanket toss

       Their number one hit Slide was performed on ice at Knik Glacier

    The performance ended with a recap of the various stops the band made in Alaska


The part we Alaska Railroad railfans find most interesting is the video shoot on the Aurora (the ARRC business car) as it travels from Moose Pass to Tunnel.  Here are a few interesting tidbits:

The shoot itself took place on July 16, 2002. Locomotive GP40-H number 3014 pulled the passenger consist. It is a shame that it wasn't 3015, but nobody's perfect.

Native Alaskan, Katie Solmonson, who worked as a tour guide for the Alaska Railroad for three years, managed to wrangle a ride aboard the video train. Not only does she appear multiple times in the video itself, but she got to reprise her role as tour guide when the band asked lots of questions about the Alaskan scenery viewed through the train's windows. Katie (shown below with the group) is currently a student at Hillsdale College in Michigan. [Webmaster's note: Coincidentally, she was my tour guide on a Seward to Anchorage leg in June 2000.]

Erik Forland was the conductor and Kameron Draper was the brakeman during the video shoot. The train initially left Seward with the video crew and later picked up the Goo Goo Dolls in Moose Pass. The MTV crew shot the video twice, once with the fans and workers and once without them. Apparently they liked the version with the people enjoying the music.