Music Video Friday: Soul Asylum – Runaway Train

This week’s music video is Runaway Train by Soul Asylum.

I’m sure people remember this video well as it showed photos of actual missing teenagers (mostly runaways). I remember being quite fascinated (and upset) by this video at the time & I often wondered if any of the kids featured in the video had been found.

I hadn’t thought of the video in years until I started doing this Music Video Friday thing. After thinking of doing this one, it suddenly occurred to me that I’d now be able to easily Google it & find out if it really helped to find any of the missing teens. Not all the stories have happy endings, unfortunately, but the video’s director (Tony Kaye) claims that 26 of those featured were found. I think that’s fantastic.

Wikipedia has the most information that I could find (link HERE):

“There were three original versions of the video in the United States, totaling 36 missing children shown. Depending on what country the video was being broadcast, they would show children from that area who are missing. The version shown in Australia showed a number of young backpacking tourists whose families were looking for them. Several of them turned out to be victims of Ivan Milat, the Backpacker Murderer.

The UK version of the video featured Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol, who each went missing in 1991. Their remains were found in 2007 at a house in Margate. Peter Tobin has since been convicted of both murders.

Curtis Huntzinger, who was featured in the US video, was located deceased in 2008. His convicted killer, Stephen Daniel Hash, is currently serving a sentence of 11 years for manslaughter in Folsom State Prison.

The last image in all three U.S. versions of the song is Thomas Dean Gibson, who disappeared from Glendale, Oregon, in 1991 at the age of 2. He is still missing as of 2014, and age-progressed photos of him at age 19 and age 21 were released in 2009 and 2012, respectively, by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. His father, Larry Gibson, a former deputy sheriff, was convicted of second degree manslaughter for accidentally shooting his son to death when he shot at a stray cat in his front yard even though no remains were ever found. He steadfastly denies killing his son and has worked on finding him since being released from prison in 1996.”

I also read in a couple of articles that the band would sometimes be approached by people who had been in the video & they weren’t all happy at having been found, as some had run away from bad situations at home. However, despite the sad stories (which are the only ones that are focused on in what I’ve been able to find), there were still 26 teenagers who were reunited with their families & I think the director and the band did the video with the right intentions. It’s great that a music video was used for a good cause instead of once again just featuring scantily clad women.

(But man I hate 90’s music like this, which I already had a rant about when I posted Blind Melon’s No Rain…). 😉 But I always appreciate a good video, whether or not I like the song. 

Here’s one version of the video:


50 thoughts on “Music Video Friday: Soul Asylum – Runaway Train

  1. I remember reading this too when I used the song as Line(s) of the Day. I even looked at the comments beneath it on Youtube. I’m glad they did make such a difference, even if they couldn’t help everyone.

    • Yeah – I really liked that it felt like they were trying to do something good with the video. Much better than the usual narcissistic crap we get from music videos, especially these days! 🙂

  2. Nice post table9mutant, I appreciated hearing the followup 22 years later – I’ve always been a fan of this song & it’s nice to hear some of these had positive endings due to the video .

  3. I just happened upon your blog and really like your weekly music video feature.

    I think you might be surprised by some of Soul Asylum. They weren’t/aren’t just radio friendly soft rock by any means. But they were never “grunge” either, the band pre-dates that genre by about a decade. Their music is rather eclectic. It’s too bad they’re largely thought of as “the one hit wonders with the song about missing kids”. And as someone else mentioned, they still put on a great live show.

    • Thanks for the comment! 🙂 It makes me really happy to hear from someone who likes my Music Video Friday – they tend to be my least-viewed posts but I enjoy them so I just keep posting them anyway. lol 😉 (although I’m taking this one week off from the blog – I better get another ready for next week!). Yeah, I’ll admit that I know none of their other songs but I suppose that’s what often happens – a band has one mainstream hit & then that’s all anybody knows. I was still a bit of a metalhead at that time in my life so didn’t tend to explore bands like these. I’m sure I missed out on some good stuff. 🙂

      • I just asked for notifications so I can see future posts 🙂

        I realize most people only know of and noticed Soul Asylum for this song. I think it’s kind of sad because they’re much more than this. I’m not even sure I’d say this is a typical Soul Asylum song so much, they were still pretty new to acoustic guitars at this time (LOL). This is from the same year and off the same album as Runaway Train. I suspect most people wouldn’t guess it was the same band:

        Did you see this when looking up info about this vid? It talk about the song and how the idea for the video came about and the impact of the video:

      • Oh! Somebody To Shove!!! How could I forget about that song?! I completely forgot about it! I liked that song. Thanks for the reminder! 😉 Wow. I far prefer it to Runaway Train as well. 🙂 Yeah – that Spin article was good. It really is an interesting story behind the video. I took a week off from blogging & the Music Video thing but I’ll get something together for this Friday. Hmm…. 🙂

  4. Here are eighteen different types of cheese:

    1) Gouda
    2) Brie
    3) Stilton
    4) Gruyere
    5) Monterey jack
    6) Gorgonzola
    7) Danish feta
    8) Swiss
    9) Bandal
    10) Mascarpone torta
    11) Leerdammer
    12) Fontainebleau
    13) Xynotyro
    14) Cachaille
    15) Sardo
    16) American
    17) Seator’s Orkney
    18) Manon

    • Hahahaha!!!! Tom! You’re totally nuts. 😉 And you crack me the hell up! If you’re calling this song cheesy, I do totally agree with you. 😉 When this came out, I was still a full-on metalhead so I appreciated the video although the song wasn’t really my thing so much. But now I know you’re a Dream Theater fan! You really got me thinking about some of the things I listened to back in the mid-90’s. It’s funny how I’ve dropped it all & never listened to any of it again. More than anything, though, my true love will always be 70’s & 80’s rock & metal.

      • Haha! That’s amazing, I actually wasn’t even referring to the song as being cheesy but that’s perfect. Happy accident! 😀

        Yeah, DT’s the shit. I’m pretty hardcore about them. Music is so freaking vast (I guess like movies) that it’s easy to drop an entire genre, forget about them, and then come back to them some years later and be all like, ‘wait, this shit is awesome, why and how did I get out of it?’

        ’70s and ’80s rock is definitely good. I need to be educated on it more though for sure.

      • You’ve made me want to dig out the rest of the stuff my mid-90’s ex listened to. Let’s see… Dream Theater, Saigon Kick, um… Manowar! Lol! Savatage, Helloween… I have all this stuff on CDs all put away where I can’t get them. I miss CDs! 😦

      • Helloween! That’s an amazing band name! I’m glad I’ve inspired you. I will try and seek some of this stuff out myself. I think I’ve heard Manowar come up in conversation before. Me and my college roommate were super-nerds of DT and he listened to a lot more music than I did.

        There’s another cool band if you haven’t heard, called Edguy. They’ve got some great stuff. Pretty obscure tho

      • Helloween IS a cool band name! Damn – that should’ve gone in my cool band names list. Edguy, hmm? Never heard of them! I’ll have to go check YouTube. Unless they’re too obscure. 🙂

      • They should be YouTube-able. (Oooh, that’s a cool word. I want to use that more often.)

        I don’t know much about them but Edguy has one or two really awesome songs I basically wore out freshman/sophomore year of college.

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