Remember Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” Video? What Happened to All Those Kids?

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oul Asylum had a major hit with this song from their 1992 album, Grave Dancer’s Union.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the missing kids featured in the video? MelMagazine did this follow-up.

The attention came in the form of a music video for a song called “Runaway Train” by the alternative rock band Soul Asylum, who, in 1993, were at the height of their success. The group had just released their sixth — and most popular — album, Grave Dancer’s Union, which ended up going triple platinum. “Runaway Train” — which would remain on the Billboard charts for more than 40 weeks, and which the band would play at Bill Clinton’s inaugural ball — was one of its singles.

The idea for the song’s video had begun with a milk carton — and, by extension, another missing kid.

Etan Patz, abducted in SoHo in May 1979, may be the most famous missing American child of the last half-century, and the case’s fame rests, in part, on Patz’s face being displayed on the side of a milk carton. Depending on whom you ask, his was either the first or among the first. And that lit the spark for the video, its director, Tony Kaye, has said: “I was being driven home one night and I saw a poster — I think it was a milk poster… where it was missing kids on the carton.”

“Runaway Train” is a power ballad about depression. But Kaye decided the music video ought to be about something else: missing children. Over the course of four and a half minutes, the video toggles between footage of the band singing — the stuff of traditional music videos — and kids making a break for it; at the end, it depicts an abduction. Dotted throughout are photos and names of real missing children along with the date on which each disappeared.

Read the full story here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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