When I woke up today knowing that I had to do two posts, I had no idea that one of them would be for “Run-Around” – the best known song by jam band Blues Traveler and one that reminds me so much of my college years, it’s not even funny. I hadn’t thought about it in years, although I do remember liking it quite a bit back in the day. I definitely wouldn’t categorize myself as a Blues Traveler fan, but I like “Run-Around” quite a bit and I even like the follow-up single “Hook” even though I didn’t know the name of that song until tonight and I started listening to more Blues Traveler on Spotify than I’ve listened to in the last 20 years put together.
And what was the source of all this Blues Traveler? I’m not ashamed to say that it was the latest episode of the now-cancelled ABC sit-com Selfie.
Selfie, for those of you who don’t know, is (or rather, was) a modern day take on My Fair Lady, featuring Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame and John Cho of so many bit parts in so many things I would be here all night listing them. Anyway, John Cho’s Henry is the uptight and stiff foil to Gillan’s devil-may-care Eliza. The show kind of stumbled out of the gate for me, but now that we’re to about episode 7 or 8, the show has really started to find its footing so naturally, the network shit-canned it and there will only be 13 total episodes. It’s not fine art or anything, but it’s funny and cute and a shame that there won’t be a chance for it to evolve like so many other sitcoms because the network was unwilling to let it find an audience.
Anyway, the episode we watched tonight involved Henry’s 40th birthday, and Eliza gave him tickets to see a Blues Traveler concert. Hilariously, she found out he was a Blues Traveler fan by stalking all his high school classmates on social media until she found one picture with him in the background wearing a Blues Traveler t-shirt and sporting a rat-tail. After initially saying he didn’t want to go, he went with his equally uptight girlfriend and really let loose, dancing and singing with reckless abandon to, you guessed it, “Run-Around.” It took me back to my college days and also provided a reminder that the people on TV are now frequently my age or younger and that it really has been 20 years since I listened to “Run-Around” in an Iowa City bar. Funny thing is it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.
The other association I have with “Run-Around” is how one day it was on the radio at work and I idly said, “Man, I remember listening to this song at the bars” and a co-worker who, at the time was in her late 20s, told me all about how she would skate to it at the roller skating rink. That was the first time that I realized just how much disparity there was between me and someone who at the time was 10 years younger than me. Now the people that are in their early 20s were barely even born when this song was released.
Time marches on, this much is true. But the music is constant, at least for me. And “Run-Around” will always result in a communion with 22 year-old me who really didn’t have a clue, but was also, paradoxically, better put together than he thought.