In July 1983, a show called Friday Night Videos came on the air. It was NBC’s attempt at trying to capitalize on the quickly emerging popularity of music videos. As a young boy, I was not only fascinated by music videos (as was the majority of the population) but I also wanted to stay up late on Friday nights. This show was perfect for me!
By the time 1984 rolled around, I had a television in my room. My parents were always asleep well before midnight, so sneaking the TV on was something I did on many an occasion. I would watch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and think it was the greatest thing in the world. Every weekend, however, my time was spent watching music videos.
One night I was watching Friday Night Videos when this incredibly different and unique song started with a drum beat. As the drums pounded out a beat, I heard a killer guitar riff and then…could it be? A FIDDLE?!?!
I was immediately mesmerized by “Run Runaway”.
I watched the rest of the show and was still wondering about that song. I had written down the track and band name so I could go look for their cassette the next time I ordered from the Columbia Record & Tape Club.
I stayed up late that night, as the local ABC Bangor affiliate station had their own 90-minute video show. As I switched over to their program, I saw the video AGAIN!
This was awesome, I thought. I only wished that I could have turned it up so I could really hear it.
The next afternoon I was watching American Bandstand, as I normally did. Most of the songs of the day were dance or pop, but they always had a band “perform” (well…they lip-synced their latest hit song). No word of lie, but on this day SLADE was there to perform “Run Runaway”!!
THIS WAS A SIGN!! I don’t recall how quickly I purchased their cassette, “Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply”, but it wasn’t very long afterwards. I’m pretty sure I played that cassette out just from listening to the one song over and over again. To this day, it’s still a favourite I love to crank up in the car.
And funny enough, one of my favourite Canadian bands used this song to kick-off their 20-year music career. What’s funny (to me, at least) is that many Great Big Sea fans to this day don’t even know that this wasn’t an original song by Great Big Sea, but was actually a cover.