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Runaway” for a bunch of runners


Once a year I get to lead a band, and we play for the 2000-3000 runners in the Manhattan Beach (CA) 10K Run. There are other bands along the route, but we've been on the same corner for about 10 years, and my friend who gave me the gig when he moved out of state was there every year for about 15 years before it. The fun part about it is I get to play with whomever I want. The not-so-fun part is the down beat is 7:30 am.

This year I had a gig the night before, about 60 miles away, that ended at 1:30 am. So I didn't go home afterward, I went to our street corner (after buying coffee and donuts for the band; it's a tradition), took an hour nap, and started setting up.

This year, I convinced Jake Kelly, with whom I play in the Haywire Country Band, to get up that early and join us. Our whole set list is (slightly) running-oriented songs (including "Long May You Run," "Runnin' Down A Dream," "Run Through the Jungle," you get the idea). If you didn't know, Jake used to play with Gary Allan, and so it was just natural that we covered Gary's version of "Runaway," if for no other reason than so I could yell "Jake Kelly on guitar!" before the solo like Gary does on the record.

So without any rehearsal beforehand, here's our first shot at "Runaway." The rest of the band consists of long-time co-conspirators Des Brewer on bass and Steve Ebner on drums, and even longer co-conspirator Michael Perricone (we've played together since high school), and me. Jake even covers that high part in the chorus, which I couldn't sing at that hour of the morning. A good time was had by all.

I live-streamed the whole performance on Facebook from my iPhone and downloaded it to edit it, hence the limited visual quality. The iPhone was closest to Jake so you hear him better than most of us. I had planned to live-stream from my GoPro, using a fairly wide-angle shot so you could see the runners going by, but I couldn't make it work (I was a little sleepy) in time before we had to play. Next year.


Jake Kelly - what a hack. Ha!

Thanks for having me on the gig, Frank. It’s an honor playing with you.


What a great gig to do -- even at that hour of the morning. Did you throw in Keep On Running by Spencer Davis?


Ooh, hadn't thought of that one, good idea. There are plenty of possibilities, I just thought of "It Keeps You Runnin'" by the Doobies, but that's a Michael McDonald-era song so there are lots of chords for that hour of the morning. "Takin' It to the Streets" even sort of fits, now that I think of that album. The set currently list includes "Fast As You," "Six Days on the Road," and for the stragglers at the end, "Walk, Don't Run," "I'm A-Walkin'," and "Walk Right In, Sit Right Down."


Running songs... Running Back to Saskatoon - Guess Who, I Will Run After You - Frank Black & The Catholics [too slow?], Running with the Devil? - Van Halen?, Race with the Devil - Girlschool?, Run Like Hell - Pink Floyd, Time - Pink Floyd, Run for Your Life - Twisted Sister, Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden, “Run Run Run”, Band on the Run, I’m Always on the Run - Lenny K., Take the Money and Run.

St. Elmo’s Fire, theme song for Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion Tour.

You Got Me Running.

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