Run Joey Run by David Geddes (Big Tree, 1975)

David Geddes wanted to be rock singer. He recorded a handful of songs of some major labels, but nothing became of it. So he did what a practical person would do and entered law school. In between year 2 & 3, he got a call from Paul Vance, a songwriter with some hits to his credit such as Catch A Falling Star by Perry Como, Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini by Bryan Hyland and Playground In My Mind by Clint Holmes. Not exactly Cole Porter, but hey who is.

Paul remembered David’s voice from some of those earlier failed singles and gave him a call. Imagine that you’ve given up on your musical dreams, you’re knee-deep in habeas corpus and a successful songwriter calls you up out of the blue to sing on one his songs. But that’s what happened to David. I wonder if after he recorded Run Joey Run, he said, ‘Uh, yeah, thanks Paul.”, rolled his eyes and muttered, what a piece of crap. But somehow this melodramatic song connected with people, mostly teenagers with excess babysitting money. It ran up the charts into the Top 10 and convinced David to quit law school and finally live out his dreams.

The song, in a nutshell, is about a guy who knocks some chic up named Julie. The girl’s father (I say, girl, because, besides living with her dad, she sounds like she’s 14 or 15) finds out and decides he’s gonna kill the bastard. Julie pleads that it wasn’t his fault, wherein the dad gives an impromptu 5 minute lesson on the birds & bees. So Julie tries the line, we’re gonna get married, just you wait and see. Though judging by the angry tone in David’s voice he seems annoyed by the whole affair. “Oh god Julie what do you want? Your dad’s got a gun, uh huh….he’s gonna kill me, uh huh…alright, I’ll be right o….what do you mean, don’t come over?….Julie you’re driving me crazy…let me come over and..I’ll talk to your dad….” – click – ‘Oh why didn’t I wear a condom?

So David, uh I mean, Joey, goes over to Julie’s house and sees that her dad was slapping her around. Joey is starting to lose it. What kind of redneck bullshit did I get myself involved in, he thinks. All of sudden, Julie’s dad quietly sneaks up behind him, cocks his gun and says Adios punk. But at the last minute Julie runs in front of Joey and takes the bullet that was rightfully owned by this self-centered swinger. So there’s Joey, staring at a dead pregnant Julie lying in a pool of blood with her dad’s gun still smoking. What happened from there, outside of the violent nightmares that Joey will have, is unclear. But I’m sure somewhere someone was shouting, Run Joey Run Joey Run!

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9 Comments

  1. J.A. Bartlett

     /  August 12, 2011

    “Run Joey Run” is hideous, but I have always found pleasure in Geddes’ committed, Michael Bolton-esque performance. And that video is awesome.

    Reply
  2. Paul Grein once wrote that this is the type of song to play at your party around 3 AM to help get the last few stragglers to leave.

    I love the way the music behind Geddes’ voice sound like it was lifted from a 1970s police drama.

    Reply
  3. This song has nothing on David’s follow up, The Last Game Of The Season (A Blind Man In The Bleachers). That one makes me want to jam sewing needles into my ears.

    By the way, my brother just let me know that one of his professors at Berkeley was Jack Perricone aka Perry Cone , the co-writer of Run Joey Run. Can’t wait for some stories about this one.

    Reply
  4. Perry Fewell

     /  August 14, 2011

    Proof that Glee is the worst show ever and that you can’t polish a turd:

    Reply
    • Perry – I really wish you would focus on the Giants defense rather than read my blog

      Reply
      • The teen girl is Paul Vance’s daughter.

        Man, is this a sick song!!!!! And Glee KNOWS this song..

        Paul Vance didn’t have partner Lee Pockriss with him, suggesting this was written as an early attempt in 1950s, back when it was a la mode obviously to do these teen tragedies.:)
        —PPF1960

  5. This is one of those cheesy songs that you just can’t quite get out of your head, though God knows I’ve tried! On a similar note, have you covered Terry Jack’s song, “Seasons in the Sun”?

    Reply
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