Soul Asylum with President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office

Black Gold At The White House

davidwicaiBlog, Daily Distraction

In September 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the National and Community Service Act during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House befitting of the “rock & roll of the president.”

The act is important for our department because it is the foundation for UServeUtah and the AmeriCorps program. And we all know how well Utahns get out to volunteer.

The ceremony featured a performance by Soul Asylum, who was at the top of their game thanks to their album Grave Dancer’s Union and its hit song, “Runaway Train.” The short clip from MTV News — featuring the once-beloved Kurt Loder and Tabitha Soren — is a great distillation of early ’90s society.

Tabitha Soren, in fact, compares the confusion of most in attendance to that caused by the Clinton’s healthcare proposal. Based on the audience shots, that seemed about right. Even for those who aren’t fans of Soul Asylum, this clip is worth watching for Wolf Blitzer and Andrea Mitchell’s response.

The band, in perfect Gen X style, said it was “weird” to play the White House and compared the event to a “wedding,” “evangelical church service,” and “Chelsea’s prom” without Chelsea (who had school).

Personally, Grave Dancer’s Union was one of my favorite albums in college and it has held up well in the nearly three decades since its release. Amazingly, the band is still together and their latest album is surprisingly good. As for “Runaway Train,” a 25th anniversary remake of the iconic video was released in 2019. This time, however, the video is geotagged and features local missing children.