Music: Soul Asylum

Soul Asylum is an American alternative rock band lead by singer/guitarist Dave Pirner that have been active since 1983. Best known for their 1993 song "Runaway Train" that featured pictures of missing persons (localised to the country the video was being shown in) interspersed with the video itself followed by a short Public Service Announcement by Pirner. The band faded away from public conciousness as the 90s drew to a close but are still recording and touring.

Pirner and Winona Ryder dated for three years in the mid 1990s leading to Pirner starting a bizarre one sided feud with Primus after Pirner took violent exception to their song "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" despite lead singer Les Claypool's adamant statement that the song was not about Ryder - if nothing else the title is spelled and pronounced differently to her name.


  • Say What You Will, Clarence... Karl Sold the Truck (1984)
  • Made to Be Broken (1986)
  • While You Were Out (1986)
  • Hang Time (1988)
  • And the Horse They Rode In On (1990)
  • Grave Dancers Union (1992)
  • Let Your Dim Light Shine (1995)
  • Candy from a Stranger (1998)
  • The Silver Lining (2006)
  • Delayed Reaction (2012)

This band and their music contain examples of:

  • Author Existence Failure: Original bass player Karl Mueller passed away in 2005 from cancer.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: "Runaway Train" was instrumental in reuniting twenty-six children with their families (but see Nice Job Breaking It, Hero below).
  • Face of the Band: Pirner is the only remaining member of the original lineup.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "Never Really Been," a song off their 1986 album Made To Be Broken, contained the line "And where will you be in 1993?" In 1993 Soul Asylum finally received national fame after years of scuffling on the indie scene. They played the song the following year on MTV Unplugged, and the quoted line got a huge round of applause.
  • Long Runner Line Up: The original lineup lasted twelve years.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: One child after being recognised on the video was forced back into a bad home situation after being turned in.
  • Public Service Announcement: At the end of the video to "Runaway Train" followed by the number of local missing persons helpline
    —Dave Pirner: "If you've seen one of these kids, or you are one of them, please call this number."
  • The Weird Al Effect: "The Night Santa Went Crazy" was based on their minor hit "Black Gold".