Jo Jo Gunne's dazzling performance of Run Run Run on the Midnight Special is one of the most 1970s things ever

Jay Ferguson playing piano wityh Jo Jo Gunne on the Midnight Special
(Image credit: The Midnight Special)

Run Run Run by Jo Jo Gunne is one of the great one-hit-wonders of the 1970s. It's up there with Norman Greenbaum's Spirit in the Sky, Wild Cherry's Play That Funky Music and Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealers Wheel, songs that will live on long after the names of those who originally performed them are forgotten. 

Footage of Jo Jo Gunne playing Run Run Run on The Midnight Special in early 1974 has just been uploaded to the channel's ever-growing YouTube archive of 1970s brilliance, and it's sublime in all its long-haired, moustachioed, silk-shirted, satin-trousered glory. Front and centre is pianist and frontman Jay Ferguson, who alternates between piano stool and stage front, leaping about in leopard-print pants, clearly determined to make the most of the moment as the band keep the party lively. 

Quite what the other acts on the show (Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, Canned Heat, El Chicano, Leo Sayer, Livingstone Taylor and The Spinners) make of it all is unclear, but, half a century later, we're certainly impressed.

Although Run Run Run was Jo Jo Gunne's only real taste of success (the song went Top 30 in the US and Top 10 in the UK), it wasn't for the musicians involved. Notably, Ferguson and bassist Mark Andes had both been founding members of Spirit, but left after the classic Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus album. 

Anders would also find success in the 1980s as Heart's bassist as they sold millions, while Ferguson would go on to play on Joe Walsh's live album You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind and release a string of solo albums. Still, he may ultimately be remembered most for his piano-led theme for the US edition of the popular comedy The Office. He also appeared on-screen on the show as the guitarist in Scrantonicity, the Police covers band fronted by eccentric Dunder Mifflin accountant Kevin Malone.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.