Archive for June, 2001

For ten long days the “news” page and several others here at Hit By A Train have been down. In addition, all e-mail addresses (and that means the “Satellite Rides Sweepstakes“) have been kaput too. And while the immediate crisis has passed, the cause of the original problem hasn’t yet been fully determined, so please let me know if you encounter other problems with the site.

Since the last news update, “Designs On You” is making one nice splash, thanks to you guys! Elektra began it’s push to radio this week, and already “Designs” is the number 1 most added single on “AAA” Radio and the #6 most added on “Hot AC” Radio. I’ll do some checking, but this may well be the best ever debut for any Old 97’s single!

But on the downside, the Old 97’s last week suffered their first cancelled show in eight years. It was the Saturday June 16 show at Hooligan’s in Long Branch, New Jersey, and occurred after singer Rhett Miller reamed his voice into a whisper with several brutal weeks of touring and a blistering 6/15 show at Manhattan’s Irving Plaza. Read on, as guitarist Ken Bethea dropped a line on the night of the cancelled show, as the band sat bored in their hotel:

We cancelled our show tonight in New Jersey.

For the people who came, we are soooooo sorry. We’ve never done this. We want to apologize.

Rhett’s voice, for the first time in 8 years, was gone. Shot. He couldn’t talk. Only whispers this morning and coughing up gross stuff.

We talked about playing like, 6 Murry songs and some instrumentals but it would have probably just made Rhett want to sing and hurt it more. I know a couple of jokes. Murry and I can juggle a bit. We could maybe have gotten Noah to jump onstage and do the splits.

Worst news is yet to come…

Springsteen was coming to the show. He was on the way when the club owner called him and said we had cancelled.


So Murry and I are sitting here in Philly on a Saturday night with nothing to do. We’re watching Justice Files.

At least tomorrow I’m going to Gettysburg to look at battlefield and he’s going to DC to look up train stuff…

We’ll be back home in July. Hope to see ya then.



The second single off the Old 97’s Satellite Rides will be the sly and lilting “Designs On You.” Elektra begins its push to have radio stations add “Designs” to their playlists on June 18. That means it’s time we kick off Phase II of our “Satellite Rides Sweepstakes,” and start cranking out those calls to our favorite stations too!

To get you primed, check out this big batch of 97’s webanalia. First up are these cuts, recorded live in-studio for the folks at VH1 and MTV:

Designs On You

King Of All The World

Lonely Holiday

In addition has their own exclusive, live acoustic versions of “Indefinitely” and “King Of All The

World,” available for download in the Liquid Audio format at:

And for 24 hours, beginning at 3:00pm EST June 21, the House of Blues ( will be webcasting the recent Old 97’s El Lay show. For more info on the June 21st webcast click here.

Also, the Olds are featured at as Celebrity DJ’s where they’re spinning some favorite tunes. If you click here for more, you’ll note a playlist that includes the likes of Stereolab and the Stones, The Breeders and REM, Thelonious Monk, Waylon Jennings, and KISS.

Now, if Matchbox Twenty were to supply a playlist, we might safely guess that it would include the Old 97’s, which are “One of our all-time favorite bands… and possibly one of the greatest bands ever.” – Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty. And speaking of MB20, before they take their August spot on the Matchbox Twenty – Train bill, the 97’s remain on the road, in a headline tour which also includes the terrific Josh Joplin Group. Be there!

Finally, several of you asked what happened to the 97’s scheduled June 11 taping on the Late Late Show with Craig Killborn. Apparently the taping schedule was changed, so that the Monday 6/11 Killborn show was being “pre-taped” last Friday, June 8. That meant that your favorite rock band was unable to make it, but will likely be rescheduled to appear at a later date.

…oh, oh, almost forgot: This past Monday, before the Old 97’s taping for HBO’s Reverb, calls are received at the show’s venue, L.A.’s Knitting Factory, from one über-talented performer who is trying to make sure he’ll be able to get in to see the 97’s set. Afterwards, said singer-songwriter is seen backstage visiting one-one-one with the Old’s Rhett Miller. OK, so pulling rank to get on a guestlist or slip backstage ain’t unusual. But what if the performer in question had in the past gone out of his way to blast the Old 97’s, both publicly and privately. Yeah, so maybe 1997’s squabbles are old news, but in a slow week, it was cool to hear the the Old 97’s and Ryan Adams are getting along well these days.