John Roderick (musician)

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John Roderick
Roderick performing in December 2012
Born (1968-09-13) September 13, 1968 (age 55)
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • podcaster
  • politician
Years active1997–present
ParentDavid Roderick (father)
RelativesJack Roderick (uncle)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass
  • keyboards
LabelsBarsuk Records
Member ofThe Long Winters
Formerly of Edit this at Wikidata

John Morgan Roderick[1] (born September 13, 1968) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, podcaster, and politician. He is the lead singer and guitarist of the rock band The Long Winters, was a touring member of the rock band Harvey Danger, and co-hosts the podcasts Roderick On The Line, Road Work, and Omnibus.

Early life[edit]

Roderick was born in Seattle on September 13, 1968, the son of Marcia and David Roderick. His father was a Washington State legislator and World War II veteran.[2] His mother was a computer programmer who eventually rose to an executive position working for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.[3] Roderick has three older half-siblings from his father, and a sister, Susan.[2]

In 1971, the family moved to Anchorage, Alaska.[3] In 1973, Roderick's parents divorced and his mother took John and Susan back to Washington state, but returned to Anchorage shortly after.[2] He graduated from East Anchorage High and moved back to Seattle. Roderick enrolled at Gonzaga University in 1987, but left after two years.[3] In 2019, Roderick graduated with a BA from the University of Washington after three decades of undergraduate study.[4]


Western State Hurricanes (1997–1999)[edit]

Roderick's first major band was The Western State Hurricanes, which he started while attending the University of Washington. The band enjoyed quick success, playing their first show at Seattle venue "The Breakroom" in May 1998.[3] The band split after failing to sign a deal with Sub Pop Records.[5] Having recorded an unreleased album in the late 1990s, Roderick was prompted by Pete Greenberg to remaster their debut album, Through With Love, which was announced in late 2019 by Latent Print Records. In February 2020, the band regrouped to perform shows, including a recorded performance on KEXP.[6]

Harvey Danger (1999–2001)[edit]

After the disbanding of The Western State Hurricanes, Roderick was offered a spot to play keyboard in popular Seattle band Harvey Danger. Roderick played with the band until they went on hiatus in April 2001.

The Long Winters (2001–present)[edit]

Along with former Harvey Danger singer/songwriter Sean Nelson, Roderick founded the indie rock band The Long Winters in the wake of Harvey Danger's breakup. Roderick penned the band's first album, The Worst You Can Do Is Harm, in 2001 and released the album on Barsuk Records. The band since released two more albums, When I Pretend to Fall (2003) and Putting the Days to Bed (2006), and one EP titled Ultimatum (2005). The band still plays shows, playing at the inaugural Upstream Festival in 2017.[7]


Merlin Mann and Roderick

In September 2011, Roderick began co-hosting the Roderick on the Line podcast with Merlin Mann.[8] On August 13, 2015, he released the first episode of his second podcast, called Road Work, with co-host Dan Benjamin.[9] Both podcasts are loose-form and conversation based, with new episodes released at irregular intervals.

On September 7, 2017, HowStuffWorks announced a new show entitled Omnibus, co-hosted by Roderick and former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings. Alternating as host each episode, they discuss topics they "fear might be lost to history", typically niche cultural trends and historical events. The first episode was posted on December 7, 2017.[10] On August 9, 2019, they announced their separation from iHeartRadio, and shifted to a Patreon-funded model.[11] On January 1, 2023, the podcast decreased from twice weekly to once a week,[12] citing the time required for Jennings' work as Jeopardy! host.[13]

Roderick, along with Adam Pranica and Benjamin Ahr Harrison, presented Friendly Fire, a weekly podcast about war films that ran from January 12, 2018 to January 22, 2021.[14][15]

Musical collaborations[edit]

Roderick frequently collaborates with other musicians. Along with collaborator Sean Nelson, he provided vocals on Death Cab for Cutie's album Transatlanticism. He also collaborated with Jonathan Coulton for Coulton's album Artificial Heart, released in September 2011,[16] as well as the duo's Christmas album One Christmas at a Time. Roderick co-wrote the song "Poor Judge" on Aimee Mann's 2017 album Mental Illness.[17] Roderick co-wrote "Soft Place to Land" for Kathleen Edwards's Voyageur album; the song won the 2012 SOCAN Echo Songwriting Prize.[18]

Political career[edit]

Roderick became a founding member of the Seattle Music Commission in 2010, appointed to the position by former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.[19]

In 2015, encouraged by McGinn, Roderick announced his candidacy for Seattle City Council Position 8, one of two city council positions that represent the entire city.[20] He came in third place in the citywide primary, winning 15.90% of the vote.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Roderick currently lives in Seattle with his daughter. In 2017, he was honored with the position of King Neptune for the 2017 Seattle Seafair.[22]


In January 2021, Roderick posted a Twitter thread in which he discussed preventing his nine-year-old daughter from eating a can of baked beans until she could open it using a manual can opener by herself, which he estimated took six hours.[23][24][25] His comments were met with a large outcry on Twitter, and some users began derisively referring to Roderick as "Bean Dad".[25][26]

Following the controversy, the podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me, which had previously used The Long Winters' song "It's a Departure" from the album Putting the Days to Bed as a theme, announced that they would be removing the music from the show.[25][27] Friendly Fire, which was co-hosted by Roderick, went on a brief hiatus before announcing on January 22 that it would not be returning.[15]

Roderick posted an extensive apology[28] to his website addressing the controversy. Roderick stated the story was "poorly told", and not properly contextualized. He added that they had eaten a large breakfast, that they were smiling and laughing throughout the ordeal, and that she had had access to other snacks. He also apologized for the language of his story, claiming he was not aware how it affected abuse survivors. Roderick additionally addressed his self-described "racist, anti-Semitic, hurtful and slur-filled tweets" from 2011 that had resurfaced at the same time as "intended to be ironic, sarcastic" but still "wrong."[29][30][31][32]

Roderick later stated he received a visit from Child Protective Services to verify the welfare of his daughter because of the controversy, and that they had found nothing of concern.[33]


  1. ^ "Mobile Jubilees (Entry 797.LV2512)". Omnibus (Podcast). March 4, 2021. Event occurs at 35:11. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Former legislator David Roderick dead at 86". The Seattle Times. December 26, 2007. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d DeRoche, Jeff. "Harm's Way". The Stranger. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  4. ^ @johnroderick (September 13, 2019). "@_ It's closer to the truth to say "after three decades of undergraduate study"" (Tweet). Retrieved September 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Silencing the Knuckleheads". City Arts. May 27, 2015. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved October 11, 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ "Western State Hurricanes - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)". YouTube. February 6, 2020. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  7. ^ "Check Out The Lineup | Upstream Music Fest + Summit". Archived from the original on October 20, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  8. ^ "Roderick on the Line". Merlin Mann. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  9. ^ "Road Work". 5by5. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  10. ^ "Episode Archive". Omnibus. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  11. ^ Roderick, Ken Jennings and John. "The Monkey Selfie (Entry 803.MT2220)". Omnibus. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  12. ^ Roderick, Ken Jennings and John. "Emperor Norton (Entry 408.MT2221)". Omnibus. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  13. ^ Ayana, Archive (July 28, 2022). "'Jeopardy!' says Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will split the host job". NPR. Retrieved February 11, 2023.
  14. ^ "Friendly Fire Podcast". Maximum Fun. January 11, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Over and Out (2021)". Friendly Fire (Podcast). Maximum Fun. January 22, 2021. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  16. ^ "First Track from Artificial Heart - Jonathan Coulton". Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  17. ^ "Aimee Mann - Mental Illness". Discogs. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  18. ^ Wheeler, Brad (October 19, 2012). "Kathleen Edwards, John Roderick". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 20, 2012.
  19. ^ The Seattle Music Commission Archived April 16, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Groover, Heidi (April 6, 2015). "Musician John Roderick to Run for Citywide Council Seat". The Stranger. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  21. ^ "King County 2015 Primary Election Results".
  22. ^ "Seafair Royalty". Archived from the original on August 30, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  23. ^ Welk, Brian; Rossi, Rosemary (January 3, 2021). "Bean Dad Makes His 9-Year Old Struggle to Open Can of Beans for 6 Hours, Infuriates Twitter: 'Self-Absorbed A–Hat'". The Wrap. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  24. ^ Rettig, James (January 3, 2021). "Long Winters' John Roderick Dubbed 'Bean Dad' After Viral Tweet About His Daughter". Stereogum. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  25. ^ a b c "Outcry as 'bean dad' forces hungry child to open tin can". BBC News. January 4, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  26. ^ Prigge, Matt (January 3, 2021). "Twitter Blew Up On A 'Bean Dad' Who Wouldn't Teach His Young Daughter How To Use A Can Opener". Uproxx. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  27. ^ Binder, Matt (January 3, 2021). "'Bean Dad' becomes Twitter's first 'main character' of 2021". Mashable. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  28. ^ "An Apology". John Roderick.
  29. ^ "'Bean dad' apologises after tin can posts cause outcry". BBC News. January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  30. ^ Aswad, Jem (January 5, 2021). "'Bean Dad' and Indie Musician John Roderick Apologizes for Controversy, Past Racist Tweets". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  31. ^ Rossi, Rosemary (January 4, 2021). "Bean Dad Deletes Twitter Account After Old Anti-Semitic, Homophobic Tweets Resurface". TheWrap. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  32. ^ Spearman, Kahron (January 4, 2021). "'Bean Dad' exposed for racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic tweets". The Daily Dot. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  33. ^ Skenazy, Lenore (February 16, 2021). "Remember Bean Dad? Child Protective Services Was Called to Check on His Daughter". Retrieved February 11, 2023.

External links[edit]