Wait, viral 'Bean Dad' is actually an indie rock icon? Looking back at his band

Get to know John Roderick's The Long Winters

January 6, 2021

Photo credit Getty Images

Quick summary: Twitter's first viral character of the year was a man, known as "Bean Dad," who had the platform buzzing with a series of posts showing his young daughter spending hours struggling to open up a can of beans. He called it a "teaching moment," while some on the Internet lost their minds over the matter.

After initially accepting the #BeanDad label, the Tweets as well as the entire account, have since been deleted. The reason? Some people said the incident sounded like child abuse, some didn't. Others dove deeper and found a history of inappropriate language on his feed.

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"Bean Dad" is actually a real guy named John Roderick, a podcaster and musician who had toured with the Seattle Alternative group Harvey Danger ("Flagpole Sitta") and has his own Indie band called The Long Winters.

Originally formed in 2001 by Harvey Danger singer Sean Nelson and Roderick, they brought on Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, Sky Cries Mary’s Joe Bass, and Fountains Of Wayne’s Brian Young to record their first offering The Worst You Can Do Is Harm.

Following the release of their second album, When I Pretend to Fall, Seattle's Barsuk Records took note and eventually sent them on the road with labelmates Nada Surf and Death Cab for Cutie. Roderick built out an official band but Nelson left to reform Harvey Danger only a few years later. After more line-up changes and touring slots with The Pernice Brothers, The Decemberists, and Keane the band fell apart once again leaving Roderick solo with his tracks.

He's continued to release music under the Winters moniker through the years.

While his now-deleted "parental theater" Tweets may be lost to the electrons, the story continues. Roderick posted an apology on Tuesday saying "I deactivated my Twitter yesterday in a panic. I had to reflect on what I’d done and the hurt I’d caused and my mind was clouded by an unprecedented flow of new information. I want to acknowledge and make amends for the injuries I caused. I have many things to atone for. My parenting story’s insensitivity and the legacy of hurtful language in my past are both profound failures. I want to confront them directly."

After explaining his side of the story, Roderick took ownership of the situation and announced a hiatus from public life. "I have a lot more reflecting to do in the coming days so I’ll be taking a hiatus from my public life to let some of these lessons sink in. I apologize to my partners, my friends, and to all the people affected by my words for the hurt I caused."

It's been a wild 2021, folks.

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