Nathan Apodaca’s truck had already logged some 320,000 miles. One morning last month, it couldn’t go a mile more. The truck broke down on a highway in Idaho Falls, Idaho, about 2 miles from the potato warehouse where Apodaca has worked for nearly two decades.
Luckily, he had a skateboard in his truck, along with a bottle of Ocean Spray’s Cran-Raspberry juice.
“I was just sitting there, and I’m like, ‘OK, I’m not gonna sit here and wait for nobody to pull some jumper cables,’ ” Apodaca told NPR. ” ‘I’m not gonna flag anyone down.’ So I grab my juice, grab my longboard, started heading to work.”
The story could have ended there. As many know by now, it didn’t.
As Apodaca rolled down a hill, he casually turned on his TikTok account, @420doggface208, and created a video that would make a cultural sensation of his fairly prosaic, if resourceful, commute to work.
“When I heard ‘Dreams,’ that’s when I figured, ‘OK, this is it,’ ” said Apodaca, a 37-year-old father of two. After the video took off, that 1977 hit single, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, catapulted back on the charts, tripling in sales. The band also reported its best week ever on streaming.
This wasn’t Apodaca’s first TikTok video. He has been making them for about two years, mostly on lunch breaks at his factory job. He was first turned onto the app at the urging of his teenage daughter.Viral Video Makes Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ A Hit Song Again
In the video that launched him into Internet fame, you see him wearing a gray hoodie — juice bottle in hand. He gives a cool-guy “what’s up?” nod to the screen. Then he turns his head around to check traffic, revealing a feather tattoo, which honors his Native American mother.
“I couldn’t hear nothing when I was looking around for the cars, because the wind was in my ears. So when I turned and the wind cut out is when I caught the part where she gets the vocals,” he said, referencing the end of the video, when he lip-syncs Stevie Nicks’ lyrics.