Idaho TikTok Star Who Sent Fleetwood Mac Sales Soaring Nathan Apodaca, 37, of Idaho Falls, recorded a laid-back video while riding a skateboard downhill and drinking Cran-Raspberry juice. The Internet went wild and streamed Fleetwood Mac.
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TikTok Sensation: Meet The Idaho Potato Worker Who Sent Fleetwood Mac Sales Soaring

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TikTok Sensation: Meet The Idaho Potato Worker Who Sent Fleetwood Mac Sales Soaring

TikTok Sensation: Meet The Idaho Potato Worker Who Sent Fleetwood Mac Sales Soaring

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Video streaming app TikTok has created Internet fame for many, mostly the young and trendy. But the latest sensation does not fit that bill. NPR's Bobby Allyn introduces us to the potato worker from Idaho Falls.

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: Nathan Apodaca's SUV had 320,000 miles. One morning last month, it couldn't go a mile more. It broke down on the highway, far away from the potato warehouse where he works. But he had a skateboard in his truck and a bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice.

NATHAN APODACA: I was just sitting there, and I was like, OK, I'm not going to sit here and wait for nobody to pull some jumper cables, you know, or I'm not going to flag nobody down. So I grabbed my juice, grabbed my longboard, started heading to work.

ALLYN: The story could've ended there. It didn't. As Apodaca was rolling down, he started what would become a cultural sensation by going on TikTok and flipping through the tunes.

APODACA: When I heard "Dreams," that's when I figured, you know, OK, this is it, you know?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DREAMS")

FLEETWOOD MAC: (Singing) Now here you go again. You say you want your freedom.

ALLYN: You see him. The 37-year-old father of two is wearing a gray hoodie. Juice bottle in hand, he gives a what's up nod to the screen and looks behind him for traffic, revealing a feather tattoo on his head, honoring his Native American mother, all the while grooving to Fleetwood Mac's 1977 hit "Dreams."

APODACA: 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 get the vocals. And that's where I caught the vocals.

ALLYN: And he was done. He put the phone in his pocket and went to work.

APODACA: I almost didn't post it, but I was like, let's post it, see what it does within an hour.

ALLYN: Within an hour, his TikTok had a hundred thousand views. It now has more than 35 million and achieved meme status. The lieutenant governor of Montana did a tribute. So did comedian Jimmy Fallon. It put Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" back on the charts. Mick Fleetwood, the legendary band's drummer, was so touched he recorded his own version on a skateboard, holding the juice.

MICK FLEETWOOD: It was spontaneous, and it was heartfelt. It was fun. And God knows we need some of that right now.

ALLYN: Fleetwood spoke to me from his home in Maui. As for Apodaca, now that he thinks about it, he says it kind of makes sense. He gave the world a moment of pure delight in the midst of stressful times.

APODACA: There's just too much chaos. You know, right now, everybody just needed something to look at, something to relax to and to vibe out with.

ALLYN: Apodaca has gotten more than just TikTok views out of it. Ocean Spray bought him a new truck full of Cran-Raspberry juice. He's been living in an RV, but his fans have donated him so much money he almost has enough for a down payment on a house. He still has the potato warehouse job, but he also has a publicist. Right now, he's taking a couple weeks off work to see where this TikTok thing takes him.

Bobby Allyn, NPR News, San Francisco.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DREAMS")

FLEETWOOD MAC: (Singing) Oh, you'll know.

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