Dan Mitchell has been talking to Denver’s rock radio listeners for 32 years. He’s been voted favorite rock radio personality by readers of the Denver Post and won numerous Colorado broadcasting honors. Just as he was as a music loving teen, on the radio Dan is that guy who really wants to share the songs he likes with you. Now, his ultimate goal is for you to like them as much as he does! And Dan’s got a rather sizeable music collection to share with you weekday afternoons on The Mountain!
He loves to hoop, see movies, take nature walks and hang out with his granddaughters. Let us warn you, when you see Dan he is very likely to pull out his phone and force you to look at pictures of Jada and Jazmin. He just can’t help himself!
Dan Mitchell's 3 Questions archive:
What is your guilty pleasure television show? Why do you love it?
If by “guilty pleasure” it is implied that I feel a bit naughty after I watch it then my answer has to be Archer on FX. It’s perhaps the smartest and filthiest cartoon in prime time. And the big plus is the nostalgia factor with visions of Bond, Matt Helm and our man Flint dancing in my head. Not to mention all the swingin’ chicks that were part of the package!
If you had to choose between a zombie apocalypse and an alien invasion, which would you choose and why?
My answer is Zombies. My first reason is they are slow and stupid. Have you ever seen a fast Zombie…the answer is no. Hey, those creatures in”28 Days Later” don’t count, they were just poor, infected humans…NOT Zombies. Aliens on the other hand are totally unpredictable. I’m not comfortable with them. They might be friendly and speak English like on Star Trek or they might want to pop out of my chest and eat my face. I’m just not going there!
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
Born at an Early Age
What items would be on the menu for your last meal?
Well, I wasn’t really ready to think about this one right about now but since it’s on the table (chuckle here)…here I go:
From Mama Louise’s I would take homemade pasta with the world’s best red sauce. Garlic Bread from Pantleones and also a slice of Pete’s Sicilian. For dessert, bring on the Crème Brule from
Earl’s and to finish it off, I would like to travel to Southern Italy to enjoy a Limoncello - When life gave farmers in southern Italy surplus lemons, they soaked the peels in grain alcohol and added sugar to make limoncello. The sweet-tart digestivo is traditionally sipped after dinner, but is gaining ground as a base for simple cocktails, such as splashed over ice with soda or tonic water, preferably enjoyed while taking in the stunning seaside vistas of the Amalfi Coast. Well, take me there and give me one Damn It…it’s my last meal!
If you had to choose, what mythical creature would you want to be and why?
I would be the mythical creature known as an honest politician.
What is your favorite movie of all time?
I’m going to have to break this one down in categories:
Favorite Movie starring a left-handed actor-Jerry Maguire
Old Time Romance-Roman Holiday
John Hughes Movie-Say Anything
Baseball Movie-Field of Dreams
Football Movie-Brian’s Song
Favorite movie I will watch every time I see it on cable-The Replacements
Chick Flick-Pretty Woman
I need more popcorn to continue…
What is the greatest love song of all time (in your humble opinion)?
The greatest love song of all time, wow…what a question. I’m going to go with “Everything I Own” by Bread. I’m not kidding. A message from a son to his father. Or perhaps “The Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanics. Both are filled with the emotion of love and loss. With my son about to get married, the bond of father and son is very top of mind for me right now. For something different, ask me next week!
How old were you when you had your first kiss? First fell in love?
II was in 6th grade attending Wheeling Elementary in Aurora Hills. Lori Graf, who had your standard issue late 60’s horned rimmed glasses, invited me to a party as her guest. As I recall she kissed me, perhaps as a way of proclaiming that she may have had a crush on me. Dumb me, I couldn’t see the beauty behind the “standard issue” late 60’s horned rimmed glasses. Lore grew up to become quite the beauty.
I fell in Love with Susie Ricard in 8th grade. Today, she lives in Iowa and is a dear friend of mine, we talk to each other on a regular basis!
If you were making a mix tape for your significant other what 3 songs would have to be on the tape and why?
For Kathy, my lovely wife of 32 years, My mix tape would start with the following 3 tunes:
Dead Skunk In the Middle of the Road-I dedicated it to her the first year we were dating. Hey, it’s original!
Walking Slow-Jackson Browne-Let’s remind ourselves to take it all in.
Music-James Taylor-Don’t forget life’s simple pleasures.
If you could live one day as any Mountain artist, who would it be and why?
I would spend the day as Jimmy Buffet, eating at my own restaurant, sucking down my own ice cold Landshark Lager, wearing my own signature line of clothing and footwear, sporting a world class tan while reading the rough draft of my next book and trying out the latest flavor of humus for my own Margaritaville Foods. Oh, and since I earn around 40 million dollars a year, I would donate a year’s salary to the “Dan Mitchell Wants to Retire Rich” fund!
Is there a time in music you wish you could go back and live (re-live)? When and why?
I would be in New York City on December 8th 1980 to stop John Lennon from being killed.
What are your top 5 favorite albums of all time?
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy-Elton John
Walk Under Ladders-Joan Armatrading
Boomtown-David and David
Let it Be “Naked” -Beatles
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My favorite holiday tradition actually just began this holiday season. My daughter, Sarah is 24, she and her two girls, Jada and Jazmin, live with us. Ever since Sarah was a tiny little Mitchell she has wanted me to hang Christmas lights on our humble abode. I never got around to it and have always regretted it. Well, this past weekend I finally did it and when she got home she not only saw a house drenched in the warm LED light of Christmas spirit, she also saw a sign which read "For my daughter Sarah, Love Dad!" I got a hug and maybe even a few tears of joy. My new favorite holiday tradition feels wonderful!
What is your favorite holiday song?
I can't pick just one. I have to have a few categories.
Crooner - "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" - Andy Williams
Rocker - "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" - John Lennon
Christian - "Oh, Holy Night" - sung by anybody who sings it well...including my dad at church when I was a child.
Childhood favorite - "Holly Jolly Christmas" - Burl Ives
What is your favorite holiday food?
Peppermint Candy Ice Cream
If you had to choose one Mountain artist to be your therapist, who would it be?
My rock star therapist would be Stevie Wonder…I’m sure he’s a good listener!
Tell us what band you wish you had seen live in their prime. When and where do you wish you had seen them?
I of course would have wanted to see the Beatles, circa 1969. The venue would have been my own Castle on the coast of Ireland. We would all be dining on the finest meats and cheeses of the world while enjoying the legends at play. Be nice to me and I might invite you!
Growing up, what band had the greatest influence on you?
There can be no doubt here. The band which captured my fancy in my formative years was Paul Revere and the Raiders. I wanted to sport a pony tail and wear revolutionary war garb in the most sincere way. nfortunately, Greenwood Elementary School had an anti revolutionary dress code...damn!
My Favorite artist currently
I often enter “music rediscovery” phases where I go back and explore the catalogues of artists I know and love. Recently, I have been on a Tom Petty kick. His music is (in a good way) is derivative of other bands and artists I count as my favorites; Dylan, The Byrds and The Beatles. So in a small way, when I listen to Petty, several areas of my musical taste spectrum are being taken care of. Plus, anybody who can slam Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo in tune that rocks (Jammin’ Me) is okay by me!
If I had to listen to one song…
Well, it would have to be a song with an inspirational message, excellent musicianship and a deep personal connection. For those reasons I choose the original version of “The Macarena”…don’t judge me!
What song lyric best describes me?
Only love can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky
Only love can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high
Favorite Summer Song
My ultimate Summer song is Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy by Elton John. Granted the tune has nothing to do with Summer, but I played the album and 8 track until they wore out. The song brings with it strong memories and visuals from the year the album was released and the best Summer of my youth…1975.
We played the worlds longest continuous volleyball game (320 hours) to raise money for our youth group. I went on a summer camp adventure in Minnesota for a couple of weeks and of course had to fall in love with a girl from another state. Isn’t that what your supposed to do at summer camp? We corresponded for a couple of years and “whatever happened to Debbie Evenson” is a question I ask myself from time to time. It’s one of those bittersweet memories most of us carry with us. I made some of my dearest friends to this day that summer like Larry, who is now a big wig at Lockheed Martin. I call him my friend who’s in charge of space!
I would enter my senior year at Cherry Creek High School still playing that song and album at least a couple times a week so I could hold on to some precious memories.
Soundtrack to my life
I have been a music geek since the mid 60’s when as a child I would punch up my favorite tunes on the jukebox in the pool hall my dad owned. It was called the Eight Ball and was at Colfax and Kipling. Kicks, by Paul Revere and the Raiders would be there because I used to love to lip sync it. Strange kid. I would have the entire Elton John catalogue from 1970-1976 on my soundtrack because being a huge fan, I played them all…constantly. Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road makes the list because it is the song I dedicated to my wife…hey, you got to be original! I started my radio career in 1980 at KERE here in Denver. The first tune I ever rocked on the airwaves was In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly. 18 minutes to figure out how in the heck the stuff in the radio station worked! My son was born in 1985 and while Kathy was in the hospital, I played Danny’s Song from Loggins and Messina for her, it is full of memories for me. Sarah arrived in 1988 and her song is Sarah Maria by James Taylor. She was such a pretty little girl. And finally, after 32 years I am still on the radio in my hometown. I’ve got to finish with The Last DJ by Tom Petty.
My Guilty Pleasure Band
Abba-It takes guts to crank Dancing Queen or Waterloo with windows wide open while sitting at a stop light in Parker with Bikers on either side…oh, did I just type that out loud?