We had the good fortune of connecting with Duane Kuta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Duane, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Well-I’m an “OLD SCHOOL” guy. Back in the early 80’s when I started- the DJ booth was a very private and exclusive area- not everyone got to come into the booth like today. The DJ and the lighting board technician were pretty much the only ones to enter these areas- Very exclusive!!! There was a lot of equipment at the time and most stuff was a lot bigger size wise than today. Most guys wife’s or girlfriends had to say goodbye at the door- and absolutely- your homeboy or your posse didn’t just get to come and hang out. The DJ controlled the entire Club, Concert speed and the flow of the event. I see now at many venues and with the younger DJs- the booth is full of people besides him that have no business even being in that area- and one thing we never got to do was take drinks into the booth. It was all business. I still practice this today.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Well- the whole entire time I have been a DJ and ran my own company- I worked for the Denver Public Schools-1981 to 2019 when I retired from the school system. So having a job to pay the bills for 32 years has made me very proud. Also-I have had a incredible run with my personal DJ and Sound Production Company- 1982 to present- Yes 38 years. I think what has set me aside from most other DJs is my loyalty to what a DJ really is- much more than just pushing a button and a song comes on. Sticking to my principals and beliefs. There were lots of challenges for me back in the 80s- not to many white boy DJ’s back then and when I would do tours-it was harder than folks think being a white boy with Hip Hop performers and entire shows- traveling around the US mostly on weekends. You would definitely get some looks and comments- but after you hit the stage and did your thing- it pretty much went away till the next city unless they knew you. Biggest lessons I have learned after all these years is patience and being able to tolerate everything in the music business. The one thing I would want the world to know about me is- Yes- I am “The Original DJ Squirrel”!!!!!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well- before this Covid thing hit- Pick them up from the airport and head to my house to chill for a bit and catch up on some conversation. During the course of the week- definitely some home cooking is going to be done, Places like Texas Road House, some good Mexican restaurants and visiting some other folks would be part of the plan. We would have to hit the mountains for a few days at a resort or town, try our luck at the casinos. Maybe a Comedy show or a sporting event of some kind. Denver Nuggets games are also the BEST!!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Totally- My Mom- Sept 9, 1982 (my first gig) and support to the day she past away in Oct 2015. She dealt with everything from moving equipment in and out of the house, to loud music all day, to folks she didn’t even know coming over to practice for years and year. She would give me money for equipment or records when I was short on cash or needed something- to even telling me it was time to stop and get some sleep. “Man” Mom- she even fed us when we did nothing but mix music all day.
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