Multi Sony Award-winning DJ Pete Mitchell has more than earned his stripes over the years working across the UK radio industry, presenting shows which have been described as “the coolest on radio” and interviewing everyone, from Morrissey, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Pixies, The Killers, New Order, Paul McCartney to Mick Jagger.
As Absolute Radio 60s prepared to launch, Pete was catapulted into the spotlight after the station hit the headlines for banning Cliff Richard. Amid the media furore, Pete explained to newspaper journalists and live on TV…
His songs don’t fit the cool sound of the swinging sixties we’re trying to create on our new station. We believe timeless acts of the decade that remain relevant today are The Beatles, The Stones, The Doors and The Who – not Sir Cliff!
As for being a DJ on Absolute Radio 60s, Pete is thrilled because that,s the decade where he says it all started.
If you had to single out one event, one particular moment in time that captured the spirit of the period and the way we listen and consume music, then it has to be the year 1964. Everything changed when four mop top boys from the north of England stepped off flight Pan Am 101 at JFK airport in New York on a cold February day. America went crazy and the 7” single ruled supreme. This was the year that British music became a global phenomenon and the world had its very first pop supergroup, the Beatles. It is entirely feasible to say that every person on planet earth has at some stage in their lives been exposed to, or influenced by, the music of the Fab Four. Just take a moment to think about that.
Born in Manchester, Pete began his career as a sports commentator in 1989 before going on to use his love and knowledge of music to present on Piccadilly Radio, Key 103, BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and XFM and was one half of duo Pete & Geoff on Virgin Radio during which time the pair scooped numerous industry prizes.
From the early days, he championed the indie bands of the “Madchester” scene in the 1990s and artists such as James, Badly Drawn Boy, and Happy Mondays, and can lay claim to being the first DJ to play Oasis on the airwaves.
Not content with presenting radio shows, Pete’s music documentaries have also been aired in America, Canada, Australia and Asia. When he first started out he developed, wrote and produced IQ, a specialist music programme featuring interviews and live sets from both established and up-and-coming acts.
Since then he’s produced documentaries on American soul singer Dean Parrish, guitarist John McGeoch who played with Siouxsie and the Banshees, and in 2009 Pete presented various programmes to mark the 50th birthday of the Motown record label. Screamadelica and The Second Summer of Love, a documentary produced and narrated by Pete, first aired on Absolute Radio 90s in November 2010 to coincide with the band’s live dates. It charted the making of the album, including an interview with singer Bobby Gillespie.
Pete’s top 5 albums
What’s Going On Marvin Gaye
Northern Sulphuric Soul Rae & Christian
There’s A Riot Goin’ On Sly & the Family Stone
OK Computer Radiohead
Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches Happy Mondays