The Mischke Interview
Over two nights (June 7 and June 17, 2005), T.D. Mischke was extensively interviewed about his life and career thus far. Tommy was gracious enough to spend over five hours of his time--thouroughly answering numerous questions from his fans. In the interview, we hear all about Tom's background, his time at KSTP and numerous personal stories. The frankness and candor he uses while discussing some of the intimate details of his life are both startling and refreshing.
I didn't want to leave any questions out that fans wanted answered, so--as a result--I am posting the entire interview. Obviously, you might not be interested in everything that was discussed, so I've tried to break it up into more manageable categories. Personally, I recommend splitting your time up and giving a listen to the entire interview--it is well worth your time if you are a fan of the Mischke Broadcast.
My eternal thanks goes out to Tom Mischke for taking the time to sit for this interview. There are not many people like him, who would take the time to help complete such a project. I'd also like to extend my gratitude to Boomer--who showed up both nights to run the sound and to make sure we were getting some quality audio. And finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank AM 1500 themselves for the use of their studios to record our conversations.
Immediately below, you will find links to the audio from the interview. The links are listed in the actual order the interview was conducted in. If you are planning on listening to the entire interview, I highly recommend that you listen in the order they are listed. During our discussions, some segments naturally strayed into other areas, so please keep in mind that the segments (at times) might not strictly follow their stated topics.
Interview Introduction This is a brief introduction to the interview itself. I highly recommend it--just for the chance to listen to the extended opening theme for the Mischke Broadcast--complete with highlights from Tom's career! 6:14
Growing Up This segment deals with Mischke's formative years. We start with Tom's actual birth and continue from there. You'll hear about where he grew up, his brothers and sisters, former jobs, where he met his wife and numerous other biographical items. 14:00
The Vogel Years This portion of the interview deals with how Tom got his start in radio and what it was like to work with Don Vogel--a radio legend in his own right. 35:28
The Early Years Tom discusses the early years of the Mischke Broadcast and how it used to be a very different show compared to what you hear today. 13:16
The Big Move In this segment, Tommy discusses the historical ratings of the Mischke Broadcast. About a year- and-a-half ago, the Broadcast moved from an 8:00 PM start, back to 10 to midnight. Tom shares his thoughts and reasoning behind the big move. 18:26
Depression This topic seems to be what fans are most interested in hearing about. As you probably know, Tom Mischke has dealt with severe bouts of depression over the past few years of his life. In this portion of the interview, he gives a deep and personal look at what life has been like for both himself and his family. Times were quite rough and for awhile, it looked like this might be the end of the Mischke Broadcast itself. 25:33
Depression -- The Continuing Battle During this portion of the interview, Tom reveals how he continues to battle the demons of depression. We hear about how he has treated it in the past and what he does now to try and beat back the beast. There are even some new roads of treatment that he plans to pursue in the very near future. 27:25
National Syndication A few years ago, the Mischke Broadcast began expanding its Black Sheep Broadcasting Network across Minnesota and even to parts of Wisconsin. Mischke was beginning to garner national attention--most noticeably through an article in The Atlantic Monthly by James Fallows. Soon, the Mischke Broadcast was on its way to national syndication. Unfortunately, there were some "radio road hazards" along the way and Mischke hit them hard. 24:10
Mischke's Favorites This is a light part of the interview where Tom is just discussing some of his likes in a wide variety of areas--including authors, books, music, T.V. shows, movies, radio broadcasts and so on. 22:05
Stalkers As with anyone who is in the public's eye, Mischke has had more than his share of trouble with some overzealous fans. In this segment, we hear about everything--from people that call incessantly to the unfortunate extreme where one lady even broke into Mischke's house. 11:18
Religion Tommy was born and raised a Catholic--he even attended numerous religious schools and colleges over the years. These days, he has left the Catholic faith behind and explains his current religious views. 7:44
The Regular Callers Over the twelve year history of the Mischke Broadcast, Tommy has amassed his own unique collection of frequent callers. It is this eclectic group and mix of people that helps define the very essence of the Mischke Broadcast. You can honestly say that you wouldn't find a similar group of callers anywhere else in the world. In this portion of the interview, Tommy discusses some of these regular callers--including Undertaker Fred, Roz, Jim the Cabby, Mortuary Bob, Timekeeper Ken, Joe, Little Lukey and many others. 24:09
Whistle Stop Any frequent listener of Tommy's is well aware that he has a musical side. He is well known for playing some of the best bumper music in the Midwest--plus he's an established musician in his own right. Just last year, he released his own musical effort entitled Whistle Stop. The CD was a massive undertaking and Tom shares what it was like to bring that project to fruition. 26:31
Miscellaneous Mischke This portion of the interview is an odd mish-mash of questions that I wasn't sure how to fit in any other way--thus the miscellaneous categorization. Tom discusses how his home life has changed, the Bob Yates years at KSTP, and answers to rumors that David Letterman might be a fan of the show. 12:37
Reminiscing Mischke reminisces about the Broadcast and his early days with Vogel. 5:00
mischkemadness.com Tommy humors me and gives an honest assessment of the mischkemadness web site. 5:46
Interviews In this final segment of the interview, Tom discusses the very art that he himself has mastered-- conducting interviews. As for myself, I have a lot to learn in this area (as you are painfully aware of if you have actually listened to this entire interview). This portion of the interview might be of special interest to some--just for the chance to hear the extended closing music that Tommy plays at the end of each Mischke Broadcast. 7:02
SPECIAL NOTE: Mischke was recently interviewed by a local magazine called The Rake and an extensive article was written up for the July 2005 edition. You can find The Rake at numerous locations across the Twin Cities--including your local libraries, book stores and restaurants. If you're not a local, you can also catch the article on The Rake's website at rakemag.com. The best part is that this magazine is supported solely by advertising--which means you can pick it up for free! So make sure to grab a copy and run like a thief!