First Avenue: What’s the one question you never want to answer again?
Dan Corrigan: “What’s your favorite show?” My favorite show is the next one.
FA: You just answered it. I didn’t mean for you to do that.
DC: I love the fact that every day is different, that we’re going to have a beautiful show tonight, and you might have to wait a day or two, but there’s probably going to be a string of three or four beautiful shows after that.
FA: Is that what keeps people around here so long?
DC: It’s funny, I have a way that when I see new hires… I look at them and if they can be a character in a pirate movie, if I can see it in my head, I give them a pretty good chance of sticking around. Micah once said to me “First Ave is a pirate ship that goes nowhere.” I love that. I think he totally nailed it. Speaking for myself, I think it’s the idea that you’re a part of something big, a part of something that is alive and important.
FA: What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?
DC: When I was going to college my intentions were fully to get a job with the CIA. Central America was big back then. I was taking Spanish classes and linguistics and was doing code stuff and I knew orienteering and map reading and I knew how to shoot and…
FA: Shoot guns or shoot cameras?
DC: Guns. For my degree I had to take an art class and I even tried to petition out of it but I was told “No matter what you do, you’ll be better off having an art class. I’m not going to let you out of it.” Photography was the most popular art class so they had to do a lottery for letting people in. The quarter came up I wanted it, and just by chance the letters for the lottery were, like, Ca- to Cu-. FA: You won the LOTTERY for your FUTURE?
DC: Yup. I got into a photography class and I just seemed to get it. I’ll never forget watching a print come up in the developer going “Wow. I want to do this again.” At the end of my third year I basically started over again. I was a Spanish and Linguistics major and I totally changed it to Studio Art and Photography… I still think think I would’ve been a good spook.
FA: You should know I’m absolutely terrified to take your picture.
DC: Let’s go find some nice light.
Today Dan spends his time radiating positivity while fortifying the club’s hull more than flexing his legendary camera skills… just the way he wants it.