Missoula Music History Oral History Project

Michael Purington Interview, October 17, 2019


Michael Purington


Kristin Gates



Download Audio Interview (96.6 MB)

Download Transcript of Michael Purington interview (324 KB)


Michael Purington discusses his experiences as a musician with the Lost Highway Band in the 1970s and 1980s. He describes the exhilarating, yet exhausting, nature of touring with the band, and tells a story about playing at a bar with Bruce Springsteen. Purington also talks about the Missoula music scene and the sense of community that existed during this era, specifically what it was like to both perform and serve as a booking agent at the Top Hat. He frankly discusses his battle with alcoholism and details his recovery. Purington talks about writing songs about his recovery and cutting several albums which have been well-received by individuals also struggling with substance abuse and addiction.


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Document Type

Oral History


Subjects: Music; Music—History and criticism; Music—Montana—Missoula; Rock music—Montana; Country music—Montana; Country-rock music; Bars (drinking establishments); Music festivals—Montana—History; Music festivals; Concerts; Musical establishments; Music culture; Lost Highway Band; Drinking; Drinking of alcoholic beverages; Alcoholism—Prevention; Alcoholism—Treatment; Music—Economic aspects; Sound recordings; Compact discs Personal Names: Purington, Michael; Springsteen, Bruce Corporate Names: The Top Hat Geographical Names: Missoula (Mont.) Occupations: Musicians—Montana

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century; Twenty-first century

Geographic Coverage

Montana; Texas



Original Collection

Missoula Music History Oral History Project, OH 473

Holding Institution

University of Montana. Mansfield Library. Archives and Special Collections

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Holder

Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections at the University of Montana, Mansfield Library.

Oral History Number

OH 473-011

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 MP3 file (01:09:37): digital + 1 transcript (18 pp.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:09:37 minutes

Local Filename

OH_473_011.mp3; OH_473_011.pdf

Michael Purington Interview, October 17, 2019