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Aspen Pop Culture

Before heading to Aspen, listen to a few John Denver tunes. Tracks from his Greatest Hits album such as “Starwood in Aspen,” “I Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado,” and, of course, “Rocky Mountain High” (now one of two official Colorado state songs) set the tone for an Aspen visit. Sappy as they may sound, the ideas expressed in these lyrics sum up why many people have chosen to live around here. On the print front, read some of the gonzo-journalism works by local anti-hero Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. His Kingdom of Fear has several sections devoted to Aspen. Jay Cowan's memoir, Hunter S. Thompson: An Insider's View of Deranged, Depraved and Drugged Out Brilliance, gives a friend's-eye-view of the good doctor's life in Aspen. On a more serious front, Bruce Berger's The Complete Half-Aspenite offers a glimpse into the local lifestyle from a man who has lived here for decades. A History of Aspen by Sally Barlow-Perez tracks the town's historic past. For films, Mountain Town is a well done documentary about an interesting handful of people who call Aspen home. Aspen Extreme offers a fanciful tale about two guys who leave their city jobs to become ski instructors. Dumb & Dumber tells the story of the title pair who travel to an unreal Aspen to return a suitcase to a gorgeous redhead. Winter visitors might want to catch the latest Warren Miller film, which sometimes shows footage from one of Aspen's four ski areas. On TV check out ESPN's Winter X Games, which take place at Buttermilk near Aspen.