Before Eddie Baez became a DJ, he was, of all things, a motorcycle mechanic.
''I was fixing motorcycles for security at some of the bigger clubs in New York,'' Baez says, about a time just at the start of the 1990s. ''One time I just looked up at the DJ booth and said, 'You know what, if they can do it, I can do it.'''
Within a year, Baez got up to speed on the club scene. He then revved up his engine and rode right into the heart of things: first replacing Junior Vasquez for the mostly gay, Saturday night crowd at the storied club Sound Factory, then helming Friday's mixed-crowd event at the equally storied club, Tunnel. ''That's where I got my chops, made my name,'' the Brooklyn native says.
Dj Eddie Baez
In the decade since, Baez, who will celebrate his 42nd birthday by DJ-ing on Fire Island, has become something of a regular on the gay circuit, including Winter Party and Gay Disney. This Friday he makes his debut at Be Bar for the lounge's new Be: Deep party thrown by D.C.'s DJ Yiannis.
''It's great to see people I haven't seen out in years dancing and enjoying the music,'' says Yiannis, of Be: Deep, which is meant to be more of an intimate environment than a typical night out at a club - and one with a real focus on house music. At least once a month, Yiannis, who is the party's resident DJ, plans to bring in noted house DJs. Susan Morabito is on tap for February.
Baez says he spins mostly gay parties, and prefers it that way. ''I guess I'm gay on the inside,'' the straight Baez jokes. Being gay is literally in his blood, however, as it happens, his dad was gay. Hanging around with gays is something he's always done, from the time he was a boy, even during his motorcycle-mechanic days. ''I got to tell you, there are a lot of gay bikers - I still ride with a lot of them,'' he says.
DJ Eddie Baez spins this Friday, Jan. 30, from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Be Bar, 1318 Ninth St. NW. Cover $5. Visit www.bebardc.com.