Tom Smith a.k.a. Mr. Smith ("DJ names are dorky.")
RESIDENCIES: Thursday and Friday nights at the Eagle.

So how'd you end up at the Eagle?

"I've been there for seven years now. I went in--I was really scared, this shy boy from Montana--and was looking for a second job. I thought it was just so cool to be in a gay bar that was playing rock 'n' roll. I was like, How can I get a job here? This is perfect for me. So they told me to make a tape. I made one at home (I totally fudged it because I didn't have a mixer), brought it in, and they called me the next day!"

Did you have a lot of records to start with then?

"Yeah, that's why I thought it would be so easy for me, because I'm a huge record collector. I was looking for a second job partly because I had debts, and I wanted to pay for my jones--you know, to go out and buy records."

Do you buy very many records from new artists?

"I don't play lots of new stuff, because I think when you're in a club, you want to hear what you know, you want to party and have fun. But I like the Grandaddy record, and Tahiti 80, and the Twilight Singers, 'cause I like the Afghan Whigs. I liked the first Queens of the Stone Age record a lot, but not so much the new one."

Tell me about some requests you get, even though you don't take them.

"There's tons of requests for Heart and Stevie Nicks. I guess the big complaint about me is that I don't play [music by] girls, really. It's this cliché thing that gay guys like female vocalists, but I think men are sexier to listen to. It's a cruisey bar, and I want to hear guys, you know?"

What was your first rock show?

"The shows were pretty slim in Montana, but my first concert was Loverboy and Quiet Riot, and then ZZ Top. I actually think ZZ Top is still really cool to this day. At that show, I caught the key chain. Remember the key chain? The best rock show I ever saw was Cheap Trick's 'Three Night Stand' at the Crocodile."


--Gang of Four, "What We All Want" (Warner Brothers)

--UFO, "Natural Thing" (Chrysalis)

--Afghan Whigs, "Come See About Me" (Sub Pop)

--Mother's Finest, "Baby Love" (Epic)

--The Stooges, "Down in the Street" (Elektra)