Over the years, D.J. Lehman has seen it all and he’s talking
Before superstar D.J. Manny Lehman arrives in Dallas for a party at Club One on Saturday, he agreed to share some of his feelings about how playing Dallas, Pride has changed over the years and a little movie called “Brokeback Mountain.”
When was your first interest in D.J.-ing?
I’ve been at the tables since the early ’80s it was a hobby run amok. I remember going to the legendary club Paradise Garage when I was a kid. I was fascinated by what the D.J. was doing. I had no idea that such a rapport could exist between a person with two turntables and a crowd of people. That was when I became D.J.-savvy, getting a chance to hear so many legendary ones Larry Levan, Francois K., Shep Pettibone, Jellybean Benitez the list of inspiration goes on and on and on.
Before you were spinning, did you attend Pride events and circuit parties regularly?
I attended many circuit events, but I had no idea circuit parties would grow to the tremendous proportions that they did nor did I have the idea that I would be spinning at many of the events.
You’ve been to Dallas a lot over the years.
This will be my third consecutive Gay Pride in Dallas. It is always fun so much positive energy. It is always a super blast to play in Dallas.
How have Pride celebrations changed over the years you have been attending them?
The entire scene has shifted. There was a lull in the scene, but now there are so many new young, out-and-proud kids that it is injecting the scene with some fresh perspective.
The drug thing, particularly crystal meth, did do some damage to the scene as a whole for a while. That damn drug takes emotion out of the equation and no matter what you do it’s never enough, so it got to be overkill. But I am glad people seem to have come together as a community to frown upon people who do crystal to ruin our gay environment as well as their own lives.
What makes a party memorable for you?
The energy, the spontaneity, the people, the happiness and the music.
Is Pride better now than in the past?
Pride is one thing that you can always count on being fun. Damn the day that our pride is not a joyous, rapturous event.
Does anything shock you when you spin?
I am still shocked that I get so damn nervous before a big event. I get stomachaches, jitters, I even get sleepless sometimes.
You worked on a dance remix of the Oscar-winning “Brokeback Mountain” theme recently. What is that like, being part of a cultural phenomenon?
That was an amazing experience. I had seen the movie three times when I got the call if I were interested in doing a mix of “The Wings” [the name of the main theme]. I was like, “Are you kidding me?!” I was right on the case. My dear friend Tony Moran and I were discussing our passion for the film and I said, “Hey, how about we do a mix together as well?” And boom! There it was. It was a labor of love all about the music and our love for the phenomenon that was “Brokeback.” I have seen quite a few more cowboy hats heck, I even bought one!
Is there a difference for you being an openly gay D.J. playing at a Pride event?
I am a proud, out man and I love being openly gay in my life, to my family and in my career. Whether gay, straight, bi or transsexual, say, “Take me as I am.”
Club One, 3025 Main St. Sept. 16 at 10 p.m. Djmannylehman.com.
We’ve seen her go ghetto, and we’ve seen her do glam. We’ve seen her at the top of the charts, and then there was that breakdown. But we never really knew what Mariah Carey was capable of until we saw her in full comeback mode.
A seeming flop after the back-to-back disasters “Glitter” and “Charmbracelet,” Mariah took her lumps, went to work and re-emerged roaring last year with “The Education of Mimi.” Carey’s first number-one album since 1997′s “Butterfly,” “Mimi” turned out to be one of the biggest comebacks of the decade, surprising everyone.
Carey’s all-too-public struggles may have earned her empathy from tragic-diva worshippers. But it’s even more gratifying to see her back on top. If there was an time to catch this sweet songbird sing live, it’s now.
American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., Sept. 16, 8 p.m., $59.50-$129.50, 214-373-8000.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, September 15, 2006.