DJ Johnny Knuckles

Back in the day (read: a few years ago), it would've been unwise to give Pete Didonato any lip when he was working the mixers. Chances are the fierce-looking former bouncer might've answered back with his fists. "My temper got the best of me back then and people usually got punched out when they messed with me," Didonato says. "But I'm older and wiser now, and don't do that kinda thing any more." The 28-year-old's formerly hot-tempered ways also helped inspire his moniker of DJ Johnny Knuckles, which was bestowed on him by longtime friend and mentor DJ Switch. These days, Didonato's more interested in working the ones and twos than unleashing one-two combinations, as he's at three separate East Valley clubs each week. You can catch him on Thursdays at Crabby Don's, 3861 East Baseline Road in Gilbert, spinning mash-ups of Top 40 and rock, while ACME Bar & Grill, 4245 North Craftsman Court in Scottsdale, sees him dropping some hip-hop, '80s, and house on Saturdays. On Sundays, he paints Spirit's, 9303 East Main Street in Mesa, with Top 40 and country. Visit www.myspace.com/djjohnnyknuckles.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.