The real Cuba, the indie scene, the bombshell barfers, and how Cubans made Miami

Letters from the Issue of July 21, 2005

Yes, we may want some light and fun reading at times, but the Miami Herald ought to give us enough credit to recognize real literature from the shallow ranting of six women trying to make a fast buck.

I know one of those ranting women and I don't want to cause her any more embarrassment than she is no doubt already suffering, so please withhold my name.

Name Withheld by Request

Miami

DJ Discord

So he thinks he's the king? King of what?My name is Sugar and I've been a South Beach DJ for the past thirteen years. I would like to set the record straight about Kevin James, the wannabe "king of rock" who wrote the letter "Best Self-Serving Screed" (June 16 ).

DJ Slip claims that in the Nineties he spun at Sinatra Bar and the Whiskey, but the truth is I was the one who was hired to work the weekends and all major events while he was just a loudmouth punk who spun for free on the nights no one else wanted. (It has been said he can't mix a glass of Kool-Aid.)

This King of Crap claims to have created some so-called "dance-rock DJ style" twenty years ago, but still hasn't mastered it. Why is he still working low-paying, middle-of-the-week gigs that no one else wants? He was only hired at Automatic Slim's because he is a friend of one of the owners. The guys at Slim's are big on charity (much to the dismay of the staff).

It was typical of him that he would hate DJ Mark Leventhal. I guess it's easy to hate someone who has everything you can't have. Although Mark may not be the friendliest person in the world, he does have the most impressive DJ resumé in town, and he was kind enough to give 90 percent of the DJs here their first gigs. It's funny how we all know Mark Leventhal's name, but who the hell knows DJ Strip?

DJ Strip Steak says he left South Beach to set the world on fire, yet his only claim to fame is DJing a few Ramones and Velvet Revolver concerts. Since when does anyone go to a rock concert to listen to a DJ? (Joey Ramone must be turning in his grave.)

The truth is that DJ Sh*t had to leave town eight years ago because no one liked his music and he couldn't get a job. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Mark and I have continued to DJ on South Beach, toured worldwide, and been in magazines, in movies, and on TV. But he still has the nerve to call himself the king. (King of what?) He was a fool when we ran him out of town the first time, and he remains a fool now.

Rene Milton Lecour (Fabulous DJ Sugar)

Miami

DJ's Last Chance

Can't spin? Try housekeeping: I got a call from a friend of mine saying, "Dude have you read the letters in New Times?" I said no because I was in Boston DJing a club. He read me the letter from Kevin James and I almost spit out my lunch. I haven't laughed so hard since I heard "the King" actually DJing.

I believe that to be a good DJ you need to be secure, even a little arrogant. But this guy is obviously delusional. Slamming Mark Leventhal the way he did, in an obviously envious manner, was weak. Mark gave me my first gig when I was seventeen. He was on top then as he is today -- three cars, a dope house, and residencies in the top clubs on the Beach, not to mention he is still very often flown all over the country for gigs.

It's clear the only DJ with a "rock star" ego is Strip! "I'm here to serve notice"? If his gigs continue to go as well as they are now, the only thing he'll be serving is coffee at Starbucks, which actually might pay him better. He couldn't mix a salad at the Olive Garden, let alone music that moves a crowd.

Good luck, brother. If you need another gig, Mark is looking for a housekeeper. You should be able to handle that. And before you even think of slamming me, know that I have been on countless North American tours with some artists you may know, like Ozzy, Korn, Megadeth, et cetera. I never refer to myself as a rock star, but I definitely have more cred than you.

Well, I'm off to do a bar mitzvah!

Joe Eshkenazi (DJ Joe Dert)

Miami Beach

The Case for Dumbing Down FIU

Why produce impoverished journalists when corporate America needs apologists? I would like to take a moment to respond to Kevin Hall's response (July 14) to Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver's response to Edmund Newton's article about FIU's journalism school ("Newsroom or Classroom?" June 9).

Hall says Kopenhaver is out to ruin the J-school. Big deal. Last thing we need in this country is more journalists with integrity, passion, and professionalism -- the kind of journalists Hall, former dean J. Arthur Heise, and the rest of their ilk spent years churning out -- running around writing stories that actually matter, with all the words spelled correctly and in the right order.

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