By David Rolland
By David Von Bader
By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
You probably know the story: The savior-soaked rock star Scott Stapp got arrested in 2006 at LAX airport, a day after marrying a former Miss New York here in Miami, at Vizcaya. But what you don't know (unless you were there) is what went down at the wedding reception, when the stupid star of our story asked the DJ to drop AC/DC's "Back in Black," and immediately began stripping in the center of the dance floor. Naturally the star was drunk, and sensibly he was whisked away before he could strip down to his skin. And while the bride sat mortified, and the wedding party tittered, and the screams of the star still echoed down Vizcaya's hallowed halls, the DJ calmly stopped the record and allowed the string quartet to play again.
That DJ? Why, that was none other than Jody McDonald, perhaps the only head-spinner who ever made the former Creed frontman strip. But even someone as ready for fun and games as Jody Mac could not fail to be hauntingly startled by the sad spectacle, and he carries the burden to this day. Thankfully there are other weddings to remember (Mike Piazza's on Fisher Island), other milestones to mark (the now-defunct Tea Dance and Home Cookin' parties), and other kinds of celebrity to spin for (Dianne von Furstenberg).
And now there's a new night to be excited about: Good Life at the News Lounge Bar & Café. The party is named for that classic Inner City song; the place is Mark Soyka's latest creation. Good Life is like a garden party with a crazy beat — something wild, something whimsical, and something thrown by and for swingers who've swung with the best of them.
Just check the lineup, which of course revolves around McDonald's patented mash of new, old, and outta sight. Guest DJs include the likes of Keen One, Smeejay, and Mark Leventhal; guest hosts could be anyone from Merle Weiss to Louis Aguirre. And belting out the lyrically twisted karaoke is South Beach's own transformative monster, Shelly Novak.
And despite the fact that it's set smack in the center of the mainland's 55th Street Station, Good Life also happens to hark back to heyday South Beach. The heyday when Jody Mac spun those splashy Tea Dances on a then-cool Ocean Drive, and everybody came, everybody swung, and everybody got along. See, McDonald was among the strip's early pioneers, one of the few who helped rebuild the city for the many mooks to come. Which is to say he not only played every back room, side room, and patio from Risk to Liquid, KGB to Groove Jet, but he also helped make the places dizzy with go.
But the man from Myrtle Beach, who made his bones at Boy Bar and Wigstock in New York, is not one to merely rely on his name or reputation. In addition to Good Life, he can be found all over town, from megaclubs to garden parties to some very highfalutin soirees. And lest you wonder just what it is that Jody Mac spins, well, rest assured it is just what it takes to make you move, shudder, and shake away all that ails you. Need you know more? Didn't think so.
DJ Jody McDonald's current top five:
1. "Dance," ESG
2. "Fix Up Look Sharp," Dizzee Rascal
3. "Cultural Vibe (MAW Remix)," Ma Foom Bey
5. "Lowdown," Boz Scaggs