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Whitney and Britney call him Mr. Vicious

When you're a DJ starting out, you're gonna fuck up. Your flow won't be that tight. People will just stand around when you're spinning. Some drunk guy will knock into your two turntables and microphone, and the record will skip. Ouch. Party over. But these are the growing pains a DJ must suffer if he or she is to become a Superstar.

Case in point: Johnny Vicious (nee John Coles). He started out as a rock DJ in the '80s and has since moved on up to remix everyone from Whitney to Britney and to turn out some of the most popular mix CDs on the market, including Club Nation America (2001), Ultra Dance Volume 1 (2002), and Ultra Dance Volume 3 (2003). While radio-friendly remixes of songs like Mrs. Bobby Brown's "It's Not Right... But It's Okay" have made Vicious accessible to fans far beyond the confines of the New York underground, such formulaic hits have hurt his reputation among the electronica elitists of Miami Beach. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends largely on your taste in music, and how far you have to drive to find a decent dance club. Despite this significant commercial success, however, Mr. Vicious still retains a hint of the street cred he earned back in the '90s with underground tracks like "Ecstasy (Take Your Shirts Off)." Once upon a time, people knocked into his DJ booth too. -- John Landers

Catch Johnny Vicious at 11 p.m. Friday, July 9, at Voodoo Lounge, 111 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-522-0733.

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