“If D.J. Berrie rocking the party, put your hands up,” hollered comedian Bill Bellamy from the D.J. booth perched above the dance floor at the sleek celebrity watering hole tenjune last week. The writhing crowd of meaty dudes and shiny-topped trophy girlfriends barely seemed to notice, too busy swilling from bottles of Grey Goose vodka and tucking their boobs into designer corsets to pay attention.
Mr. Bellamy’s next call into the mic—“Girls, if you’ve got a thong on, put your hands up”—was answered with a slightly more uproarious response before D.J. Dave Berrie, a baby-faced D.J. dressed in a baggy gray sweatshirt and graphic black T-shirt, flicked his fingers on his laptop to queue a remix of rapper MIMS’ current hip-hop chart-topper, “This Is Why I’m Hot.”
“It’s definitely more of an industry night tonight,” Mr. Berrie shouted over the music, nodding toward the V.I.P. section, which included long-locked Taryn Manning (best known for Hustle & Flow, but also of the recently canceled Drive) and comedian/erstwhile women’s magazine subject Aisha Tyler. “I’ll try to keep them happy,” he said.
Mr. Berrie, 21, is just one of a burgeoning breed of D.J.’s. Young and rich—Mr. Berrie’s late father made his fortune as the marketer and manufacturer of the Troll doll in the 80’s—they wield their natural-born connections to money, promoters and marketers to secure some of the most coveted D.J. gigs in the city.
It used to be that scions of wealthy families would grow up in Daddy’s image to become pampered workhorses. Or maybe, if his parents were particularly artsy or intellectual, he would be supported while pursuing an M.F.A. or multiple terminal master’s degrees. Connections were always useful for getting into top-notch schools, or climbing corporate ladders.
But today, as we know all too well, the young and trust-funded are often after fame, having secured their fortune as babies. Most of them can get that fame just by going out enough during the week and insulting Lindsay Lohan (what’s up, Brandon Davis!) when there’s a camera around. Yet there are still those wealthy young’uns who manage to develop a work ethic. Today, instead of claiming the corner office, they hunker down behind a set of turntables in a D.J. booth.
Mr. Berrie started spinning at parties for his friends at the New Jersey private school Dwight-Englewood, nabbing his first paying D.J. gig at just 15 years old at then–hotspot Dorsia through a manager friend. He ripened at Boston University, playing at Beantown clubs and house parties, before dropping out to come back to the city, where he lived in his parents’ basement for six months. He honed his mixing skills by studying recorded sets from Jazzy Jeff (yes, that Jazzy Jeff) and D.J. AM (the current media darling who dated Nicole Richie, lost an Olsen’s twin worth of weight and is currently hailed one of the best D.J.’s in the country). Eugene Remm, a partner at EM Group, heard him spin at a promotional event for Heineken beer and hired him to be “the sound of tenjune.”
Now, as Mr. Berrie is tailed everywhere he goes by his manager, an urban-clothing designer, P. Diddy’s ex-assistant and his model/aspiring actress girlfriend, “it’s like watching an episode of Entourage,” Mr. Remm said.
Indeed, Mr. Berrie rides on the well-tailored coattails of D.J. starlets like Mark and Samantha Ronson, the offspring of socialite Ann-Dexter Jones and the stepchildren of Foreigner’s Mick Jones. The ridiculously attractive Mark (holla!) has gone from his humble roots, spinning in college dive bars in Poughkeepsie, to become a successful producer and celebrity fave, recently D.J.’ing at TomKat’s wedding, while D.J. sis Samantha apparently “wants to know what love is” with Lindsay Lohan (according to Page Six, the L.A. buds are dating).
(Speaking—again!—of Ms. Lohan: Though she may not have been born a trust-funder, she is one of a set of celebrities—including Madonna, Tommy Lee, That ’70s Show’s Danny Masterson and Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden—who like getting behind the tables every once in a while, too. In fact, she’s taking a turn at tenjune tonight!)
Lola Schnabel—the sometime filmmaker, sometime artist and sometime dater of Middle Earth kings (her relationship with actor Viggo Mortensen ended in 2003)—is the lady of the pack. The daughter of painter Julian Schnabel recently nabbed a residency at the Chelsea Hotel’s newly remodeled Heather Graham hangout, Star Lounge.
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