Also known as
March 30, 1973, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. (
Adam Michael Goldstein
DJ, remixer, drummer
Crazy Town (1997 – 2009)
August 28, 2009 (aged 36) New York City, New York, U.S.
Dj jazzy jeff dj am
DJ AM (born Adam Michael Goldstein; March 30, 1973 – August 28, 2009) was an American disc jockey (DJ). Goldstein was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He became obsessed with deejaying as a child after watching a performance of "Rockit" by Herbie Hancock. Goldstein developed a drug addiction as a teenager and was sent to the controversial rehabilitation center Straight, Incorporated. His drug problems became worse after leaving the center, four years in his early twenties were spent with him focusing solely on drug use and deejaying. After a failed suicide attempt in 1997, Goldstein became sober and went on to sponsor other addicts through Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Dj jazzy jeff dj am
- Travis barker dj am performance directed by jonathan x
- Early life
- Learjet 60 crash
- Final year
Goldstein began deejaying in clubs in Los Angeles, and was asked to join the band Crazy Town in 1999. After leaving the group in 2001 he focused on a career as a solo DJ. Forming a relationship with Nicole Richie in 2003 helped his career skyrocketed. In 2006 he accepted a $1 million contract to perform weekly at Caesars Palace, and was also charging upwards of $10,000 for private events. Goldstein was also one half of TRV$DJAM along with Travis Barker. Barker and Goldstein were the only two survivors of the 2008 South Carolina Learjet 60 crash, which killed the four other people on board.
Goldstein appeared as himself in several television series, contributed mixes and appeared as a playable character in the video game DJ Hero, and filmed a cameo appearance for Iron Man 2. Goldstein hosted the 2009 MTV drug intervention series Gone Too Far. He appeared to be struggling with his former addiction during filming. On August 28, 2009 he was found dead in his New York City apartment from a drug overdose. The DJ AM Memorial Fund, an organization designed to help people struggling with drug addiction, was launched in his memory, and Iron Man 2, which was released in 2010, was dedicated to him.
Travis barker dj am performance directed by jonathan x
Adam Michael Goldstein was born on March 30, 1973 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents, Andrea and Herbert – both of whom were Jewish – had been unable to naturally conceive children, and thus had adopted Goldstein's older sister Lana a year prior to him being born. Goldstein's mother temporarily left her husband after she caught him having extramarital sex with another man, during which time she had an affair herself. She found out she was pregnant with Adam after returning to her husband. While heavily pregnant, she discovered her husband had been adulterous a second time, and then disclosed to him in anger that he was not the biological father of her baby.
Goldstein described his father as "unbelievably cruel", stating that he was verbally abused by him. As an adult, he realised that this was likely due to resentment for him not being his biological son. Goldstein witnessed his father openly taking cocaine and marijuana throughout his childhood. Goldstein said he began overeating as a way of dealing with anger and depression, and was obese by the age of 10. He also began experimenting with alcohol when he was 11. After watching Herbie Hancock perform "Rockit" at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards in 1984, Goldstein became obsessed with deejaying, realizing it was what he wanted to do for a career. Goldstein attended the Quaker school Friends' Central. When Goldstein was 14, his father was incarcerated for committing bank fraud, and his mother subsequently moved with Goldstein and his sister to Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, Goldstein fell in with a crowd of heavy drug users. He was sent to the controversial drug rehabilitation center Straight, Incorporated, later disclosing that he was physically abused and spat on by staff while there. At one point, he escaped from the facility, though was arrested and brought back after being recognized at Knott's Berry Farm. While he was in rehab, his mother visited him and disclosed that the man he thought was his father was not biologically so, also telling him that the man was homosexual and dying from HIV/AIDS. Goldstein stated after receiving the news it was "like a bomb went off in [his] head"; he subsequently "exploded", attacking one of his counselors. He was eventually indicted and dismissed from rehab for his treatment of younger patients shortly before his 18th birthday. His father died the following year.
After leaving rehab, Goldstein began attending raves and experimenting with MDMA and nitrous oxide. He also became involved with deejaying: he broke into a friend's home while he was away for the weekend to practice on his Turntables, eventually going on to practice freestyle deejaying every day for a whole summer. Goldstein started using crack cocaine by the age of 20. He said that consuming the drug and deejaying were "about all he did" for the next four years of his life. He would often disappear from friends and family for days at a time. In 1997, he attempted suicide; with the gun in his mouth, it jammed as he pulled the trigger. Shortly thereafter, he became sober, began attending AA meetings and dedicated himself to working as a DJ. Later, Goldstein would go out of his way to help other addicts, sponsoring them and taking them to meetings.
Goldstein's stage name, "DJ AM" stands for his first and middle names, Adam Michael. After having played for his friends and at private parties for some time, Goldstein got his first paying job as a DJ at an illegal after-hours club in Los Angeles at the age of 21, where he was paid $40 and a six-pack of beer for a night's work. He worked there for two years. A visiting promoter was impressed with Goldstein's performance there and offered him his first legitimate deejaying job, working at the Hollywood club The Dragonfly. Goldstein met Shifty Shellshock through the nightclub scene and was asked to join the rap/rock group Crazy Town in 1999. He contributed to their hit "Butterfly", which reached No. 1 in several countries. According to band-mates Shellshock and Epic Mazur, Goldstein was the group's only sober member. He left the group in 2001 to escape the drug-related dysfunction that was plaguing it.
Goldstein's weight problems progressively became worse despite years of dieting; in 2003 he weighed 324 lb (147 kg) and decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery. The surgery was effective, and he lost over 100 lb (45 kg) within a year. After commencing a relationship with Nicole Richie in 2003, Goldstein's DJ career skyrocketed. Us Weekly editor Janice Min said "He's an amazing DJ, but there are a lot of amazing DJs. The difference is that there's only one who dated Nicole. It put him on the map."
As a result of the relationship, Goldstein appeared in a 2005 episode of Punk'd, where Richie was the subject of a practical joke, and that same year featured in an episode of The Simple Life, a reality TV show focusing on Richie and Paris Hilton. Goldstein and Richie announced their engagement in February 2005, though the couple broke up in late 2006. Goldstein was a guest DJ on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in May 2006. Goldstein was an avid sneakerhead, owning over 1,000 pairs of sneakers by 2007. His obsession led to him being offered a cameo as himself purchasing a pair in the 2006 Entourage episode "What About Bob?". That same year, Goldstein also began working at Caesars Palace, becoming the resident DJ of their nightclub Pure. He was contracted to the club for the year for $1 million–an unheard of amount for a DJ at the time. By 2007, he was also being paid between $10,000 and $25,000 for an event as a solo DJ. Goldstein scratched on albums for Papa Roach, Madonna, Will Smith and Babyface. He played private events for celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Ben Stiller and Leonardo DiCaprio. Goldstein dated Mandy Moore for two months in 2007 and remained close friends with her after separating. Later in 2007, he was romantically involved with Jessica Stam.
Learjet 60 crash
In June 2008, Goldstein and Travis Barker began collaborating together under the name TRV$DJAM. They performed at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards on September 7, 2008. On September 19, after having performed at a college event, Goldstein and Barker were aboard a Learjet 60 when it crashed upon takeoff in Columbia, South Carolina. The crash killed both crew members and the two other passengers, and critically injured Goldstein and Barker. They were transported to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia. Goldstein suffered burns on his hands and parts of his head. Mandy Moore flew to be by his side in hospital. Goldstein was released on September 26, 2008. In December 2008, Goldstein filed a civil lawsuit against the plane's charter company, Learjet and Goodyear tires; the suit claims negligence on the part of the pilots and a manufacturing defect on the part of the plane. Goldstein was asking for damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement and loss of earnings.
In December 2008, MTV reported that DJ AM would be making his first appearance with Barker since the two survived the plane crash. The duo performed at New Year's Nation's Los Angeles 2008 New Year's Eve Party. In April 2009, Goldstein left his position at Caesars Palace to become Rain Nightclub's regular Friday night DJ in the Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas.
Goldstein filmed a cameo for the film Iron Man 2 in June 2009, appearing as himself deejaying Tony Stark's birthday party. Jon Favreau, the film's director, said that he was a fan of Goldstein and the cameo was supposed to be filmed in one day. However the crew and Robert Downey Jr. took a liking to him and he ended up staying on set for about a week, even setting up turntables and giving Favreau tips on how to DJ in between takes. Goldstein was involved with Activision's DJ Hero video game, contributing mixes and also appearing as a playable character. Goldstein and Barker performed at an Electronic Entertainment Expo event promoting the game in 2009.
Goldstein was the host of Gone Too Far, a drug intervention reality show for MTV. Goldstein approached MTV in mid 2008, pitching the idea of a reality show that focused on his life to Tony DiSanto. DiSanto said that such shows were decreasing in popularity, and instead suggested a drug intervention show, with Goldstein agreeing. The show was still in pre-production when Goldstein was injured in the plane crash. Following the crash, the show's producer Cheryl Sirulnick, said she assumed the show would not go ahead, however, Goldstein insisted on continuing with it. Eight episodes were filmed; three days before his death, Goldstein tweeted that filming had been completed.
In an interview with Glamour in 2008, Goldstein said that while he had been sober for nine years, every day he had to remind himself that he was still a drug addict, stating: "At any given moment, I'm five seconds away from walking up to someone, grabbing their drink out of their hand and downing it. And if I do that, within a week, tops, I'll be smoking crack." Following the plane crash, Goldstein was prescribed painkillers and anti-anxiety medication. Celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky said it was those prescriptions which opened up the "floodgates" to his relapse. A friend of Goldstein's reached the same conclusion, saying "I think the plane crash killed him, it just took a year for it to do it." Goldstein suffered from a fear of flying following the plane crash, and continued consuming anxiety medication to help deal with the regular flights his lifestyle required.
Goldstein was struggling with his former addiction during the filming of Gone Too Far. Goldstein held a crack-pipe during one episode. BJ Hickman, an intervention expert who appeared in two episodes, noticed Goldstein "had a moment" holding the crack pipe, and later felt the need to call his sponsor. Goldstein later said of the experience "I realized my palms were sweaty and I was like, wait a minute, this is not smart for me to be holding this." In another episode, a police officer shows Goldstein confiscated drugs, including a bag of crack cocaine. Shortly thereafter Goldstein leaves the building, informing the camera crew that he felt so tempted to consume the drugs that it was not safe for him to remain there.
In the weeks before his death, Goldstein's behavior had been erratic and he had been missing appointments. His manager and sponsor were both so concerned that they flew to New York to visit him two days before his death. Goldstein refused to see his manager, but allowed his sponsor into his apartment, proceeding to consume pills and smoke crack cocaine in front of him. Goldstein promised to check himself into a rehabilitation center following his scheduled gig at Rain Nightclub in Las Vegas that Friday. When he missed his flight and would not return phone calls, friends brought the police to his apartment.
Goldstein was found dead in his New York City apartment on August 28, 2009. Drug paraphernalia, including a crack pipe and a bag of crack, were found nearby. The New York medical examiner subsequently determined that Goldstein's death was an accident caused by an "acute intoxication" from a combination of cocaine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, lorazepam, clonazepam, alprazolam, diphenhydramine and levamisole.
After a memorial service, Goldstein was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery in Los Angeles on September 2, 2009. The following day, a memorial was held at the Hollywood Palladium. Among the hundreds of attendees were Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Samantha Ronson, Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart.
The scheduled debut air date for Gone Too Far had been October 5, 2009. After Goldstein's death, DiSanto acknowledged the possibility that placing Goldstein near other addicts helped contribute to his relapse. After debating whether to air the show in the wake of his death, MTV decided to debut it on October 12. His family stated "It is our hope through airing this show that people will get to see the side of Adam that we knew and loved. The decision to air the show has been difficult, but we do this with the profound belief that it will inspire others to seek help". Favreau also consulted people close to Goldstein regarding whether the footage of him in Iron Man 2 should still be used; they unanimously agreed it should remain. Favreau said that following his death, "there was never any doubt" the film would be dedicated to him.
The DJ AM Memorial Fund, an organization designed to help people struggling with drug addiction, was launched in his memory. In November 2009, 800 pairs of Goldstein's sneakers were listed on eBay in order to raise funds for the organization. In August 2010, the fund made a donation to the Los Angeles' Phoenix House Academy to help rehab patients develop musical talents. Goldstein's sister, who founded the fund, died from cancer in May 2011. In August 2011, several DJs paid tribute to Goldstein at the Vanity Nightclub in the Las Vegas Hard Rock Casino, helping to raise money for the fund. In May 2012, the eighth annual MusiCares benefit concert featured a special presentation commemorating the launch of the DJ AM Memorial Fund. Goldstein's mother, in conjunction with the fund, was reported to be assisting MusiCares in providing recovery services to addicts. Moby deejayed at the event in tribute to Goldstein.
Goldstein posthumously won "DJ of the Year" at the 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards. In October 2009 he was depicted in the South Park episode "Dead Celebrities", along with other celebrities that died in the summer of 2009. Eminem paid tribute to Goldstein on the 2010 song "Talkin' 2 Myself", rapping "Rest in peace to DJ AM/'cause I know what it's like/I struggle with this shit every single day." Eminem nearly died from a methadone overdose in late 2007. On the cover of the 2011 Blink-182 album, Neighborhoods, "DJ AM" can be seen written on one of the buildings, as a memorial. Wolfgang Gartner and will.i.am pay tribute to DJ AM in their 2011 single "Forever," which includes a brief moment of silence for him. Macklemore mentions DJ AM in his 2016 song "Drug Dealer", along with several other notable deaths from drug use.
A documentary film about Goldstein titled As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM, was announced at the EDMbiz Conference on June 20, 2013. The film was directed by Kevin Kerslake and released in April 2015. Dennis Harvey from Variety called it an entertaining documentary, though also stated "there are some notable gaps left in the pic's posthumous understanding of DJ AM ... as its flashy surface doesn’t always help us to understand the pure artistic soul he's depicted as here."