Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Words for Adam Michael Goldstein aka DJ AM

First off I want to express the love I feel for Adam’s Mother, Sister and entire family. He was one of the best human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and my heart is with you all.

The last time I saw AM was 2 weeks ago at Banana Split. Everything was as it should’ve been and he played an amazing set to a packed room of sweaty screaming party people.
It was a party for The Dharma Initiative, a fake group of Doctors and Scientists from ABC’s Lost, which was his favorite TV show.
Over the last couple of seasons we had begun watching nearly every episode at his in home theater along with Matt Colon, Glenjamn, Kevin and Joy Scott , Niko Achtipes and some others. (The fact that he will be not be around to see the 6th and final season is haunting me.)
We’d spoken pretty much everyday since then up until his final day. Glen and I were in NY and had planned to stay at his place. Obviously, this is not what happened.

The first time I met AM was at the Tribeca offices of Game Recordings where I used to work. It was the fall of 1999. My friend Shecky Green, Game’s CEO, asked if I’d ever heard of this DJ AMG from LA. I hadn’t. Moments later, there he was, a 300 lb Jew in a 3XL black Dickies short sleeve button down. He had quite a head of hair on him and it was died purple. He was in NY on a lay over to go to Europe on tour with Crazy Town, who I had also not heard of yet. It turned out we had dozens of mutual friends in LA, including my brother Nick. He then proceeded to just start absolutely murderizing the office turntables. Shecky and I sat back and watched him and our boy DJ Kid Swift battle for about 90 minutes and it was mind blowing. Who knew this fat purple haired jew held so much talent.

Over the next year, we kept in touch and would hang out when I was in LA and when he would come to NY. Talking records, shoes, movies, etc. He was one of the easiest guys to talk to I’d ever met, unbelievably funny and endlessly quotable.

In 2003 when I decided to move back to LA he looked out for me relentlessly. Scored me a weekly almost instantly and would have me fill in for him regularly. Above and beyond anything he had to do.
On the occasions we would play together, I was always impressed by how each time he would out do the last. Improving by the minute. Always with new ideas and new tracks. He would go record shopping every other day and spend his nights on Gemm. And it seemed people were really starting to take notice.

Over the next few years I watched him quite literally transform into the DJ that the world knew. I saw him go from angry music nerd shut-in, to world class dj, to straight up rock star.
Nobody was doing what he was doing. He set the bar impossibly high.
By the time kids figured out how to copy him, he was already coming up with even crazier mixes. And through it all he remained the homie.

Years later in 2006 when he and I were working together on a TV concept, he told me that he had been talking to our friend Steve Aoki about starting a weekly Sunday night party at LAX where they were gonna play whatever they wanted but going heavy on new dance music and indie. It would be “house party style” with a keg on the dance floor and free for all.
I was phasing myself out of djing and had recently quit all my bottle service gigs to start focusing on the Film and TV production company. I offered to come by on Sundays and help fill the gaps when he and Steve didn’t wanna play or were out of town. Seemed fun enough, right? He thought it was good idea and we proceeded.
This single handedly changed my life almost instantly. Anyone who attended that party in the early days will tell you that the energy and vibe were unlike anything else and the love that came pouring in from the kids who attended was overwhelming. It made me into a DJ again. But it wasn’t just me. Ask Steve Aoki, Redfoo, DJ Fashen (to name a few) and I’m sure they’ll agree that this party was a game changer for them. It was all AM just giving back.
That was what he did. Over the last 3 years I’ve watched him play some of the best DJ sets I’ve ever seen and I thanked him profusely for those 3 years for allowing me to be a part of it.

Just in the last year I’ve seen him live through a plane crash, play at Coachella and perform with Eminem and Jay-Z, as well as do a tour with his idol, Jazzy Jeff. Certainly not the itinerary of your average DJ.

I could tell many, many stories about this man and how great he was. But there are too many. I can still hear him say “Damn Mike, you’re memory is crazy. How do you remember all this shit?” It always bugged him out and we would laugh about how different our brains were.

It will be very difficult to get used to life without him. There were so many things we would discuss weekly, even daily and so many jokes and sayings that only he would understand.

In an earlier conversation I had with Shecky, we spoke about how we expected him to continue to take it higher and higher. I always though he’d be the Mick Jagger of DJ’s. You know, like 65 and still killing it. Rocking a fresh pair of Nike’s and a vintage Rap tee. Still coming up with next level fresh fly routines. I was sure of this. I have a hard time accepting that I won’t see it.

This was not how it was supposed to happen. But it happened, and I’m sadder than I’ve ever been about anything.

So to my main man AM:
No Promo
True Nuff
Sho Dat

It’s a Bohemian Wrap-sody.

Ahh Yeah


All my love,

Here is AM's very own vinyl rip of his favorite old school techno jam:

DL: Coco Steel & Lovebomb - Feel It [Instant Records - 1991]

Play it out and let it ride even if they're not into it... Thats what he always did!

Stay tuned for many more AM posts.
Never heard before live mixes coming soon.


S. said...


crack-t said...

Nice post Mike! RIP Adam!

missingtoof said...

I'm sorry for your loss, brother.

...Our loss.

Keep his record collection alive.

The said...

Thank you Mike. - Ayres


I woke up yesterday and decided cleaning out my closet would help distract me. Right away I saw a Coca Cola shirt he had given me and seconds later a Return of the Jedi shirt he gave me. Every time he gained a few pounds I would get some awesome vintage shirt that didn't fit him anymore!
Then looking around my studio... sneakers, records, skateboards... everything in there reminded me of him. I decided to go outside.
Thanks for writing this Mike. It really, really , really , really helps.

This comment has been removed by the author.
Elwood said...

Great post, very sorry for your loss.

andrea macedo said...

I was waiting for your words about him, it´s so good to read you and his friends sharing to us stories, man I never met him and I´m still sad, I go to youtube and watch video after video.. he was a role model to all of us, I remember the first mix that I ever had I took it from your blog, remember? back in 2007, man that mix was all over my brain!! please keep sharing everything you have from him.. and Mike keep doing what you do!!!
rest in peace Adam

DJ A-ROCK said...

Dope words on a great man.

NormaJean said...

r.i.p dj am

Perry said...

Thanks for sharing Mike, let's keep his memory alive by taking the DJ thing to the next level like he would have kept doing...AHH YEAHHHH!!!

Neoteric said...

Well put Mike, this is by far the most touching post i've read on AM. I can't imagine how you and his other close friends feel right now.

When you took me over to his place that day, I'm not sure how well i could contain my excitement (i was really, really trying to play it cool haha), but I'll carry that memory with me forever, thank you for that, for real!!

I was happy waiting at your place til you got back, but you laughed and were like "nah dude, come along". As I had only met him briefly before my first thoughts were "Why would this guy want some dude he doesnt really know at his place?" but i think you knew otherwise. It's weird to step into the house or someone you admire greatly, so i tried to keep it low key. This was also like 2 weeks after the plane crash, he still was recovering - the last thing I assumed he'd want is guests. Yet in we went and dude was cool as hell. You had to head out to the truck to get it ready to put the SoMe sign in there, and we just talked for a while about everything - it was so true he was a natural and effortless conversationalist. He remembered me from Vancouver and the gig there, and chatting on BBM beforehand. We left his place with the sign, and a perma grin on my face all day. When I got home it was by far the coolest story to tell friends. Thank you Mike for helping make all this possible, I will never forget that day.

Last time he came through Vancouver he played some obscure mashup I did that i dont think I really even shared, outside of my website maybe, and that blew my mind. As said, he loved music, and worked so hard, he will forever be an inspiration.

Anyways, this is probably a drawn out way to say what everyone else has already said, but this shit bums me out because I know that every heartfelt sentiment everyone has written is more than words, it's really real. Rest in peace Adam.



Amazing column and i am deeply sorry for Adam's loss...


DJWOOGIE said...


Kevin Scott said...

Awesome post Mike. So glad we got to kick it yesterday and talk about all the great times we had with the homie. We have to keep the LOST parties alive and kickin. And once I find all those unreleased mixes on my old computer, we can post em!

Michelle said...

AM absolutely set the bar as a party dj years ago and djs have been trying to rock it like him since then. His fingers and ideas of how to mix music were amazing and his talent hadn't even peaked yet. He was the shit. A wonderful, funny human being who adored Music and Mugsy!!
Thanks for sharing this.
DJ Pesce

DJ M-A-C said...

wow mike amazing post, thank you soo much for letting us know some of your previous experiences with the greatest.. for me, AM was a huge influence for me as a DJ and as a human being, he has this aura of him that nobody can fuck with. Amazing person gone too soon. he will be missed.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEEEEASE!!! POST AS MANY MIXES OF AM THAT YOU HAVE!!!!! I been listening to his elton mixes just to get thru the day...listening to AM is like my morning cup of coffee, I NEED IT!!!
god bless homie. rip AM tat coming soon!!

adrian said...

I never met AM because I figured I would eventually at some later point. Reading the stuff here on mikes blog is really tough. Heartbreaking. Since Adam's passing and Josh Link's passing I have tried to take a little more time to appreciate my friends.

Bis said...

I'm sorry man.

CHRIS said...

Thanks for the words and music Mike...

Thom Guerra said...

Man, i can remember the early days of BS. All the usuals and just bangers after bangers and just the best sundays of my life. I cant really comprehend the fact that adam is gone and i wont be able to bite his transitions of songs, he made me the dj i am to this point today. He serious was my Jazzy Jeff as he was to him. I shared a few words with him on occasions and it was more like "Yo AM, sick set" and he was always so modest, and in my eyes it was the greatest thing ive ever heard. I cant express the feeling i would have when he would spin. I am going to miss him so much, and its amazing how i didnt know him on a personal level at all but it still impacts me that way...
I hope you keep the sets alive and bangers coming mike.
ive seen you around when NO CULTURE was still alive and your a pretty rad dude. Take care homie. much love and im sorry for the pain your going through.


(thee) Mike B said...

Thanks everyone. I'm glad that some of you can find comfort in these stories. I've been doing the same with everyone elses.
Neo, that story is great. I never even thought twice about you rolling as your are such a stand up dude. I'm glad you got to experience that side of Adam. He was always at his best when just chilling at his spot.
A lot of words from good friends on here... I love all of you guys and hope to see more of yall soon.
And to all the folks who don't me or didn't know Adam, thanks for being with us in this time and realizing how amazing and talented that man really was.

bren said...

This is beautiful writing Mike. It gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes and i didn't even know Adam...hang in there sweetie..