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:
It’s a Bohemian Wrap-sody.
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.