August 31st, 2009
06:37 PM ET

DJ AM: Tragic end to a troubled life

When I first heard that Adam Goldstein, a.k.a. DJ AM had died I was shocked and truly saddened.  I was lucky enough to hear him spin at a few parties in LA and he was extremely talented. I didn’t know him personally, but for some reason this celebrity death hit a chord with me. 

Since first hearing of his passing I have been trying to figure out why that is. I think I may have figured out why: even in Hollywood, we all love to root for the underdog and DJ AM certainly qualified.  He had a tough life, speaking openly about his troubled childhood, his battle with obesity (he had gastric bypass after his weight ballooned over 300 lbs), and was open about his battle with addiction. Goldstein went from being a troubled kid to playing the hottest clubs and dating Hollywood starlets. Then there was the plane crash.  If ever there was a defining moment in a celebrity’s public life, this was his.  He literally walked away from a plane crash that killed four people-there is no question he had overcome a lot in his 36 years.

The thing about DJ AM that I found so personally appealing was that he managed to be a part of the Hollywood scene with out being a ‘scenester’.  He dated Hollywood starlets but didn’t seem like a ‘hanger on’ because he had his own career. Most of all what I liked most about DJ AM is that he wanted to help others. After all he had been through- the weight, the addictions, the plane crash- the thing that he was working on when he died was a series with MTV about helping teenagers suffering from addiction. I don’t know what happened in his home on the day he died and I don’t want to speculate on what caused his death, but clearly he battled a lot of demons. I find it admirable that this was a guy who clearly was successful and instead of sitting back and letting life pass him by, he sought ways to help others try to climb out of the throws of addiction that he had spent so many years fighting.


soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. karen sanders

    Wow Trent. Hate much or just jealous you were never invited to any of those parties run by villians? I take it your unattractive to boot.

    September 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Drug-free

    GF, Los Angeles: I was ignorant and self-righteous once too.
    Listen people, the negative comments are unnecessary. I don't do drugs. I haven't so much as smoked a cigarette. I would love to think that if someone "really" wanted to get clean, they would. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most addicts.
    I don't know DJ AM, I never did, so I don't know what kind of person he was, nor do I care. A death is a death, and there are people who have been hurt by it and we all need to respect that. If you don't care about him, then don't read articles pertaining to him, and don't waste your time leaving comments. My condolences go out to anyone who has ever lost someone about whom they have cared...including the fans who didn't know DJ AM, but are still saddened by his passing.

    September 3, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Trent

    While I would never celebrate the death of an individual, there is no need to celebrate the life of DJ AM either. First, he was a celebrity in nobody's eyes except the ridiculously vapid party scene in Los Angeles, a wretched hive of scum and villanry anyway. Second, it's not a tragic loss for a junkie to pass away; it's inevitable. He did it to himself, a unintentional, dragged out suicide.

    September 3, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Debra R

    It is too bad he wasted his 2nd chance at life.

    September 3, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Al

    If you say you "feel for his family," then leave it at that; negative comments about your perceptions of this individual are unnecessary.

    September 2, 2009 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. theone

    This is my true feelings. We know nothing about this man all we know is what we hear on the radio or tv. A junkie is drug addict: a narcotics addict and a crackhead is someone who is addicted to crack cocaine. So there you have it. He was a CRACKHEAD and he was a JUNKIE. Lets get that out the way first. Now he did spin great tunes and i guess got the party started but thats all he did. He didnt help anyone with their live, he didnt donate money to a cause, he did unite a country he did nothing and now yall are praising him. See this is the problem with our society. PRAISE the losers. He was a mess nothing positive. SO since he played music he made the world a better place? Get over yall self and stop being stupid. One last thing for all yall saying he wasnt a CRACKHEAD what was he and look in the dictionary first before you answer under crackhead. Its ok to say you like him and you will miss him(even tho you dont know him yall make me laugh stupid people) but to not except the truth is beyond belief...

    September 2, 2009 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nikki

    It's "throes," not "throws"– he wasn't tossing addiction like a baseball.

    September 1, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. billy

    I did know Adam Goldstein (DJ AM) personally and had the unfortunate circumstance of working with him over the years, seeing his mediocre rise to sub stardom I can tell you that he was a hypocrite to the core. This guy was a prototypical drug addict and in my opinion a very boring DJ. He was a no talent hack who played records on a turntable and was known around LA for his unique scratching ability, what!?, I mean come on people, he didnt actually contribute anything original to music much less make the world a better place. He was arrogant, pompous and only wanted to make it with young girls in the trendy plastic la clubs, which is why he bacame a DJ in the first place! I got that right from the horse's mouth, BTW. One less no talent hack of a DEEJAY trying to cling onto the coat tail of some real successful celebrities kid. LOSER!

    September 1, 2009 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GF, Los Angeles

    No Gary I don't know what drug addiction is like because I CHOSE not to ever do drugs. It's a choice people make and this is one of many consequences for doing it. I don't feel bad for anybody who makes that choice and then pays the ulitmate price for it.

    September 1, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dan

    big effin deal. One less junkie on the street.

    September 1, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jason

    I consider this a suicide, as there was nothing "accidental" about his death. This may be harsh, but despite his alleged "talent", he was a junkie loser that ignored the "2nd chance" he got after the plane crash. Instead, he proved how big of a hypocrite he really was How can you honestly film a docu-series about overcoming addiction, and then die of a drug overdose shortly thereafter?! That'd be like Dr. Phil being arrested for beating his wife. Oh well, I feel for his family, but am oddly comforted by the idea of one less junkie on the streets.

    September 1, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. THB

    "Spinning records" is an art!!! If you don't know this then you shouldn't comment.....how many lounges, bars, clubs can make the scene without music and spinning the right records at the right time. Playing Cd's is not spinning....Learn before you speak...and if you don't have anything nice to say upon a persons death....don't speak at all.

    September 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. melissa

    djam went through a lot he had an addiction which he was fighting everyday. along comes a plane crash which killed four and severly hurt mimself and his friend. he was in pain and needed meds unfortunitly he is a addict and taking thos drugs would have set him back. thank god he wanted to help others and through this he will let his legacy be his music and the llove of family and others be that legacy. and to those who cast stones should look in there own mirror. rest in peace and let the music play on. love mel

    September 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gary

    R.I.P. AM, another good one gone way to soon... Addiction is a life long struggle. Until you've been through it yourself or know somone who has don't be ignorant and act like you have any idea what it's like...

    September 1, 2009 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. GF, Los Angeles

    He was a drug addict and it killed him – end of story. Happens over and over to celebs and non-celebs. I would've been sad if he died in the plane crash but not this way – he chose to do drugs and this is his consequence.

    September 1, 2009 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  16. Fortuneman

    We all have our battles in life. Adam had to fight his with millions of people watching. Though I didn't know him personally, my friends did. It's so easy for someone to make accusations and dump on a celebrity. It's so sad that people who didn't know him and have no business judging him will put their 2 cents in where it's not warranted. My thoughts and prayers go out to Adam's family and friends.

    September 1, 2009 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  17. susan

    How is "spinning records" an art? Good grief. The guy was a junkie that made a lot of money with his drugs & music lifestyle then he OD'd. The end.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  18. KJ

    Okay but, think about how can one take pain killers if they used to be an addict? No way no how...

    September 1, 2009 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  19. LBW

    This is so sad. He was so cute and he seemed to really have it going on. Addiction is a beast and it can kill you. He fought a good battle and I am sorry he lost. RIP.

    September 1, 2009 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  20. mandy

    i agree.....it has saddened me that people have posted comments on web sites calling him a crack head..adam was no crack head.he was super talented and meant alot to so many people.everyone has problems in life.some more then others.i myself am a recovering meth addict myself.the world needs more compassion for people suffereing through addictions..celebrity or otherwise.he was a human being,he was someones son,grandson, and friend.i think people need to look outside of the name calling and see him for who he was..a person with flaws and issues just like the next guy.his impact on music and dj-ing is forever set in stone..he will be missed..RIP adam...i hope the world can give you that ..for all the good you did..

    August 31, 2009 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |

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