March 30th, 1973 - August 29th, 2009
Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein meant a lot of things to a lot of people. To some he was one of the world’s greatest DJ’s- a mi master who was the king of mash-ups, to others he was a great example of staying sober despite the odds in working at clubs and around nightlife- always with a Redbull in hand. But most importantly, to many he was a friend- a person whose smile was as genuine as his heart. To me Adam was all of the above.
I will never forget the first time I met him. It was about 5+ years ago one summer night. I had been out on the town with my friend Leah and we ended up hanging out with her LA DJ friend Steve Aoki. We all went back to this apartment where a bunch of industry people were sitting around playing poker. I was still young and fairly new to NYC and I felt a bit out of place and awkward, so I sat on a couch nearby wondering how exactly to fit into the equation. Suddenly Adam walked in. He had an air about him that was just so real in such a jaded scene. Unlike some of the other guests who didn’t give me a second glance, I will never forget that Adam came directly over to me first and sat down and introduced himself. He loved my leopard headband and we began to talk about music. I was at first a bit star-struck because I loved music and had always admired DJs. As we talked I became less self-conscious and appreciative of his attempts to make me feel comfortable in someone else’s home. While he was playing poker I went home because I was tired. I assumed I would never see him again but the next day I woke up to an email on my MySpace asking me to grab dinner. I couldn’t even believe this guy with hundreds of thousands of MySpace friends even checked his own website. That was a perfect example of how down to earth Adam was. In a world of divas and posers Adam was a fine example of staying ‘real’ despite his shining star.
Over the years we remained friends, hanging out when able to and so on. He wasn’t a best friend and often months would go by with no real talk, especially after the plane crash, but he would ALWAYS put me on the list at every one of his gigs and stop to give me a big hug and catch up, One time a bouncer at an event gave me a hard time about coming in and Adam left the booth during his set to come flag me in. He was a selfless guy who made everyone around him feel special.
Adam was the first person who told me to DJ. One time, a few years ago, I had gone over to visit him at the Bryant Park Hotel and we just sat screaming songs to download at his computer in a state of music frenzy. I worked at developing indie artists and booking indie-type music events at the time so I told him about Shiny Toy Guns and Dragonette and he was so excited about the bands that he looked at me and said “Linds, you should totally be a DJ! Wear your headband and call yourself DJ Hipster Tits”. Needless to say I couldn’t imagine being a DJ at the time, or calling myself “Hipster Tits”, but it created a spark inside me that wasn’t fulfilled until years later when I bought my first Serato scratch records.
I have seen Adam spin across the country- everywhere from Miami’s Winter Music Conference, Banana Split parties at LAX, and his numerous special guest sets at NY’Cs Marquee. He never once had a bad set but for someone who seemed to master the decks even he had moments of nerves. When I booked Mickey Avalon and Andre Legacy once to perform at an event I put together at NYC’s former club Stereo, Adam, who was best friends since childhood with Mickey and Andre’s manager “Kev-E-Kev, decided to pop in and do a free impromptu set at the event. I was stoked! I couldn’t believe what an amazing addition he would be to the night. When he got there he told me he was going to do his first “hipster set” ever with some of the music I had sent him. He was known more in the mainstream and hip hop circuits so he decided to try out a different genre just for this night. I will never forget how nervous he looked as he was spinning on stage and everyone just pushed up against the stage staring about him. That was the crazy thing about AM- everyone wanted to just watch him for hours instead of dancing, His quick transitions and total commanding of the music and the room was dizzying. As he got more and more overwhelmed he took the microphone and shoved it in my hands with a laugh and said “Lindsay please get on the mike and kindly ask everyone to stop staring at me and start dancing”. And I did. When his set was done I hung out with him and Kev-E-Kev and thus began a friendship with Kev as well- another amazing LA DJ and entrepreneur. Both of these guys were and are an inspiration to my career today.
Adam left a huge mark on my life and my career. Today I am a full-time DJ working hard to build my career both nationally and internationally. My headbands are my signature look, I stay sober during my sets, I am a champion of Serato, and I take risks with my music. Adam had a knack for mixing Beyonce with Fraggle Rock and making the un-thinkable work and I relish trying the same. Adam was somebody who stayed real in a land of fake and stayed sober in a world of debauchery. He was a friend and an inspiration to many before he was a celebrity, and he worked hard to be one of the most respectable DJ’s in this business. Those who disrespect DJ’s artistry haven’t realized how much of our lives are spent dancing to their beats and learning from their musical selections. A DJ can truly “save your life on the dance floor”.
The way Adam lived his life and treated others, even strangers, around him was commendable and I can only imagine that in light of the many obstacles and recent injuries from the plane crash, the demons just took over. Regardless, Adam you will always remain an inspiration to me. Thank you for everything. I will continue on with my career, indeed, ‘Hipster Tits’ plans to take it to the top for you, headband and all.
The Post's News article: Here