DJ AM: Today We Mourn a Non-Entity

September 1, 2009
The shiz that put Crazy Town on the map: DJ AM.

The shiz that put Crazy Town on the map: DJ AM.

[Tip of the hat to RF Interference who first informed me of DJ AM’spassing, and in turn, his existence by asking, “Are the pacifier brigade in mourning?” (Or words to that effect.) A further tip of the hat to Tannerleah over at Stop Annoying Me for bringing my annoyance with the past existence of DJ AM bubbling back to the surface.]

The world is suddenly abuzz with news of DJ AM’s overdose. “Who?” some of you are probably asking. “Whom?” others of you are asking, more properly and possibly with a British accent. I asked myself this same question.

As a follower of electronic music and DJs in general, even I hadn’t heard of him. Turns out I was travelling in the wrong circles. DJ AM was known best for his squiring of such luminous figures as Nicole Richie and Mandy Moore. A professional celebrity DJ.

Crazy Town signalled their craziness through various neck movements and refusal to line up single-file. Also, they had a DJ for no apparent reason.

Crazy Town signalled their craziness through various neck movements and refusal to line up single-file. Also, they had a DJ for no apparent reason.

Here’s a little more background on DJ AM:

DJ AM’s (a.k.a. Adam Goldstein) first tenuous claim to 15 minutes came as the “DJ” for “his” “band” Crazy Town, a band as edgy and threatening as a temporary tattoo. You may notice that I have multiple sets of quotation marks in the previous sentence. It’s no mistake. Let’s go ahead and diagram the hell out of it:

DJ” – Meaning AM was the jackass in the back, fiddling madly with the turntables and mugging for the camera during his allotted 10-20 seconds per music video. His contribution is unknown. Perhaps the “band” felt its street cred would rise above “lunch money donor” on the musical playground. All anyone asked of their DJs is that they stay in the back and shut the fuck up.

his” – Crazy Town wa no more his band than the Beatles were Pete Best’s. He was one of those added features that several bands of that era (Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, etc.) deluded themselves into thinking was essential. So they all got a DJ and who’s heard anything from those turntablists recently? But nevertheless, there it was. Have band, need DJ. As de riguer as the loud-quiet-loud dynamic, faux-rapping and the “I’m singing from inside an old-timey radio” vocal effect.

band” – Crazy Town was a band in the sense that they all played instruments (except DJ AM) under one name as a somewhat cohesive unit. Much like Scary Movie 3is a film, in that it’s shot on film and played on a projector. Still no one’sgoing to confuse it with other films, like The Godfather or even Mobsters.

That’s the backstory.

On August 28th, DJ AM is found dead in his apartment of an apparent “accidental” overdose. The tweet goes out and is soon answered. Here’s a few of the fringe celebrities and would-be rock stars, who were among the first to max out their vocabularies, building deep thoughts out of 140-word sentences: Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy), Paris Hilton, Perez Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Mandy Moore, John Mayer, Ryan Seacrest, Jordin Sparks, P. Diddy.

Let’s take a peek at some of their incredible eulogies, presumably iPhoned in during a rigorous workout/massage/blowjob:

@johncmayer I really want to use words right now but I can’t get em.

THX, John. I really want to not beat you with your own guitar, but English is hard.

@solangeknowles I hope people don’t taint his legacy…..because there isn’t any concrete proof yet. That guy was a walking miracle.

Wonderful, whoever-the-fuck-you-are. He died of drugs surrounded by drug paraphernalia, so I’m guessing “concrete proof” is just an autopsy away (and there is one). Also, Jesus would like to inform you that miracles seldom include dying, at least not if you can’t shake it off in 3 days. Also, also: an ellipsis is three dots, not however the hell many you want. You’re working with a 140-character limit. Don’t use it all at once.

@BonnieFuller DJ AM DEAD & SO SAD! I wonder if the poor thing was suffering from survivor’s guilt after that terrible plane crash

Awesome. Thanks for the amateur diagnosis, BF. If this is “survivor’s guilt” then get a 24-hour suicide watch up at Travis Barker’s place. He “walked” away from that crash as well, and these things always come in three’s. (Someone find a third person to tie into this. I can’t have my pet theories continually crushed by your speeding Buick LeSabre of logic.)

These are the people whose lives he touched. Presumably. All of them bemoaning the “tragedy” and the “why god why” of a relatively young (36) starfucker cut down in his prime, by his own failure to do correct maths while drugging himself up.

Nowhere in this outpouring of shallowness is there a single twit (they liked to be called this) pointing out that suicide is the selfish chickenshit’s way out. Or that he was only batting .500 against life’s tough pitching, having failed to make a gun do the only thing it’s supposed to do in his first attempt. Or that he died committing a crime* and, therefore, deserves no more eulogizing that the thug who gets killed holding up a liquor store.

*We can debate the stupidity of the Drug War elsewhere, perhaps in the comment thread, but at this point, drug possession and use are illegal. And usually treated more seriously than liquor store holdups.

Unfortunately for DJ AM, the NCAA is posthumously stripping him of this key victory over the odds.

Unfortunately for DJ AM, the NCAA is posthumously stripping him of this key victory over the odds.

And now they’re going to do an autopsy? What the fuck for? Looks pretty open and shut to me. Lifelong drug abuser dies surrounded by drugs, having used his last moments to use drugs. Previous suicide attempt on the rap sheet.

Why? Can’t be the parents. Apparently, Daddy AM was an abusive asshole who is currently dead. Mommy AM sent him to rehab, so she may have a stake in this.

His friends? God help me, I really want to put the largest set of quotes ever made around that word. Friends. Nothing but a bunch of ready-made has-beens clinging to each other in the hopes that somehow they’ll matter, at least to themselves. The fuck do they care? They’ll move on. Their memories are as short as their careers and as lasting as their talent.

Maybe they’ll start a memorial fund, dropping cocaine-tainted $100’s into a lockbox from some teen rehab facility. Maybe not.

Is someone out there hoping the toxicology report will somehow turn the c-list sinner into a saint? A martyr for the privileged starfucker way of life? That he somehow OD’ed on “life”?

In a (very) brief memoriam, let’s take a look at DJ AM’s contribution to the music world:

  • Crazy Town – The Gift of Game
  • DJ AM & Travis Barker – Fix Your Face (Vol. 1)
  • DJ AM & Travis Barker – Fix Your Face (Vol. 2)

One album with a one-hit wonder and two compilation albums that were apparently released by his label, Street Corner Trunk Sales. No wonder he was beloved by fans of music and DJs alike.

R.I.P. DJ AM. The light that burns half as bright gets extinguished by the slightest breeze.



  1. I was going to wait for a fan of DJ AM to show up and blast you but I suspect that day may never come.

    Absolutely outstanding post. However, you do have to give the guy credit for shagging Mandy Moore. She has blossomed into a handsome young woman.

    I would like to say more but I simply must go see what Solange is Twittering about this morning.

    • It’ll be a cold day in the internets before Lindsay Lohan or John Mayer grace us with their stunted vocabularies.

      True, AM did stick it to Ms. Moore, but that says more about Mandy than it does about AM.

      Thanks for the compliments, TL. This post belongs partly to you.

      And by all means, let’s see what Solange is twittering about:

      My brother has an impressive sock collection.

      Holy fucking shit. This Twitter is surely the second coming of sliced Jesus.

      (I’m not kidding. It says that.)


      Here’s proof:

  2. Fascinating as always, CLT.

    (I don’t understand why you gotta bring Crazy Town into this, though…”Butterfly” was the song that made me believe in love again)

    I admit that I was saddened when I heard about DJ AM, but not because I felt a strong personal connection to him or anything (I knew he was a DJ of sorts, but like our friend Rick Schnabel, I never really understood his craft). I immediately felt bad for his family and “behind the scenes” friends, the ones who’ll most likely blame themselves and spend the rest of their lives saying “If only I’d said/done/noticed…”

    And although this may be a little off topic, I think one of my biggest problems with the whole sad debacle is that both the LA Times and TMZ consider Heidi Montag’s tweets worthy of acknowledgement in the first place.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Bschooled (both directed at me and elsewhere).

      Sorry about dragging Crazy Town into this. They made all of us believe in love, at least during that one inebriated night.

      As for the “behind the scenes” friends, my gut feeling is that those friends were the first to be dismissed when they couldn’t provide fame, fortune, connections or drugs.

      I could be wrong. I often am.

      The LA Times and TMZ do so much to make our chunk of the blog-world look that much better. So I guess I’ll let them live.

  3. So whay are you saying, some guy died. Ohhh, oohh, that’s a damn shame.

    Ted Kennedy, now there’s a dead guy.

  4. Don’t know him, never heard of him. (I’m familiar with Sam I AM but I suspect that really doesn’t mean much.)

    Anyway, despite having no idea who this fellow is, your post was damned entertaining, made me snort my rye through my nose and was wonderfully written.

    Well done, CLT.


    • Thanks, Don. I too was unaware that AM was alive until I noticed he was dead. If that doesn’t reek of irony, then my name isn’t Capitalist Fucking Lion Tamer.

      Thanks for the visit, Don. Careful with the rye shots. (I think you’re doing them wrong.)

  5. This guy got a tattoo of Bud Bundy?

    Or is that an autopsy shot?

  6. I love that line. “I too was unaware that AM was alive until noticed he was dead.”

    That pretty much sums it up doesn’t it?

    But was he ever truly alive? Was he? Truly?



    • I’m going to have to assume that he was alive, much like that damn rhetorical tree in the forest, the one that doesn’t make a sound until it falls, and then all hell breaks loose on Twitter.

      Micro-celebrities being micro-eulogized by the smallest minds in the business. If and when I go, I hope it’ll take more than 140 characters to say goodbye.

      It takes me over 350 words to say damn near anything at this point.

  7. I was enraged and upset until I realized I was unhip and didn’t know what you were talking about.

    • I was unhip to this as well. After being properly sorted by RF Interference and Tannerleah, I did some research (got “hipped”) and then got enraged and upset.

      And then I wrote that. And here we all are now, approximately on the same page.

  8. Can I cheat off you for finals?

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