PASADENA, Calif. — For a club deejay, it was unusually early, about 10 a.m. But Adam Goldstein, a.k.a. DJ AM, was bright-eyed and undeniably energized on a late morning last month at a summer session of the Television Critics Association.
On Friday, Goldstein was found dead in his apartment at age 36. A crack pipe and prescription pills were found in the Manhattan apartment, said a law enforcement official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.
In his July interview with The Associated Press, it was evident that DJ AM's new MTV show "Gone Too Far," was a passion project. He called it a teen "Intervention," referring to A&E's reality show about people who confront their addictions.
A hero among many teen music fans and himself a long-recovering addict, Goldstein was an appropriate host for the show, set to debut October 5. MTV didn't have an immediate comment on whether Goldstein's show would air, but said in a statement that it "was honored to support him as he helped young people battle their own addictions."
The following is part of Goldstein's interview with the AP at the annual promotional blitz, where networks tout their upcoming shows for the media.
AP: So, 'Gone Too Far.' Give me the pitch. 15 seconds. Go!
Goldstein: Basically, it is pretty much like teen 'Intervention.' I do an intervention for the MTV generation. A sibling reaches out to me, asks for help. Or a parent reaches out, asks for help. I show up, I offer them help. I'm a recovering addict, so, to me that's the one bond that we have. I can tell them what I did. I offer them 90 days in treatment. I follow up with them and help them get sober.
AP: This is hard to watch. I can't imagine what it's like to film?
Goldstein: The hardest moment for me is when I show the family footage that the client themselves, the child, has filmed of them using, and I see the faces of family members watching their son or daughter put a needle in their arm. And it becomes very real – not happening outside. ... And it's painful for me to show them, and I warn them. Nothing's changed, and they've allowed this person to use for so long. So, for me, it's vital that they know that, and they say, 'That's it. I'm done. I will do everything to help you live and nothing to help you die. When I'm giving you money every day, I'm helping you die. I can't do this anymore.'
AP: Having gone through that journey, continuing through that journey ourselves, what's it like for you to watch those videos?
Goldstein: Honestly, it's terrifying. I am a recovering drug addict. When I see it and I'm in their room and the paraphernalia and the whole lifestyle and everything, I still, 11 years later, have that little thing in my head that starts thinking, 'Oh, where's that? I wonder what that is?' And I look at it in this way, and I have to constantly remind myself why I'm here, and remember what it was like. And there's no better way to remember what it was like at my bottom than to see someone at their bottom, and to help them and lift them up.
AP: What are you hoping viewers will take away from the show?
Goldstein: I'm hoping what the show will do is give hope to a family, and to show that if your sister, your brother, whoever, maybe is acting this certain way, and you know that they're doing drugs, this is the reality of what they're really doing. You get to really see it. And you get to see that there is hope, there is an answer, that there is a way for them to stop.
AP: And how do you do that?
Goldstein: By helping them. I put them in treatment. I follow up with them the whole time. I talk to them. I say, "Why can't you stop? How come you have to answer that little bell that goes off in your head every time, when you know that your family's crying, you're stealing from your whole family? Did you think you were going to be like this when you were growing up? Are you happy? Where's this going to lead? Where's the future for you?" And, for me, to say all that, I'm hoping that the audience will relate and think, "Wow! I can identify."
AP: It seems as if you're a blessed guy. You're making it through addiction. You've obviously had a hell of a year. Do you feel as if you have an angel on your shoulder?
Goldstein: I must. I must. I just get on my knees every night and say, "Thank you."
AP: How are you doing in the aftermath of the accident?
Goldstein: I guess I get why they call it "post trauma," because it was very tough. I have really bad days and I have really OK days. It's strange. I'm blessed. I'm alive. I'm here.
Associated Press Writer Colleen Long in New York contributed to this report.