DJ AM: Alive Last Night At Santos’

It was a mandatory event. One year after his death, DJ AM was memorialized at Santos’ Party House. He was great in so many ways: DJ, performer, person, friend. Everybody was making their own list last night. Santos’ honcho, Dave Delzio, was furiously texting me to get there. “Damn man, every club owner, can’t even drop names—it’s that crazy. It’s insane, it’s packed. Amazing!” It’s hard for me to get from my house to Santos. Even though it’s a short jaunt, I have to stop and chat with the local yokels. My path took me by Goldbar, where I waylaid Jon Lennon, who couldn’t leave ‘cause he was working—but he realized had to pay respects, be part of it. As we walked the final few blocks, we talked of gin and beer, Greenpoint, my ex-assistant Nathalie Glanzman (who we love), and the state of our art. Santos is almost amazing, but falls short too often. They need to become more dynamic to reach the full potential of this ridiculously perfect space. Last night shows what it can do, and I hope management gets it done this fall. As we approached it from Canal street, we spied the eclectic crowd in line and felt the good vibrations. Jon was happy he skipped out for the half hour.

“Adam DJ AM Goldstein” still lives, even while he rests with Elvis, Morrison, and the rest. Last night, all of clubdom came to support his charity. From the one-sheet:

“The DJ AM Memorial Fund carries on his legacy, raising funds and cultivating media partnerships to bolster the efforts of several organizations and projects combating addiction.”

Jon and I shook a hundred hands as we worked our way to the booth. DJ Jus Ske was murdering it. When he is on, he is as good as anyone. Everybody respects that. Last night he was over the top. You can always tell when that’s happening, as an inordinate number of heads are looking at the booth. I shook hands with Stretch Armstrong, Andy Brown, Jesse Marco, and half a dozen other great DJs. I looked around for Mark Ronson. I think the word is melancholy. Everybody was having a great time, seeing how good clubs can be and all that, but under it all loomed the tragedy of addiction and its terrible tentacles. The best DJ wasn’t there. The booth would be crowded but missing at least one player. Drugs, addiction, and other nocturnal distractions have taken DJ AM, and Larry Levan, and too many other talents. Drugs are one part of our culture that doesn’t discriminate, evaluate bank balances, popularity, or potential. It cuts a deep swath, and never stops knocking at the door. I’ve lost way too many friends to remember. Last night, we remembered, and realized our loss, and the gift that was DJ AM. I never met anyone who didn’t like or respect him. I asked Santos’ co-owner Larry Golden to give me his take.

“We had a really special night tonight. Lots of legends—lots! Too many to begin to name, but the main thing was the music, fucking sick! Highlights for me were Clark Kent and Stretch, but all the DJs were amazing, and I’m not just blowing smoke. The crowd was a downtown who’s who, beautiful. This is why I love my job, and why I love NYC. Legendary shit, people will remember tonight for years.”

Larry sent me that at 3:30 am. He’s more eloquent at 4am. Dave Delzio got in the final word, as is so often his desire:

“Everyone is here to support their true friend, and to honor his memory. They were friends, peers and fans. They want to keep his memory alive, and plan on a annual benefit in his name and support of the am charity/benefit.”

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