Last night, our good friend Vic, invited us to a Palm Centro & Verizon Wireless Launch Party at Elevate
, the club in downtown LA. I've wanted to check out Elevate for a while now so I jumped at the chance to attend. Eugene, my brother, has gone there a few times and been really impressed with the place and I couldn't pass up checking out how Palm & Verizon threw a launch party.
Elevate was one of the nicest LA clubs I've been to in awhile, large dance floor, modern/chic decor, and amazing views of the city. Palm & Verizon threw a great event - instead of using a camera, they had the phone set up to take pictures of people against a step & repeat backdrop - they raffled off a few Palms and cash (which was interesting, I guess, but in my opinion, took away from the party a little), and they had a few Palms lying around for people to try out. Overall, a great experience. Brand was present but not too in-your-face.
What made the night was, not only hanging out with a few really good friends (Vic, and Grace, his girlfriend (who I call the President of our girls group), but seeing DJ AM spin. I'd seen him before, years ago, at an MTV Christmas party and, honestly, back then, I wasn't really impressed with him. DJ AM mixes a lot of pop and hip-hop.
It was last night's personal experience of him - I got to go up to him and take a picture (which will be coming soon), he was such a nice guy. More than that, though, were his skills. We got to watch him in action, and let me just say that the boy can scratch and mix beats like no tomorrow. He had the crowd dancing up a storm...his hands flying around the mixer, his decks, his laptop. I wouldn't say it was effortless, but it was completely impressive.
This morning, I wanted to read more about his story - how he overcame a tortured past, drug addiction, suicide attempts, obesity - to become what he is today. If you can't tell, I'm a person that likes to find out the back story to people - why or how they became who they are today. What kind of past led them to this present. To me, that's inspiration. None of us will have the same experiences in our life - that's what makes us unique. But, we can learn from each other and gain a deeper appreciation or understanding for one another.
magazine had an interview with him that told his story.
"I went into my living room, reached into a cabinet above my TV and grabbed my gun, a loaded .22," recalls the now 34-year-old. "I sat back on my heels, cocked it and put it into my mouth. I pulled the trigger. The gun didn't go off. I thought, 'Are you kidding me? I'm such an [expletive] failure I can't even kill myself? I dropped the gun and broke down. That was the turning point in my life.
I’m 34 now, and it’s been nine and a half years since I’ve had a drink or taken drugs. But every day I have to remind myself that no matter how much time I have behind me, I’m still a drug addict. At any given moment, I’m five seconds away from walking up to someone, grabbing their drink out of their hand and downing it. And if I do that, within a week, tops, I’ll be smoking crack. So even though I have this crazy fabulous life, I have to hold on to the ground, gripping the grass with both hands.
I’m not perfect; I drift all the time. If I go to a restaurant and hear there’s a 45-minute wait, my ego wants to say the worst sentence ever: “Do you know who I am?” Which, of course, really means, “Do you know who I think I am?” That’s when I have to remind myself of just who that is: a fat crackhead who’s lucky to be alive. And believe it or not, at that moment, I feel like the luckiest guy on earth."