A look back as Travis Barker and DJ AM look ahead to a 'full recovery'
According to People, Dr. Fred Mullins of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga., told press that the former Blink-182 drummer and DJ AM (real name: Adam Goldstein) are being treated for second- and third-degree burns, which can often take up to a year to recover from.
Barker was burned on his torso and lower body. DJ AM was burned on his arms and part of his head. Both are still in the intensive care unit.
But Mullin explains that, given their overall good health and lack of other crash-related injuries, "I would expect it would be much sooner than that."
I just read Goldstein's January '08 Glamour article, in which he details his wild youth, parental emotional abuse, drug addiction, intestinal surgery, suicide attempt, eating disorders. And if he can recover from parental, drug, alcohol and food abuse, he should be able to heal from the burns.
On his abusive father:
"I was probably destined to be a drug addict. I grew up in Philadelphia with a father who seemed to hate me: The verbal abuse he subjected me to was unbelievably cruel. I would find out later that there was a good reason my father was so tortured -- he was secretly gay and addicted to drugs."
On his first rehab:
"She [his mother] took me to a treatment center that specialized in 'tough love.' Unbeknownst to my mother, the place was an abusive house of horrors that would eventually be shut down. The counselors beat us. They spit in our faces. They starved us. They never let us see or talk to our parents. It was 100 percent brainwashing. Four or five months into my stay, I was told my mother had come to see me. I was praying she was going to say, 'I've come to take you home.' But she said, 'Your father is dying of AIDS. I hope you can deal with that here. I'm proud of you.' And she left."
His drug-dealing and eating:
"My main source of income was stealing cash and drugs from drug dealers. I acted as the middleman: I'd find out who'd gotten a shipment of drugs, then send shady people I knew over to their homes to rob them. We would all split the profits.â€¨... All along, I hated myself for being overweight. I used to stand in front of my mirror, holding rolls of flesh in my hands, wishing I could cut it off with a knife. Every time I walked into a room I thought people were saying, 'There's the fat guy.' "
Doing crack and deejaying:
"When I was 20, I started freebasing cocaine. For the next four years, that's about all I did -- with the exception of deejaying, which I'd been obsessed with ever since I saw Herbie Hancock do the song 'Rockit' at the Grammy Awards. During the night, I would scratch records, knocking back enough drinks to feel like a fun, social guy. But as soon as work ended, I would take my money, race downtown and buy crack. Soon I was doing three gigs a week -- all wasted. If I made $150, I would tell myself, I'll spend $50 on drugs and keep the rest. But I'd spend $50 that night, $40 at six the next morning, then I'd go back downtown in traffic at 11 A.M. to spend the rest of my money."
Putting a gun in his mouth:
"At 24 I felt like my life was over. So I went into my living room, reached into a cabinet above my TV and grabbed my gun, a loaded .22. I sat back on my heels, cocked it and put it into my mouth. Then I squinted my eyes and said, "... this." I pulled the trigger.... The gun didn't go off. I thought, Are you kidding me? I'm such a ...ing failure I can't even kill myself? I dropped the gun and broke down."
To find out how he makes it through, keep reading.....
On going to meetings and staying sober:
"On Monday morning I went to a meeting and said, 'I can't deejay sober -- I sucked. This is how I pay my rent, and if I can't deejay, I don't know what I'm going to do.' After the meeting, a guy came up to me and said, 'I promise you, if you stay sober, your career will go further than you ever imagined possible.' Somehow I knew this total stranger was telling me the truth. At that moment, I began to get better. I started to work out: I'd wake up in the morning and run my ass off. Right away I lost 60 pounds and went from 270 to 210 (I'm 5'11"). I spent the rest of my time practicing deejaying. The more I practiced, the better I got, and the better I got, the more jobs I landed. I did Tom Cruise's birthday party, Leonardo DiCaprio's birthday party, and the jobs just started to roll in."
On losing the weight and gaining self-esteem:
"As the years passed, I grew stronger in recovery, but my food issues spiraled out of control. By the time I was 30, I weighed 324 pounds and hated my body more than anything.... It was so painful, particularly because I'd been there before.... After looking at every option, I decided on gastric bypass surgery. Within a year I'd lost 100 pounds. The weight just came right off. But it was by no means the easy way out: Now I had to learn how to like myself.â€¨"
On always knowing that he's still a drug addict:
"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.">
Photo: DJ AM (Adam Goldstein) at a recent event. WireImage