Testimony of Former Guns N’ Roses Manager Doug Goldstein: ‘I Know That If It Is God’s Will, He Will Provide A Way’
By Contributing Writer Doug Goldstein
Growing up the son of a Police Officer and a waitress, in San Diego, I was the baby of the family. My brother Sam was 5 years older than myself, yet we shared a room, until he left for College. My Sister, Candace, is three years younger than I, and with two working parents, had the role of Mom, more often than not.
I was pretty bright growing up, (Not sure what happened…LOL), and was bored in class. I quickly became the “Class Clown,” which was a moniker that didn’t exactly please my father! Regular visits to the Principal’s office, was the norm.
My Dad had a rage issue, and my Mom was Alcoholic, Bi-Polar, which made for a very difficult upbringing. Early on, I was allowed to visit areas of San Diego that most kids could only dream of. I belonged to a program called, “The National Union of Thinkers Society”, or N.U.T.S. for short. Even at age 8, I saw the irony in this acronym. We would take field trips to The San Diego Zoo, getting to see the birth process of many animals. Often, we went to Museums, and plays, as part of the N.U.T.S. program.
As a young man, I started working concerts and sporting events, and worked to save money this way.
My father took us to church EVERY Sunday. I was always in awe of the fact that my Dad sang ALL the hymns, and was the most boisterous person in our Church. I was very proud of his singing, as we were a VERY musical family.
I started to notice the differences between “light and dark”. By this, I mean, the differences by those things that were “Godly”, and the things that were “satanic.” I remember listening to the radio, hearing Blue Oyster Cult sing,
“I’m living for giving the Devil his due, I’m burning, burning for you’!!! I immediately thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me”! From that point forward, if I heard “questionable lyrical content”, I’d turn off the radio. Shortly thereafter, the band AC/DC released, “Highway to Hell”, further reinforcing my disdain for anything Satanic.
On Halloween of my 19th year, I was working as a teacher’s assistant at a rival High School. One of the kids in detention, Edward Mitchell, was a beautiful soul, that would bring me my Diet Pepsi and Copenhagen everyday. He was a wonderful young man. I had planned to go to a party in a very remote area in the hills. It was a small gathering of friends. Somehow, (and to this day, nobody knows how), Ed Mitchell showed up. He quickly became VERY drunk, and some of my friends were doing some heinous hazing type things to this sweet young man.
I put him in the back of his truck, as I knew where he lived. I brought my friend with me. I was out of my element, not knowing where I was. I approached a cul-de-sac and attempted to turn around. The car was stuck, and I kept hitting drive and reverse. Nothing was happening. I finally asked my friend to see what we were stuck on, and he looked at me and said….” He’s DEAD”!!! I opened my driver’s door to see the head of this sweet young man. The correlation of Halloween and this, were the impetus to my becoming saved. I started giving my testimony to any and everyone that would listen. It was there, that I first put together one of the BIG questions of Non-Believer’s, “How can your loving God let children die”, or some other derivation of this. Well, I’m not sure about my fellow Christians, but last time I checked, Heaven is the place where we all aspire to go!! No tears, no pain, loving, living with our Creator. So, I pondered, if God can take someone from Earth, with all the hatred, pain, angst, et. al, to place I’ve dreamt about getting to, and tried to live accordingly, and (this is the important caveat), positively affect those left behind, then what are we REALLY talking about here?
I left to College, and quickly got caught up in the crazy life again. All the while, I’d get these reminders from God…. “Doug… Do I have to slap you off your horse to Damascus”? , from God. And being the stubborn Bull-headed personality, that’s what it usually took! I’ve almost died countless times through the years.
I continued to work Concerts and sporting events like The Super Bowl. I had clearly strayed from my righteous path and was fooling myself daily.
I worked on the road as a Director of Security/bodyguard for many bands, from The Rolling Stones, to Van Halen, and many others. After years of this, I received a call from two prominent Business Managers, Barry Siegel and Richard Feldstein.
They said, “you’re too smart to be a bodyguard…have you thought about Tour Managing”? Actually, I hadn’t, but was inquisitive. They asked what I thought about Guns N Roses? I had never heard of them, so quickly quipped, “well given the choice, I would rather have a rose stuck in my face….”
I was hired after meeting with their manager and the band. After about 6 months, the manager gave me a 50% share in his company. Soon after, he was let go, and I became the Personal Manager. I created the largest recording deal in the history of music, at age 30. Than, the GROSS excess of monetary expenditures followed!
Ferrari’s, million dollar homes; heck, I even had over a million dollars in watches.
I also had to negotiate my way around having riots occur, knowing that I was the ONLY person (notice I wasn’t involving God), that could stop them from happening. I’ve had a machine gun stuck in my chest in Bogota, had an army of soldiers pointing AK-47’s at me in Rio De Janeiro. Not entirely fun and games.
I had married a woman from the Big Island of Hawaii, and only after being married for some years, did I find out that she’s an atheist! In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that a person from as beautiful of a place could NOT believe in our Creator. The dysfunctionality of that relationship manifested in so many ways, that I won’t share, out of respect for my two beautiful sons. My atheist wife picked the names of my sweet boys. As any father can attest, my life radically changed when the boys were born! I don’t think I’ve EVER loved anything more, or ever will, than them. It was the first time I’d experienced unconditional love. …. The first boy, she named … Jacob Samuel Goldstein.
ALL I could do is thank Jesus, as in my walk with Christ, I wasn’t living an exemplary example! Five years later, I had my baby naming book out, and my atheist wife tells me, she already has the name picked out…….Drum Roll please…….Elijah Thomas Goldstein… Whew.
I retired in 2004 from music, choosing to move to Hawaii, where my boys were now living with my Ex. It was a constant battle of following them, every time she moved. She’s done some vial things that have created huge gaps in time, with my boys and I refuse to let the boys know some of the ways in which I was hurt, as I just don’t see the point in hurting their hearts. She is their MOM, and I will always respect that.
My second wife, Bridget, treated me incredibly well. I NEVER worried about her being with anyone else, she is a very integral based person. I loved her children, Keely and Colby, like my own, and still do! At age 12, poor Bridget was the only eyewitness to one of our country’s biggest serial killers, (Rodney James Alcala), who murdered her friend. He was Satan on Earth! He’s now been linked through DNA testing to 130 murders of young girls and boys. He won on the Dating Game, but the gal that picked him, decided not to go out with him, after they met. She had to face him in 2010, in court for the third time. It took all God’s power, to keep me from exacting God’s will on this demented, twisted person.
Bridget, after 8 years of having a great marriage, decided one day, to throw out all of my meds, including one that kept me from being in a state of Mania. The next 3 ½ months are a blur. I only know that I woke up with $7.5 million less than I had. If not for the constant love and support of my one Christian friend that I’d known since my childhood Christian camp days, Mike Figueras, I’d be dead.
I was driving 110 MPH around the Big Island everyday, and only with Mike, and God’s Angels to protect me, did I make it.
I came back Stateside and spent a lot of time with my Father. Big Sam had become my BEST Friend. Long gone were the days of his hostility, replaced instead by his steadfast love of Christ. I nonchalantly, “pretended” to be a Christian also, for years. My Dad reminded me of Christ’s love. I still wasn’t having it.
One day, I was checking my email, and I received a message from a lady named Sandy Steinkamp. I thought to myself, this can’t be Sweet Sandy, who I met on tour with Air Supply? She was the nicest person I’d ever met! That was in 1985!!!
Now it’s 2013, and she’s found me. She asked if I remembered her. REMEMBERED? Heck, she was the one that got away! I about broke my fingers calling her. We’ve been together ever since. Sandy’s devotion to Christ is undeterred. Her style of witnessing, as she’s quite shy and humble, is through actions. I still acted the “phony Christian” part, going to church with her, and always cried, because I knew I was only half in.
I took a fateful business trip one day. I was sitting in the middle seat, and to my left, on the window, was a distinguished looking gentleman, and to my right, a biker type guy. We were barely in the air, and the biker guy started cursing. I could feel the gentleman next to me, was uncomfortable, so I mentioned to the biker guy, that “WE” should probably curb our language out of respect for the man next to me. The next day, I was flying back to LA, and I saw the same distinguished gent, sitting there making calls. I took my ticket up to the counter, (clearly God driven) and asked if I could sit next to my Uncle. She obliged, than when I sat down, I was dying to know more about this man. Turns out his name is Ted Baehr, and he basically runs the Christian Film & Television Commission® in Hollywood. I remember we prayed, and he asked for my email. To this day, I start EVERYDAY, reading those four scriptures, to keep my mind focused on honoring Christ! I STILL wasn’t living the life God wants me to.
I left my lady Sandy, to move to Orlando for a job. While there, I ran into a wonderful black man who is ON FIRE for Christ. I told him that I was too! Jon Nicholas, has a testimony that makes mine look lame! Jon left for a couple weeks, and when he came back, he asked me to lunch. He had just gotten back from acting in The Chosen. We went to lunch, and he directly called me out on my NOT acting like a Christian. I took it on the chin, after first denying it. Later that month, I was being baptized by my wonderful friend Jon the Baptizer..(couldn’t resist). That was three years ago March. Since that time, I’ve been praying that God will allow me the opportunity to spread my testimony worldwide, to non-believers, using my vast experiences in music. I’ve registered a LLC name, Rock for Eternity. The message is: You can still be cool and love Christ!!!
I know that if it is God’s will, he will provide a way, for my ministry to flourish.
Until then, I’m finally living the life that my dad was singing about, in my youth!
Sweet Sandy and I now are married, and I hope and pray that she’s FINALLY proud of the man I’ve become…It’s been a tough road!
– Doug Goldstein
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