“What does not kill me,” Jim Carroll once said, twisting Nietzsche, ” only serves to make me sleep until 3:30 the next afternoon.” I’m sorry: Grieve all you want about Michael and Farrah and Swayze. But this has been a cruel summer, taking the likes of Jim Carroll and Willie DeVille, who, combined, had more talent than any roster you can gin up.
Carroll, whose brilliant journals chronicling his days as a hustler and heroin addict in “The Basketball Diaries” was adapted in a film, will forever be known as the guy who gave us the immortal “People Who Died,” a song in which he chronicled the early deaths of people just like you and me. Carroll died of a heart attack on 9/11 at 60.
He dated Patti Smith. He challenged the conventions of his craft. He even found some unexpected cross-over success with his single, from the album “Catholic Boy.”
His latest novel, “The Petting Zoo,” will likely be released sooner than planned.
If you don’t know about Carroll’s work, find out. He was a rare breed.
Click here for the Jim Carroll Band’s version of “ People Who Died .”
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