Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Jim Carroll, R.I.P.

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The crush of recent events has delayed my marking the recent death at age 60 of rock 'n' roll poet Jim Carroll--though I don't have a lot to add to the most eloquent of the obituaries, including the one that ran in The New York TImes, which found the artist being lauded by luminaries and peer such as Patti Smith.

Though he'll probably be best remembered in the music world for "People Who Died," the breakout track from his debut album "Catholic Boy" (1980), all of his recordings have some very strong moments--it's a short but potent discography--and his novelistic memoir The Basketball Diaries is one of my favorites in the form, as well as deserving a place beside Hubert Selby's Last Exit to Brooklyn on any tally of the most harrowing accounts of life on the streets of New York.

Plus, talk about points for cool, his supposedly is the voice talking about 'ludes and ordering a double shot of Pernod at the Velvet Underground's last ever show in its original incarnation, as captured on the album "Live at Max's Kansas City."

Leo DiCaprio never really did him justice, but then few could.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on September 16, 2009 5:15 PM.

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