I picked up The New York Times today and read that Jim Carroll had died. Wow, it threw me off. Shouldn’t come as a surprise given his earlier drug use, but somehow you want those people important to you to live forever. I think he probably had made a deal with the devil to live until 60. “Hope I die before I get old” as The Who sang- ah, exactly how old is old anyway- well, it’s approximately 10 years older than whatever age YOU currently are.
Jim’s book “The Basketball Diaries” was such a big influence on me. My song “Tar on the Roof” was inspired by it and a bunch of others I wrote while under the spell of his writing. I’ll always associate the Inwood section of New York with Jim, even if it has long since ceased being an Irish neighborhood.
I went to a few readings Jim gave in Los Angeles and one surprising thing was how funny he was. Really, he was a better stand up comedian than most stand up comedians. The kind of humor that is so true it hurts, and you knew he had lived it, and so had you, too.
From one Catholic boy to another, God bless you Jim, wherever you are.