Monday, September 14, 2009

Long live Mr. Jim Carroll

Jim Carroll - poet, author, musician - passed away on Friday from a heart attack. He was 60.

I saw Mr. Carroll perform once, back when I was in college. His set included a wonderful set of poems and even a few spoken word performances of his songs. He was a warm presence and seemed to genuinely enjoy talking to the auditorium.

Sad to hear he's no longer with us.

The New York Times has a nice obituary here.

I remember hunting high and low to find a copy of Carroll's 1991 release, Praying Mantis. It became one of the main missions of my freshman year of college in Boston. Every used record store in the city knew me as the kid looking for Praying Mantis. I finally found it, worn and beaten, months after my search began, and treasure it to this day. Here's one of my favorite pieces from the album, titled Fragment: Little N.Y. Ode:

I sleep on a tar roof
scream my songs
into lazy floods of stars. . .
and the sounds return
pure and easy. . .
This city is on my side.

3 comments:

RANCID!!! SEE YOU IN THE PIT!!!! said...

Heartless, man. First of all you post this news three days late. Secondly, you use this day, the day that Patrick Swayze goes to the big dancefloor in the sky, to go on and on and on about Mr. Junkie-man, Jim Carroll.
It's called "time management", Ben. See, you write about Mr. I-Need-A-Heroin-Fix-NOW on Friday and you write about Patrick Swayze today. Your wife runs a college or something, why don't you see if she has a class or something you can take. I mean, jeez.
Oh, and here's something for you: while you were slouching around your freshman year of college looking for whatever it was you were writing about (I've forgotten), *I* was rocking out to "...And Out Come the Wolves" by Rancid. That was in my senior year of college. I don't think those two years were the same year because you're, like, a certain number of years younger than me, but what I'm getting at is Mr. I-Take-Drugs-And-Turn-Tricks-In-Restrooms-With-Other-Men-To-Get-Money-For-More-Drugs was ON that album. He had a guest spot. And you know what, Mr. Blog-writer, whatever your name is? Rancid named the album after a line Mr. I-Died-On-Friday said during his little appearance.
Rest in peace, William.

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