"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Diamond Dog

jim carroll

Jim Carroll, a classic New York figure–troubled and talented–passed away on September 11th. I missed it until I saw this fine appreciation by Alex Williams¬†in Sunday’s New York Times.

I read The Basketball Diaries years ago and remember liking it very much, especially the parts about the Upper West Side back when it was a rough and tumble neighbhorhood.

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4 comments

1 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:59 am

Wow. I hadnt heard about his death. Read the book in my teens, and so many of his images have stuck with me, especially the darker passages about heroin -- but the image I loved the most was his description about playing basketball, and how you can change direction mid-air. I didn't see the movie based on the book, and I didn't follow his careers as an artist, or musician. I hope he found peace in his life. Very gifted, very tragic guy.

2 Jim in Binghamton   ~  Sep 29, 2009 2:07 pm

Worth reading as well is his downtown diaries, a sort of sequel to the basketball diaries, where he hangs out at Max's Kansas City with Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.

I think it's in that book where he recalls watching the ABA all-star game on tv while strung out and remembering that he used to dominate a number of the ABA all-stars during his playground hoop days as a kid.

As for his music, People Who Died, which deals with his friends who appear in the BBDiaries is a punk classic, well worth a listen.

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 29, 2009 2:54 pm

I missed this as well. Carroll is a recurring character in Please Kill Me the fantastic oral history of the NYC punk movement of the 1970s. For those who have already read Basketball Diaries, I highly recommend Please Kill Me.

4 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 29, 2009 4:04 pm

[3] that book is worth it just for the stories about The Dead Boys, who might be the most revolting characters I have ever read about

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver