Jim Carroll legendary Punk-poet-singer has died, died

Jim Carroll, best known for his autobiographical novel, The Basketball Diaries and his 1980 album Catholic Boy, has died from a heart attack.  He was 60.   He was found dead at his Manhattan home Friday, but his family did not announce his death until Monday.

Carroll was poet and writer who had his first book of poetry published at the age of 17.  He gained fame with the release of his 1978 novel The Basketball Diaries (made into a movie in 1995, with Leonardo DiCaprio) which was a version of the diaries he kept as a New York City high school student.  The book follows his high school years while a star basketball player, who at the same time became addicted to heroin by the age of 13 and soon turned to prostitution to support his habit.

Throughout his teenage years, Carroll wrote constantly, publishing his first book of poetry, Organic Trains, in 1967.  The release of it moved author Jack Kerouac to declare, "At 13 years of age, Jim Carroll writes better prose than 89 percent of the novelists working today" 

After kicking his heroin habit in the early 1970s he became a fixture on the burgeoning New York City punk scene.  At the urging of friend, Patti Smith, Carroll eventually formed The Jim Carroll Band, releasing his debut album, Catholic Boy, in 1980.

The album was propelled along by the single “People Who Died”, a sharp look at the underside of life as seen through Carroll’s wizened eyes, and moved Carroll from underground icon to mainstream status.  Newsweek's Barbara Graustark said of him at the time it made him a, “contender for the title of rock's new poet laureate."

Throughout the rest of his life Carroll continued to release albums and write.  At the time of his death he had just completed a new novel, The Petting Zoo.  No date has been set for its release.

 

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