Just saw in the New York Times that poet/hustler/rocker Jim Carroll died at the age of 60 of an apparent heart attack.
In 1981, when I was a 19/20 year old pup, I heard the Jim Carroll Band's song "People Who Died" on WXRT, Chicago's "Prog Rock" station and was hooked. Later, I heard "Wicked Gravity" from the same album and when I went away to college the same year, borrowed my soon-to-be-lifetime friend Matt's copy of "The Basketball Diaries" and was even more hooked.
My favorite poem ever is Alan Ginsberg's "Howl." Jim Carroll was my generation's Alan Ginsberg and "People Who Died" is my gereration's "Howl."
About a year and a half ago, I picked my daughter up from school and we made a stop at a store. I had, as I tend to, my Sirius Radio playing, and as I am prone to, had "Little Steven's Underground Garage" playing. The Jim Carroll Band's "People Who Died" came up and I cranked it up a little.
My daughter, who was 11 or so then, was fascinated with the song. We started singing along with it, reminding me of a couple of times before when music brought us together, and we went from being stepdad and stepdaughter to dad and daughter. She, like my son, is a punk rocker at heart. This song was, in a way, the most punk of punk songs. RIP Jim.