Though he is more renowned as a poet and author, few acts in the history of rock have as powerful a musical presence as Jim Carroll. His music burst upon the scene during the punk era, with a amazing record called Catholic Boy, filled with memorable songs which provide a combination of hard rock and lyrical depth unequaled in the annals of popular music. The band's live shows had a manic energy all their own - Carroll emitted a primal glow from the stage as he delivered the tribulations of his life.
By the time the Jim Carroll Band came into existence, Jim was already well known in the underground art culture. A book compiled from his teenage journals, The Basketball Diaries, told the story of his life in sports, heroin, and the city that he loved. That book later became a major movie in 1995 with the role of Jim played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Carroll's poetry has been praised by the likes of Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. His life and times read like a epic journey: he worked for Andy Warhol, lived with Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, recorded with Lou Reed and Pearl Jam, his band was "discovered" by Keith Richards, and he actually held the microphone for the recording of the Velvet Underground's Live at Max's Kansas City. He continues to write, occasionally doing live readings to sellout crowds, and his sphere of influence in that field is enormous, his body of work studied by scholars and taught in colleges.
But in contrast with all this prestige in one realm, the Jim Carroll Band never received its full due as a force in rock music. Yes they got critical acclaim and the song People Who Died is occasionally found on lists of the top songs of the 80s, but overall, Carroll's music is remarkably unknown to the masses, considering the musical force and passion of his songs. The vibrant, urgent colors of his lyrics were probably too explicit, too brutally honest for a music business that at the time wanted to sell punk rock using far more simple terms. Nonetheless, the music of Jim Carroll effortlessly withstands the test of time, and the vision and wicked gravity within his songs make for some of the most vital rock ever created
Buy the CD - A World Without Gravity, The Best of The Jim Carroll Band HERE
Buy any of his CDs or Books HERE
A site about the legacy of Jim Carroll (catholicboy.com)
It's Too Late
reached # 1 on KIAC Big 50
9/14/2009 3:41:24 PM
Just heard the sad news.
Rest in Peace, Jim.
Your musical and literary/film artistic contributions shall SURELY Live on.
To a TRUE Genuis.
1/9/2009 7:14:50 AM
I personally love the stories of you going up against Lou Alcindor in high school basketball games. History has borne those anecdotes out to be classics.
9/17/2008 8:15:06 AM
Just wanted to say hey to you Jim. it's a pleasure
9/17/2008 1:56:49 AM
More Gods of POST-modern art, prose, poetry & PUNK on IAC? HELL Yeah. Your genius has been praised so much, I won't mention it here again.
ROCK ON! -pHLeGm of CoNVeRsaTioN SuiCiDe
9/15/2008 11:51:33 AM
hi jim. hope you don't mind if i share a poem.
and so to bed, with leaden head
and uninspired i went
another day to waste away
while out of sight, in life and light
an urgent world awoke
and others did, as they were bid
like oxen on the yoke cheers all the best
2/5/2008 6:57:36 PM
Being a recovering Roman Catholic, Catholic Boy really fueled my anger for the church and all organized religions to the point that I was expelled. Thank Jim! I owe ya one, psshh You have my arse in a sling! Later, Mark
11/29/2007 8:34:14 AM
Catholic Boy helped me get through college. Don't ask how, but it did.
And The Basketball Diaries: I have no idea how a 13-year-old could have written such a brilliant book. But it's among my favorites. Great to have you at IAC.
8/5/2007 6:52:33 PM
Just listened to It's Too Late - it's been a while since I've heard it but what a great track it still is.
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