Thursday, October 01, 2009

People Who Died...Snappy little end of your life song

I was recently speaking with an old friend about the passing of Jim Carroll. He was the person who actually introduced me to Jim Carroll's writing. I remember many instances of being read passages from "The Basketball Diaries" while I showered. I am forever grateful to Robert Sullivan. When he read those passages to me it was as though the world had crack opened like an egg. I realized you could write how you talked. It didn't have to be all high-brow, just honest - your voice, your viewpoint. You can look at the bottom, study the under-belly and still see the beauty in humanity. Jim Carroll became a hero to me because of his innate ability to tell the truth, as he saw it. He was the original punk in my estimation. He understood early on that you could take everything that on the surface seemed ugly, desperate, challenged, destitute, worn out and torn and celebrate it. The tattered prom dress in all its glory and proud memories that was New York. So thank you to Jim Carroll, and thank you to Robert Sullivan for sharing the following Jim Carroll story. I salute you brother!

From Robert Sullivan (formerly of The Stellas and The Bastard Heirs) - I saw him in 1980-81 at a concert somewhere in Brooklyn (I think it was Brooklyn) everyone kept yelling Jim…E… Jim...E...and I was thinking I'm going to see Jim Caroll, it'll be this bastion of bleeding edge NYC hipster/punk types, but I was a little taken aback at how many in the audience just seemed like obnoxious Yankees fans or something...but they knew who Jim Carroll was, he was their boy, or though it seemed.

One guy threw a syringe on stage, about par for that crowd, you know tacky as hell, Jim Carroll stopped the band, squatted down, picked up the syringe and said rather quietly but emphatically into the mic, "this is really fucked up..." then a sinister grin started to come over his face and he said, "now if it was full, that would’ve been class..." then he threw it back into the crowd, and went on with the show...