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The Basketball Diaries’ Jim Carroll dead at 60

Jim Carroll photo

RIP Jim Carroll 

It is with great sadness that guttersnipe has learned that Jim Carroll has died. The author of the book The Basketball Diaries (first published in 1978, later turned into a 1995 movie with Leonardo Dicaprio) shot to music fame, under the aegis of Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye, with his FM rock radio hit “People Who Died” from his 1980 debut album, Catholic Boy. (Trivia: the song also appeared on the soundtrack to E.T.)

Video  – Jim Carroll Band, “People Who Died”:

But this writer actually came to Jim Carroll through the he poet singer’s third album, I Write Your Name (1984), particularly the title track and the vicious rocker “(No More) Luxuries”.

Carroll was 60 years old, and died in his Manhattan home, apparently of a heart attack.

Go here for the New York Times obit.

“I Write Your Name”

by Jim Carroll and Wayne Woods (taken from Carroll’s official website)

I write your name
Everywhere I go
Like a worn out code
Just to let you know

I write your name
On my loneliness
On the closet hook where you hung that dress

Don’t you see
You turn this trust
To wind and dust and it’s choking me

It’s hard to touch the sun
And be the only one, then watch it run away

I never thought a change could terrify this way
I love you twice you know
Once for work, once for play
So I got this pen
It doesn’t hurt me when

I write your name
On TV screens,
On empty plates, on magazines

I write your name
In San Francisco
On bathroom walls and New Wave discos

It’s hard to live in hate
There’s no day and night
There’s no time or date

You were gone like sweat and rain
Through my own two hands,
I write your name in vain

I can’t believe you meant
When you walked out of that door
To put off any chance to be with you once more

The only thing you left behind was terror
You’re like an echo in an empty mirror

I need the proof to show
To let them know, to let them know
I write your name

I write your name
With thick blue ink
On stones I throw just to watch ’em sink

I write your name
On a great wood beam
On an ancient ship in a fading dream

I write your name
On every move I make
On the things I fake, on my own mistakes

I write your name
On my naked fright
For the final time, I write your name tonight

I never knew a word
Could take it all away
And I wish I never heard
The words you had to say

But there is nothing left to find of you
I left behind the final clue
But I still have this pen
And every now and then
I write your name
I write your name
I write your name

© Dr. Benway Music, ASCAP (1983)

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