Jim Carroll, 60 'Basketball Diaries' Author, Punk Rocker Mined the Depths
By Patricia Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Jim Carroll, 60, a poet-turned-punk rocker whose book "The Basketball Diaries" chronicled his descent from elite high school basketball star to Times Square drug addict, thief and prostitute, died Sept. 11 at his home in Manhattan after a heart attack.
Mr. Carroll's best-known work was an autobiographical account of his years from 12 to 15 when he received a basketball scholarship to Trinity, an elite Manhattan high school, and began abusing cocaine and other drugs. The journal, excerpted in the Paris Review, became highly popular on college campuses and was published as a book in 1978. A 1995 movie version starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Mr. Carroll.
The book's bleak description of adolescent life in a heartless city rang true for many. It began with wary joy: "Today was my first Biddy League game and my first day in any organized basketball league. I'm enthused about life due to this exciting event. The Biddy League is a league for anyone 12 yrs. old or under. I'm actually 13 but my coach Lefty gave me a fake birth certificate."
For all of us who were part of the early 80s Hardcore Punk Scene Jim Carrol was like a Godfather to use, my old band did a cover of his song "People Who Die" one of are great 20th Century Poets. RIP Jim have fun Dancing of the Devils Dance floor Tonight
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