Jim Carroll, author of The Basketball Diaries — get the DiCaprio movie out of your head and read it immediately — died of a heart attack Friday in Manhattan. He was 59.
The fan Web site Catholicboy.com sums up Carroll’s approach to music by quoting him as saying, “There ain’t much time left, you’re born out of this insane abyss and you’re going to fall back into it, so while you’re alive you might as well show your bare ass.” [CNN]
Few groups of people are as close to my heart as guys who were awesome at writing but also sports and doing drugs (and whose writings weren’t obviously drug-addled, like, say, William Burroughs). Carroll started writing The Basketball Diaries when he was 12 (though he edited it later, of course), while he was also playing in the National High School All-Star basketball Game and occasionally prostituting himself to support a heroin addict. He later formed a punk/new wave band and wrote a hit song, and he probably partied way harder than you. He already sort of looked like a corpse, but that doesn’t make this news any better.