Sued51's Blog

{April 22, 2012}   A Fan’s History of 80’s Boston Bands: C is for Jim Carroll Band

This is where I cheat for the first time. (The Cavedogs are a Boston Band beginning with “C”, but by the time they were playing out, I had stopped going to clubs so I never saw them.) Although Jim Carroll is from New York, he came to the Boston area several times with this band. (The photo shown here is one I took at Uncle Sam’s in Hull, MA.) His songs covered city life, including those subjects later explored in rap music: drugs, violence, and death in the big city. His band’s big hit in the early 80’s was “People Who Died.” He was a striking figure on stage with this lanky frame and red hair. Music was something he tried for a time (3 albums worth), and it helped introduce people to his poetry.

It worked that way for me. Seeing him perform made me interested in his life and his writing, which was really his first love (other than basketball). I sought out his first book, “The Basketball Diaries” (which was later made into a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio). Then I read his first book of poetry, “Living at the Movies,” which was first published in 1973, then re-released when the band was touring. Most of the poems in that book were written before he was twenty-two. Amazing!

“The Book of Nods” came out in 1986. I wrote a college paper on poetry from that book. Jim Carroll surely burned brightly during his youth. He died in 2009 — too young by today’s standards (60), but he probably lived to be a lot older than he ever expected to during his troubled youth.

Sonel says:

Truly sad when they die so young. Great post. 🙂


Sue P. says:

Sue: I am loving these music posts!!

— Sue P.


sued51 says:

I’m glad! I’m already working on the next one…


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