Jim Carroll 1950-
American poet, autobiographer, songwriter, and musician.
The following entry presents an overview of Carroll's career through 2000. For further information on his life and works, see CLC, Volume 35.
Carroll is both an underground icon and highly esteemed author. He gained critical attention as a poet with Living at the Movies (1973), as a diarist with The Basketball Diaries (1978), and as a rock musician/lyricist with the album Catholic Boy (1980). He is equally well known for bringing spoken-word poetry to center stage in popular culture. The dual protagonists evident in almost all of his works are New York City and Carroll himself.
Carroll was born August 1, 1950, to Thomas J. and Agnes Carroll, and was raised on the Lower East Side and upper tip of Manhattan. Carroll earned an academic/athletic scholarship to the elite Trinity School, where he spent his high school years cultivating his skill on the basketball court, his growing passion for poetry, and an epic heroin addiction. Between the ages of twelve and fifteen, he recorded his experiences in Catholic schools, his ordeals as an addict, and his triumphs as a star athlete in a journal he called his “basketball diaries.” Carroll published his first slim volume of verse, Organic Trains (1967), at age sixteen. He began attending workshops at the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery, where he quickly earned a reputation as a protégé among the New York arts crowd. After graduating from Trinity in 1968, he briefly attended Columbia University and Wagner College, dropping out to pursue writing full-time. Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, his reputation as a poet continued to grow as he moved within New York's frantic cultural scene. He worked for artists Andy Warhol and Larry Rivers, frequented the legendary club Max's Kansas City where the band The Velvet Underground was playing, and was taken in by Ted Berrigan and other writers of the New York School, who championed his budding talent. Bits of Carroll's poetry and prose began dotting the New York literary landscape, appearing occasionally in journals and poetry magazines, including Poetry and Paris Review. In 1973, Carroll released his acclaimed first major work, Living at the Movies, after which he moved to California to conquer his heroin addiction. At the close of the 1970s, an old girlfriend, punk legend Patti Smith, persuaded Carroll to try his hand at music. After just two shows, The Jim Carroll Band was signed to the Rolling Stones label by guitarist Keith Richards, and in 1980 the band released its first album, Catholic Boy. Meanwhile, Carroll published The Basketball Diaries, first in limited edition in 1978, then with widespread distribution in 1981 coinciding with the mainstream success of Catholic Boy. After releasing three albums with the band during the 1980s, Carroll, back in New York, returned his focus to literary matters with The Book of Nods (1986), a collection of poems, and Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries, 1971-1973 (1987) a collection of memoirs. From the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, Carroll continued to write, publishing two more collections of poetry, Fear of Dreaming: Selected Poems (1993) and Void of Course (1998). He also led the cutting edge of the spoken-word movement, reading his work on MTV and in major rock music venues, and released two spoken-word albums, Praying Mantis (1991) and Pools of Mercury (1998). Carroll continues to tour the spoken-word circuit and is at work on two novels.
Although Carroll began his writing career as a diarist, he was first recognized as a poet. He released two small poetry collections, Organic Trains and 4 Ups and 1 Down (1970), and contributed numerous poems to magazines before publishing his first major volume of poetry, Living at the Movies. This collection showcased Carroll's original voice while also revealing the influence of Frank O'Hara and Ted Berrigan. It was not until five years later that he published The Basketball Diaries, his actual journals from ages twelve to sixteen. The Basketball Diaries record Carroll's experiences as a star basketball player and street punk growing up in Manhattan in the 1960s. The Diaries, already considered a classic in underground circles, received a tremendous critical reception as Carroll ventured into rock music in the 1980s. The Jim Carroll Band fused the street sensibility of the Diaries with Carroll's poetic sensibility, creating a post-punk rock music sound. The band's first album, Catholic Boy, was noted for such songs as “People Who Died” and catchy lyrics like “It's too late to fall in love with Sharon Tate / But it's too soon to ask me for the words I want carved on my tomb.” After releasing three rock albums, Carroll re-emerged on the poetry scene with The Book of Nods, which contained surreal prose poems called “Nods,” the “New York City Variations” and “California Variations,” and “Poems 1973-1985.” A year later, he published a collection of memoirs, Forced Entries, as a sort of sequel to The Basketball Diaries. Forced Entries details his participation in the New York art scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as his move to California and eventual victory over heroin addiction. Surprising some music industry critics, Carroll then released a spoken-word album, Praying Mantis. He had been performing and recording spoken-word since the late 1960s, and his appearances on MTV were considered to be groundbreaking. Praying Mantis includes poems from Living at the Movies and The Book of Nods as well as pieces unpublished at the time; much of the album was recorded live at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery in New York City, where Carroll's literary career began. Another collection of poetry, Fear of Dreaming, followed, bringing together poems from Living at the Movies, The Book of Nods, and Praying Mantis, along with new poems and a short story titled “Curtis's Charm.” (Both “Curtis's Charm” and The Basketball Diaries were adapted to film in 1995.) In 1998 Carroll released yet another collection of poetry, Void of Course, along with Pools of Mercury, an album of spoken-word and music. Void of Course expresses many of Carroll's familiar motifs, notably New York City. Unique to this collection are long, intricately crafted poems centering on desire and betrayal, such as “While She's Gone” and “Message Left on a Phone Machine.” Carroll's Pools of Mercury features poems from Void of Course, Fear of Dreaming, and The Book of Nods with musical accompaniment, plus five new rock songs, blending spoken-word with rock music.
From the beginning of his career, Carroll's gritty urban poetry and earnest prose was lauded by such literary notables as William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac (in an oft-reprinted quotation, Kerouac once claimed: “At thirteen years of age, Jim Carroll writes better prose than eighty-nine percent of the novelists working today”). In the twenty-first century, younger artists—from novelists Sherman Alexie and Irvine Welsh, to filmmaker Harmony Korine, to rock bands like Pearl Jam—cite Carroll as a vital influence and mentor. Carroll received his greatest level of recognition in the 1980s. With Carroll's punk anthem “People Who Died” a surprisingly popular hit and The Basketball Diaries in its first major printing, the media was intrigued by the prodigy-poet-turned-rocker. Carroll remains best known for The Basketball Diaries, which has consistently been praised for its precociousness, honesty, poetic language, and, as Bart Platenga states, its “Genuine unabashed contempt for real world recruitment. …” The film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll landed The Basketball Diaries on the New York Times Bestsellers list in 1995, generating both popular and critical interest. The success of The Basketball Diaries and Carroll's foray into rock music have led to a popularly-held view of him as a cultural icon, but these factors have also generated a degree of skepticism in some critics, resulting in occasional charges of posturing in reviews of Carroll's work. Forced Entries was well received by critics who were familiar with Carroll's past. His collections of poetry, The Book of Nods, Fear of Dreaming, and Void of Course; and his albums Praying Mantis and Pools of Mercury, received moderate reviews but provoked national television appearances and feature articles on Carroll in popular magazines. Academic criticism, initiated in 1990, evaluates Carroll in light of cultural context, viewing him as a postmodern figure whose work defies traditional notions of genre and identity.
Organic Trains (poetry) 1967
4 Ups and 1 Down (poetry) 1970
Living at the Movies (poetry) 1973
The Basketball Diaries: Age Twelve to Fifteen (diary) 1978
Catholic Boy (musical recording) 1980
Dry Dreams (musical recording) 1982
I Write Your Name (musical recording) 1983
*The Book of Nods (poetry) 1986
Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries 1971-1973 (diary) 1987
Praying Mantis (spoken-word recording) 1980
†Fear of Dreaming: Selected Poems (poetry) 1993
Void of Course: Poems 1994–1997 (poetry) 1998
Pools of Mercury (music and spoken-word recording) 1998
*The Book of Nods was produced as a spoken-word recording in 1992.
†Fear of Dreaming: Selected Poems was also produced as a spoken-word recording with the same title in 1993.
(The entire section is 96 words.)
SOURCE: A review of Living at the Movies, in Library Journal, Vol. 11, No. 19, November 1, 1973, p. 3270.
[In the following brief review, Cooney faults Carroll's poetry in Living at the Movies.]
These imitative poems range in models from the portentous pseudo-reference of John Ashbery to the flat trivialities of Ted Berrigan—the whole gamut from A to B, in fact. Not one moves or delights, and as for teaching—well, the outlook on life conveyed is the shallowest hedonism based on dope or sex. A piece entitled “A Fragment” has more point than many in the book and shows fairly the pretensions to seriousness, the inertness of rhythm and language, and the utter banality of effect: “When I see a rabbit / crushed by a moving van / I have dreams of maniac computers / miscalculating serious items / pertinent to our lives.” Don’t miscalculate: avoid this book.
(The entire section is 143 words.)
SOURCE: A review of Living at the Movies, in Poetry, Vol. 125, No. 3, November, 1974, pp. 162-65.
[In the following review, Malanga favorably assesses Carroll's Living at the Movies, commenting on the original technique and confident voice employed in the collection. Malanga also compares Carroll to well-known poet Frank O'Hara.]
The great thing about the work of a genuine poet is the atmosphere which it creates in the mind of the reader. This is as difficult to define as it is impossible to miss. It has a great deal to do with technique and with style, but only in so far as they are an integral part of the feeling and thinking that go to make up a poet’s work. But it is as equally difficult to fail to realize it, when a writer turns out to be a genuine poet. Jim Carroll at twenty-five is a genuine poet just as surely as Rod McKuen and Rod Taylor are not. In reading Jim Carroll’s first full-length book of poems Living at the Movies it is quite evident to me that he fully understands the nature of poetry because he perceives and follows the nature of his own life, and with that recognition of his nature, he is able to write about it.
Mr. Carroll’s poems are populated with people he has loved and crowded with those who love him. His poems are irrigated by friends, by his own kind and consanguinity. He is original without being unique. His technique, however, is...
(The entire section is 673 words.)
SOURCE: A review of The Basketball Diaries, in American Book Review, Vol. 2, No. 2, February, 1980, p. 9.
[In the following review, James lauds The Basketball Diaries.]
The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll is a literary miracle; a description of the formation of an artistic sensibility written by the artist, not in retrospect, but in the process. It is a portrait of the artist not just as a young man but as a child, written by the child, and thus free of the mature artist’s complicated romantic love of himself in pain. It also works engrossingly well as a narrative, The Catcher in the Rye for real, for bigger stakes.
The Basketball Diaries is an anecdotal journal kept by Carroll from the age of twelve to fifteen, more or less from the first time he shot heroin until he showed up at Ted Berrigan’s poetry workshop, a basketball in one hand and his poetry in the other, when he became something of an overnight sensation. Entries from the Diaries have been leaked one and two at a time to various poetry magazines over the years, surrounding the work with the atmosphere of legend. Once every couple of years there would be a new rumor that it was being published in toto; now, at least, here it is.
It makes a difference, seeing it all together. Reading it in drips and drabs over the years, a rather precious impression was created...
(The entire section is 1159 words.)
SOURCE: “A Star Is Borning,” in New York, Vol. 14, No. 4, January 26, 1981, pp. 32-5.
[In the following essay, Flippo addresses Carroll's move from poetry writer to rock musician and interviews the poet/songwriter about his life, his former drug addiction, and his literary influences.]
Lola from Budapest is a bit of a psychic, among other things, and one afternoon not long ago, when she settled into her customary front-row seat in NBC’s Studio 3A in Rockefeller Center for the taping of the Tomorrow show, she just naturally started divining things and reading life lines and such. Lola from Budapest—that’s the way she’s billed on her business cards and fliers—offered to hypnotize Tom Snyder when he strolled out to warm up his audience, and he good-naturedly declined. Lola from Budapest adjusted all her parcels and bags and turned to me to check out the old life lines and to ask who would be on the show. Lilli Palmer she knew. Maureen Reagan she knew. Jim Carroll she didn’t know.
“Well,” I said, “he’s sort of a singing poet, a street kid alive with the rhythms of the city. He was even nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for a poetry book and …”
(Oddly enough, a phone call a few days later to the Pulitzer Prize committee revealed the fact that Carroll as well as his fans only thought that he had been nominated for a Pulitzer for his...
(The entire section is 3753 words.)
SOURCE: A review of The Book of Nods, in Publishers Weekly, Vol. 229, No. 14, April 4, 1986, pp. 57-8.
[In the following negative review, the critic chastises Carroll and the collection of prose and poetry Living at the Movies.]
Carroll would like to be poetry’s renegade stepchild, an avant-gardist, the forerunner of a new art form. These poems and prose pieces show exposure to Borges, Kafka, particularly Rimbaud—the romantic, drug-taking exception to all rules who has stymied many scholars and led many bright children astray. The original attraction of Carroll was a sort of jejune decadence, which he has, since his Living at the Movies (1973), pretty much outworn. This collection, about the poet’s deepest emotional experiences in California and New York over the last 10 years, is wincingly embarrassing. It is especially painful because Carroll’s real talent often peeps through the dross. This is a bad example of serious talent destroyed over the years by negligence and disregard for self-discipline.
(The entire section is 160 words.)
SOURCE: A review of The Book of Nods, in Library Journal, Vol. 111, No. 7, April 15, 1986, p. 84.
[In the following brief review, Guillory praises Carroll's ability to shock readers with incongruous images in The Book of Nods.]
Carroll’s prose poems (or “nods”) are like verbal equivalents of Dali’s paintings: a man vomits the hands of a clock (in “Silent Money”) and a cat jumps into a mirror (in “Watching the Schoolyard”). But these incongruities quickly lose their shock value, and Carroll sometimes fails to create a meaningful context for his images. More successful are his conventional lyric poems. In “A Night Outing,” for example, the poet admires “the way still grey water / Throws the moon / … right back at itself.” “New York Variations” and “California Variations” amount to interlocking meditations on urban landscapes “where diesel trains pass at noon every day.” The Book of Nods is always interesting if sometimes uneven.
(The entire section is 150 words.)
SOURCE: A review of The Basketball Diaries and Forced Entries, in New York Times, July 9, 1987, p. C23.
[In the following review, Lehmann-Haupt discusses The Basketball Diaries and its sequel, Forced Entries, and the evolution of Carroll's voice and storytelling abilities.]
Jim Carroll is a poet and rock musician in his mid-30’s who grew up in several poor sections of Manhattan, the son and grandson of Irish Catholic bartenders. In the fall of 1963, when he was all of 13 years old, he began keeping a diary: “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.”
The diary project proved successful. He kept at it for at least three years, later published excerpts of it in The Paris Review and other magazines, and eventually brought out a version of it in book form, The Basketball Diaries (1978), which created something of a sensation for its hair-raising portrait of adolescent street life in New York.
It was not a book that seemed likely to produce a sequel. Filled with a kind of vitality, though clearly exaggerated in its boastful accounts of drinking, drugs, sex and every sort of crime from stealing...
(The entire section is 1045 words.)
SOURCE: “A Follow-Through beyond the Hoop,” in San Francisco Chronicle, July 12, 1987, p. 3.
[In the following review, Delacorte lauds Carroll's ability to create witty one-liners and clever vignettes in Forced Entries, but asserts that the book lacks substance and has an unfulfilling conclusion.]
Jim Carroll’s The Basketball Diaries was an extraordinary piece of work—an account of four years, more or less, in the life of a kid growing up in New York City.
The kid happened to be a basketball star, a thief, a male prostitute and an incipient junkie, so there was plenty of action and things got pretty lurid. But still the most impressive thing about the book was the smooth sophistication of its prose. To be sure, Basketball Diaries didn’t appear in book form until 1978, when Carroll was in his late 20s, and various anachronisms suggest that its text had been altered or augmented well after its 1963–66 time frame. But enough of Basketball Diaries had been published contemporarily, notably in The Paris Review, to provide ample proof that most of this cool, nihilistic, terrific stuff really was composed by a kid no older than 16.
In Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries 1971–73 the author is now an adult, already something of a celebrity in New York poetry circles and a heroin addict of several years’ standing. His...
(The entire section is 1271 words.)
SOURCE: A review of Forced Entries, in Kirkus Reviews, Vol. 55, No. 9, May 15, 1987, p. 767.
[In the following review, the critic pans Forced Entries for its lack of substance. While acknowledging the occasional flashes of intense humor and wit, the critic derides Carroll for providing too much debauchery and not enough intellectual or literary content.]
A slice of the debauched life of poet Carroll at the tail end of the 60’s, before he embarked on a second, dual career as a rock singer.
Carroll achieved recognition early in his 20s with the publication of Living at the Movies, his first collection of poetry, and The Basketball Diaries, a record of New York youth steeped in sports, dope, and urban iconography. Here, he picks up the story as he’s living at the Chelsea Hotel in New York, addicted to heroin, and spending nights at Max’s Kansas City consorting with other dubious luminaries of the late-night celebrity scene. Girlfriends come and go; figures the likes of Ginsberg, Warhol, Leary, Morrissey, and Dylan make routine and generally uninteresting appearances; there’s a variety of truly peculiar jobs—including an assignment at Andy Warhol’s Factory and a rare opportunity at managing a porno theater—before Carroll has a chance to cool his heels and detox in California. For readers hellbent on self-destruction, there are a lot of handy tips...
(The entire section is 323 words.)
SOURCE: “The Way They Were in Greenwich Village,” in Los Angeles Times Book Review, October 18, 1987, p. 10.
[In the following review, Hochswender praises the “ornate and harrowingly stark” writing collected in Forced Entries. Despite his contention that the stories in the collection are often self-indulgent and filled with slang, Hochswender asserts that Carroll's energetic language and creative descriptions give his memoirs an authenticity that mainstream documentaries lack.]
In this country we now have a permanent counterculture. The symbols of rebellion may change with the generations, but the dialectical swing has become constant. To the gray flannel suit and attache case, the 1950s counterposed the beret and the black turtleneck. To long hair, leisure suits and peace medallions, we more recently added shaved heads, studded leather and swastikas. Now, of course, we have the return of the gray flannel suit. It’s hip to be square.
For most of us, cultural trends come and go, fashions rise and fall. They touch us and amuse us—they’re fun. We take on the plumage of a colorful age, then shed it when it’s time to grow and move on. From bop to Boesky, as individuals we somehow continue to molt and re-feather with the seasons of life and history. But we all know people so captivated by their era that they become captives of it. In the two books at hand, we see how...
(The entire section is 1630 words.)
SOURCE: “Verbal Entries: An Interview with Jim Carroll,” in The Booksmith Reader, www.booksmith.com.
[In the following interview, portions of which also appeared in The Street, Gladysz and Carroll discuss Carroll's writing career, his methods of writing Forced Entries and The Basketball Diaries, his literary influences, and his rehabilitation from heroin use.]
Perhaps best known as a rock musician, Jim Carroll is also an accomplished poet and writer. His best lyrics, such as “People Who Died,” are themselves a kind of poetry. Recently, a film based on his best-selling book, The Basketball Diaries, was released to general acclaim. His first commercially published book of poems, Living at the Movies (1973), was issued when he was just twenty-two. That was followed by The Basketball Diaries (diaries, 1978), The Book of Nods (poems, 1986), Forced Entries (memoirs, 1987) and a selected poems, Fear of Dreaming (1993), which also includes uncollected and newer works. A spoken word recording, Praying Mantis (1991), was released as a compact disc on the Giant Records label—and a two cassette recording of The Basketball Diaries (read by the author with musical accompaniment by guitarist Lenny Kaye) was released by Audio Literature (1994). Other spoken word recordings can be found on various Giorno Poetry System anthologies....
(The entire section is 3233 words.)
SOURCE: “‘A Sickness That Takes Years to Perfect’: Jim Carroll's Alchemical Vision” in Dionysos: Literature and Addiction Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 1, Winter 1996, pp. 6-19.
[In the following essay, Carter offers an assessment of Carroll's diaries, poems, and rock lyrics. Carter discusses the role of Carroll's drug use and addiction in the “ongoing struggle to transform the raw materials of his life into a pure reality” that defines him as an artist.]
pollution is a result of the inability of man to transform waste. the transformation of waste is perhaps the oldest preoccupation of man. gold, being the chosen alloy, must be resurrected—via shit, at all cost. inherent within us is the dream and task of the alchemist. to create from clay a man. and to recapture from the excretions of man pure and soft then solid gold.
—Patti Smith, “The Salvation of Rock,” Babel (140)
Jim Carroll was 12 years old when he realized that he was immersed in a world rife with corruption, where respectability was synonymous with hypocrisy, where proper appearances merely concealed depravity, where authority figures used their power to oppress others, and where it seemed someone was always trying “to steal the light from [his] eyes” (“City Drops”). It was 1962, and a war was raging in Vietnam. On the home front, racism ran...
(The entire section is 5610 words.)
SOURCE: A review of Void of Course, in Publishers Weekly, Vol. 245, September 28, 1998, p. 96.
[In the following brief review, the critic discusses the poems in Void of Course.]
An alternately self-exposing and swaggering Bukowskian diarist, Carroll reinforces his rock-star-like pop culture niche with his latest volume of poetry, which somewhat resembles a compilation of power ballads. Given that Carroll’s fame was established by the beloved 1970's memoir of drug addiction The Basketball Diaries, it makes sense that his poetry [in Void of Course] works to further the author’s forever young and ostensibly hip public image, as in this ode to the late Kurt Cobain: “You should have talked more with the monkey / He’s always waiting to negotiate / I’m still paying him off … But Kurt … / Didn’t the thought you’d never write / another song / Another feverish line or riff / Make you think twice?” Carroll runs through a whole gamut of classic rock-star stances in this volume, from the maudlin lover of beauty and love (“You squeeze out the life and poison. / Tightly your pale thin thighs your thick hare lips / last night, our mouths meeting, / it was all we ever wanted to know about the truth”) to the dancefloor (“all the young boys were gyrating”) to the cocksure hombre who can face down even death. While he references writers Frank O’Hara, Jean Genet and...
(The entire section is 292 words.)
SOURCE: A review of Void of Course, in Booklist, Vol. 95, No. 4, October 15, 1998, p. 389.
[In the following brief review, the critic lauds Carroll's poetic ability in Void of Course.]
Carroll, experienced with heroin himself, offers belated advice to the corpse of Kurt Cobain in the volume-opening “8 Fragments for Kurt Cobain”: the price of genius mixed with that of fame makes a fatal cocktail, “which starts out as a kiss / And follows like a curse.” Desperation and desire emanate from Carroll’s verse [in Void of Course], but with a certain poignancy, as if these words just have to be said. Carroll exhumes his life and loves, and his candor at times startles. He can shift gears, from a dirge like the Cobain piece to a comical, though no less serious, aside on the avant-garde, Buddha, or his father’s last words (“Promise me that you’ll never eat / Any of that Japanese food. Promise”). Funky, amphetamine rhythm propels the collection and conjures the city, with its tenements, rushing crowds, flickering televisions, and park benches. As Carroll ages and matures, he acknowledges that “I’ve spent too much time / Expended angelic energy / On my own disintegration to hand the contract over / To another now.”
(The entire section is 202 words.)
SOURCE: “Unspoken Genius,” in Real Detroit Weekly, January 13–19, 2000.
[In the following interview, Alteri questions Carroll about his spoken-word recordings, his feelings about poetry, his drug addiction, and the conflict between his musical career and his literary aspirations.]
[Alteri:] Why did you start doing spoken word performances?
[Carroll:] Well readings is just another name for spoken word performance I guess. When the whole spoken word thing happened, you know new things came along like slams and people doing more amalgamating performance art with spoken word pieces. Usually in the old days, performance art happenings, the best ones, were wordless and so it’s just like a combination of both. I come from the old school where I think any poem worth its salt has to work on the page. But I also think it has to have a natural lyrical quality to it and of course it’s much better if you can hear the person read it but I still believe that you have to delineate on the page by the line. It’s just a matter of technique, short lines slow it up and it just defines how it should be read. I have made concessions from what poetry readings used to be.
In the old days there were certain poets whose poems I really liked on the page who were really dreadful readers, which is true to this day. I think John Ashbery is the best poet alive and he’s a...
(The entire section is 7284 words.)
Kuennen, Cassie Carter. “Jim Carroll: A Selective, Annotated, Primary and Secondary Bibliography, 1967-1988.” Bulletin of Bibliography 47, No. 2 (1990): 81-112.
Kuennen's annotated bibliography provides details on Carroll's books, albums, and films, plus generously annotated listings of feature articles, interviews, and reviews.
Fissinger, Laura. “The Transformation of Jim Carroll.” Musician, Player and Listener (February 1981): 16.
In addition to biographical details, this feature article addresses the issue of rock martyrdom—specifically, how Carroll was immediately cast as a sacrificial lamb in rock mythology.
Graustark, Barbara. “Mean Streets.” Newsweek (8 September 1980): 80-81.
Graustark discusses Carroll's biography and his success as an up-and-coming rock star, comparing him to Lou Reed.
Griffin, Dominic. “Jim Carroll One on One.” Interview. Film Threat 23 Aug. 1995: 75.
Carroll talks about drugs, the film version of The Basketball Diaries, and music.
“Jim Carroll.” Current Biography 56, No. 10 (1995): 6-10.
A detailed biographical portrait.
McNeil, Legs, and Gillian McCain. Please Kill Me: The...
(The entire section is 719 words.)