(poet, b. 1949 - d. 2009)
Jim Carroll was a poet and later a musician. He was a heroin addict who documented his joys and tribulation in the book The Basketball Dairies. This was one of my favorite books when I was kid. Aside from the heroin addiction, the book was a wonderful but sad reflection of childhood that many of us could relate to.
I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Carroll when I was at University and even then he seemed a little sick but was still sharp, soft spoken and thankful to everyone he met.
While many jazz musicians used Kerouac as their influence, Jim Carroll to me was the bridge between the "Beat Generation" and the "Punk Movement". He hung out with greats from Allen Ginsberg to Patti Smith. He also had his own band, simply called The Jim Carroll Band which had a minor hit "The People Who Died". While the albums his band made are pretty average it was great snapshot of the period. Well worth seeking out.
Jim Carroll's writing is what really should be celebrated today. If you are in a bookstore take a look at The Basketball Dairies as well as a nice collection entitled Fear Of Dreaming. Both are essential reading by a writer and poet who will be greatly missed. Jim Carroll will live on in everyone he touch through his words.