This Song Is For You My Brother

RIP Jim Carroll, the rocker, poet and former hoopster who faced off against Lew Alcindor in high school in New York and had the misfortune to be played by a callow Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1995 movie made from his memoir, The Basketball Diaries. Patti Smith called him "the best poet of his generation," which overstates the case, but Carroll was a talented and influential beat-punk poet, without a doubt. The thing he was best known for was "People Who Died," the rock radio hit from his 1980 album Catholic Boy, that passionately detailed the demises of many a close friend which, for my money, was right there with The Clash's "Stay Free" among heart-swelling anthems of the era that communicated a seize-the-day existential urgency. Carroll died of a heart attck on Friday. Below, the "People Who Died" video cut up with live footage - look for Lenny Kaye, of the Patti Smith Group - and shots of a skinny DiCaprio, along with the man himself.     

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