Jim Carroll's "People Who Died"

I have never heard this many people die in one song. We got:

-1 Accident (drug related)

-4 suicides

-1 leukemia

-2 hepatitis (presumably from sharing needles)

-1 in Vietnam

-1 Overdose (on drano?! on his wedding night?!!)

-3 murders

That’s 13 deaths in one song. That beats out your average slasher flick.

What I’m wondering is, are these all true? Did he really know all these people? I know Bobby really was a friend of his that died of leukemia when they were kids but I don’t know about the rest.

I’ve had quite a few friends die, mostly from car wrecks, one got shot. Two suicides. And then just last week a guy I knew since he was in kindergarten (I was good friends with his older brother and my sister was friends with him) OD’ed and died on some sort of cleaning agent (Ajax or Comet.) Someone sold it to him as cocaine. He was only 18 :mad: .

If all these are true then Carroll has had some real dickhouse luck with friends :(.

I guess you never saw The Basketball Diaries?

Not quite the same thing, but Tom Lehrer basically ticks off the entire population of the world in “We Will All Go Together When We Go,” his merry ditty about a nuclear WWIII. To be precise, though, these are deaths that haven’t happened yet, and the dead are referred to by groups. Implicitly, though, he’s including all of us.

And there’s always the Butthole Surfers song, Pepper.

Lotsa nasty things happening to people in that song, too.

They were all my friends…
and they died!

Bobby got leukemia, 14 years old
He looked like 65 when he died
He was a friend of mine

I love that song. And The Basketball Diaries (There’s a video for “people who died” at the end, you know.) And his collection of poetry Fear of Dreaming

Totally irrelevant trivia–the Asylum Street Spankers (featuring Wammo, a noted slam poet who has, IIRC, performed with Carroll) include a bit of this song in the middle of “Tight Like That”, one of their many old-timey acoustic numbers. I had heard the Carroll song years ago, and had never placed the bit in the Spankers song until I saw them about a year ago and pieced it together.

Not only that, there’s also The Nails’ “88 Lines About 44 Women”. Nobody dies, but still…

I seem to recall reading once that Jim Carroll claimed the stories in that song were all true. For whatever that’s worth.

I love Jim Carroll.

I don’t remember it being a gorefest. Did he talk about all these people in that movie?

Well, there’s always Lyle Lovett’s Family Reserve. May not be 13, but lessee:

[li]Uncle Eugene, who died on October 2, 1981,[/li][li]Uncle Wilbur, who used to keep rolls of 50’s and 100’s in the glove box of his old gray Impala,[/li][li]Cousin Calloway, who choked to death on peanut butter at age 2,[/li][li]Brian Temple, who died when he jumped from the third story and missed the swimming pool,[/li][li]Great Uncle Julius,[/li][li]Aunt Annie Mueller,[/li][li]Mary,[/li][li]Granddaddy Paul,[/li][li]Hannah,[/li][li]Ella,[/li][li]Alvin,[/li][li]Alec, who owned his own funeral hall.[/li][/ul]
So, not 13, but a quite respectable 12 instead.

To say nothing of the

which, though imprecise, seems to drag quite a few more corpses in.

Is it just me? I hope it’s just me. This post made me snort coffee. I pictured Jessica Simpson saying it. Unless it’s a whoosh, like comments about the novelization of The Passion.

Um, *Basketball Diaries * was an important book for 22 years before it became an extremely unimportant movie.

Maybe I’m just not aging well . . .

That’s the way of the world now, lissener – the minute a movie adaptation is released, the book is no longer the medium of choice for that story.

I read * The Basketball Diaries * and if I remember right Herbie really did push Tony off the Boys Club roof and Bobby really did die of leukemia. The book didn’t say anything about Eddy getting slit in the jugular vein, or someone ODing on Drano (nor did it explain what Drano was.)

And now Carroll’s own life story has a picture of a lousy actor on the cover. sigh

(Hey, anybody read Forced Entries?)

Hey! I was just rereading Forced Entries on my way to work on Tuesday! Even knowing now that his diaries were edited and re-edited (much like Anais Nin’s), I still find them fascinating, and that one rings true to the tales that my friends who were in NYC in the 70s told me. (I was in NYC in the 70s, too, but I was 10 in 1972, so I definitely did not see the world Jim Carroll saw.)

It gave me odd hope when I first read it, that I too could become a writer and write about NYC and life here.

I’m pretty sure Drano is Drano - the the drain cleaner. They’ve used it as a murder weapon in a cult film from the 80s, after all, so it must be enough to kill you.

That’s funny. When I read it it gave me an odd hope I could quit heroin (and I did :slight_smile: How’s the writing going?)
I think the Drano reference was to “hot shots” were somebody slips a junkie that in place of heroin…so really, even a more horrible death than in “Heathers” :eek: . (And, no, despite the above, I do not know about this from any sort of personal experience.)

How bad were you hooked? How long were you on it? What was it like doing it? What was it like quitting?

This is probably what happened. Like I said in the OP, something similar happened to my friend about a week and a half ago.