People Who Died

Just learning today that Jim Carroll died on September 11, I slipped down to my basement vinyl music stash. There it was, his 1980 album, Catholic Boy, containing the only piece that I had remembered: “People Who Died”. Carroll may have been a one-hit wonder with that number, but along with being a punk rocker of that era, he was a poet and authored the Basketball Diaries book that was turned into a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. Here, now, People Who Died:

180px-Tulsa200Almost every time I hear this song, I am reminded of Tulsa. Long out of print as far as I know, Tulsa was a book of photographs by Larry Clark, a drug addict who documented the sex-guns-drugs life (and death) of people around him in that Oklahoma city. The book, incidentally, was published in the early 70s by Ralph Gibson’s Lustrum Press. Not long after that I came to meet Ralph, whose own photographs as well as his publication of others’ work had become of great interest to me (and will probably be explored in future posts here as time allows).

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