Punk poet and ‘Basketball Diaries’ author Jim Carroll dies

Patti Smith, Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig pay tribute

New York punk poet, musician and author Jim Carroll has died of a heart attack, aged 60.

Carroll, who wrote ‘The Basketball Diaries’, died on Friday (September 11) at his Manhattan home, his former wife Rosemary Carroll confirmed.

A heroin addict at 13, Carroll documented his teenage years in ‘The Basketball Diaries’, which was originally published in 1978 and turned into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio in 1995.


As well as being revered as a writer, Carroll was embraced by the late 1970s New York punk scene, becoming a punk poet and starting his own band (The Jim Carroll Band) at the behest of Patti Smith.

The Rolling StonesKeith Richards was also a fan, orchestrating the band a three-album deal with Atlantic Records.

The Jim Carroll Band‘s most famous song, ‘People Who Died’ – which you can watch by scrolling down now – was used in Steven Spielberg‘s film ‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial’.

Talking to the New York Times yesterday, Smith paid tribute to Carroll.

“I met him in 1970, and already he was pretty much universally recognised as the best poet of his generation,” she explained. “The work was sophisticated and elegant. He had beauty.”

Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig also wrote about Carroll‘s death on his Twitter page , saying: “I spent a lot of time listening to my dad’s 45 of ‘People Who Died’ back in the day.”


Watch ‘People Who Died’ below: