File:Jim Carroll - Seattle WA - September 2000 - Photo by Eric Thompson.jpg

Jim Carroll Seattle, WA (September 2000) Photo by Eric Thompson

Jim Carroll (born August 1, 1950 died September 11, 2009 in New York City) is an Author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician. Carroll is best known for his 1978 autobiographical work The Basketball Diaries, which was made into a movie in 1995 starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Raised in New York City, Carroll who attended several Catholic Grammar Schools from 1955 to 1963. In fall 1963, he entered public school, but was soon awarded a scholarship to the elite Trinity High School (a private school). He entered Trinity High School in 1964.

Apart from being interested in writing, Carroll was a passionate basketball player throughout his grade school and middle school career. He entered the "Biddy League" at age 13 and participated in the National High School All Star Game in 1966, hence the title of his most famous book.

As a teenager, Carroll was a heroin addict who sometimes allegedly prostituted himself to afford his habit. The Basketball Diaries, an edited version of his journal from that time, concerns his life in New York City's hard drug culture and his struggle to rid himself of his addiction.

Carroll published his first book, Organic Trains, at age 17. Several of his poems have been published in such magazines as Paris Review and Poetry. In 1970, his second collection of poems, 4 Ups and 1 Down was published. That same year, Carroll started working for Andy Warhol. At first, he was writing film dialogue and inventing character names; later on, Carroll worked as the co-manager of Warhol's Theater. Carroll's first above-ground publication, the collection Living At The Movies was published in 1973.

He formed The Jim Carroll Band, a New Wave/punk rock group, in 1980. Their biggest commercial success was the single "People Who Died," from their debut album, Catholic Boy. He has also collaborated with many influential punk and hard rock musicians, including Lou Reed, Blue Öyster Cult, Boz Scaggs and Rancid.

As of 2006 he is still at work on his first novel tentatively titled The Petting Zoo. The book has been in the works for well over a decade and is apparently near completion. Carroll died in 2009 before completing this book.



  • Organic Trains (1967)
  • 4 Ups and 1 Down (1970)
  • Living at the Movies (1972)
  • The Book of Nods (1986)
  • Fear of Dreaming (1993)
  • Void of Course: Poems 1994-1997 (1998) ISBN 0-14-058909-0


  • The Basketball Diaries (1978)
  • Forced Entries (1987)

Books influenced by Jim Carroll

  • Only Skin Deep, George Kimball (1968)
  • The Crow, James O'Barr (1981)
  • Wonderland Avenue, Danny Sugerman (1989)
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Sherman Alexie (1993)
  • Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh (1993)
  • The Acid House, Irvine Welsh (1994) ISBN 0-393-31280-1
  • Twelve, Nick McDonell (2002)


Music by Jim Carroll and the Jim Carroll Band

  • Catholic Boy (1980)
  • Dry Dreams (1982)
  • I Write Your Name (1983)
  • Best of The JC Band (1993)
  • Pools of Mercury (1998)
  • Runaway EP (2000)

Spoken word/lecture

  • Rimbaud Lectures (1978)
  • Naropa Institute (1986)
  • Praying Mantis (1991)
  • The Basketball Diaries (1994)
  • Curtis's Charm (1996)
  • Pools of Mercury (1998)

Music done in collaboration

  • Club Ninja, Blue Öyster Cult (1986)
  • Other Roads, Boz Scaggs (1988)
  • Between Thought and Expression, Lou Reed (1992)
  • ...And Out Come the Wolves, Rancid (1995)
  • Feeling You Up, Truly (1997)
  • Yes I Ram, Jon Tiven Group (1999)

Compilations and soundtracks featuring Carroll

  • Tuff Turf Soundtrack (1985)
  • Back to the Streets: Celebrating the Music of Don Covay (1993)
  • Sedated In The Eighties (1993)
  • New Wave Dance Hits: Just Can't Get Enough, Vol. 6 (1994)
  • The Basketball Diaries Soundtrack (1995)
  • WBCN Naked 2000 (2000)
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004)


  • Viva Zapata, 7 Year Bitch (1994)
  • Put Your Tongue to the Rail, various artists (1999)


Carroll can be heard ordering double Pernods and inquiring about Tuinol The Velvet Underground's 1972 live album Live at Max's Kansas City, based on an audience recording made by Brigid Polk. Carroll was sitting at the same table as Polk and so was close to the microphone.

External links

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