Jim Carroll, the punk rocker who spun engrossing tales of his crazy youth into “The Basketball Diaries,” died Friday in Manhattan, according to The New York Times. He was 60 and the cause of death was a heart attack.
“The Basketball Diaries,” reissued to the mass market in 1980 after its 1978 debut, was a huge favorite among college students for its lurid tales about Carroll’s life as a teenage basketball star at an elite Manhattan private school in the ’60s. During his time there, he kept a journal which he packed with poetry and tales of his drug use. In 1995, the book was adapted for the big screen and starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll.
Carroll’s music evolved through his poetry and, thanks to help from the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, he got a three-record deal with Atlantic Records. He went on to publish many poetry collections, including “The Book of Nods” (1986) and “Fear of Dreaming” (1993).