The Jim Carroll Band – Catholic Boy

November 1, 2019

Standing right in everybody’s path, I was about to pull on the first of two sweaters when I felt something liquid, and rather unpleasant, on my arm, beneath the sweatshirt. It wasn’t sweat . . . this had a different texture. As people exited past us, I rolled up my sleeve to check out what the trouble might be, Ruth peering over my shoulder, wondering what was holding me up. As I folded the tight, black fabric above my elbow, a monstrous, green substance, thick as rope, issued forth from the abscess like projectile vomit from the tiny mouth of an infant. It must have traveled a good three or four feet across the lobby, clinging to anything in its path: fur collars, suede handbags, chic tortoiseshell eyeglasses. None were spared . . . many were zapped. Those who weren’t directly hit had to deal with the chain-reactive puking which was taking place among some weak-stomached onlookers. Many ran to the curb out on 8th Street and bent over, clutching parking meters for support. Some couldn’t make it . . . watch out, alligator shoes! For her part, Ruth was in some lyrical dance of hysterics, somewhwat Native American in its manner. She seemed to be feeding on the delusion that I was an alien being. Everything happened so quick . . . I thought it was sort of funny at first. Then I realized the crowd was getting genuinely ugly: “By God, the boy is an alien . . . let’s kill him. Kill him, I say!ˆ” I ran off, knocking over a blind folk duet (guitar and autoharp), escaping finally down the mews off MacDougal Street.

Jim Carroll
Forced Entries

oh lord, jim you definitely had it all. you were a triple threat in a new york kinda way: perfect shots from the half court, the novel, and keith richards guesting with yer band…..yeah you definitely had it all, and nothing lasts forever, kinda crazy you existed at all. it was 89′, or maybe even 90, or 91′ and i was on the road with rl – one of our blues guys. i slipped into a club to hear you read, a real douchey new york shush crowd fer sure. ill never forget it, you were hugely great. theres nothing like you happening now, nothing im aware of. and I waste my time wondering what im more grateful for the old blues guys or the road..

Matthew
Fat Possum Records

The Jim Carroll Band – Catholic Boy
In Stores December 06 on Fat Possum Records
Streaming Now

Fat Possum Records are extremely proud to represent Jim Carroll’s catalog. We are offering a limited edition magenta color vinyl . The album will be in stores worldwide on December 06. You can listen to it on all streaming services. More to come in 2020.


Jim Carroll expressed the Bomb-fear anticipation, the optimistic nihilism and glittering darkness of the 1980s that we who were there felt even if we couldn’t communicate it ourselves. When John Lennon was assassinated in front of the Dakota in December 1980, “People Who Died” was one of the most-requested songs on FM radio, just after Lennon’s own “Imagine.” Steven Spielberg chose “People Who Died” to play during the opening scene of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. “People Who Died” tapped a mainline. It was a hit even before it was released, and, as Newsweek’s Barbara Graustark noted, it “propelled [Carroll] from underground status… to national attention as a contender for the title of rock’s new poet laureate.”

“People Who Died” wasn’t the only thing that sustained Carroll’s reputation. The first full-length article about him appeared in 1969, when Jim was 19, and he was featured in Rolling Stone as early as 1973–the same year, it was rumored, that he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize at age 22. The 1980 release of Catholic Boy, along with the re-publication of his cult- classic book The Basketball Diaries, shot Jim and his band into the international spotlight. Catholic Boy, named the second-most-popular album of 1980 by BAM, is now considered one of the last great punk albums. Jim appeared with his band on the variety program Fridays, he was interviewed by Tom Snyder, and he was featured on the MTV series The Roots of Rock, hosted by Lou Reed. Cover stories appeared in Newsweek, New York, Creem, Interview, Melody Maker, Stereo Review, Rolling Stone, Variety, and Penthouse. Playboy even printed a cartoon in which the punchline was, “Ever since the advent of Jim Carroll, ‘I’m a Catholic junkie poet’ seems hipper than ‘What’s your sign.'”

The Jim Carroll Band’s success can be attributed to the powerful combination of pure rock ‘n’ roll with Carroll’s poetic sensibility and ability to write from his own experience, forging a style that articulates the relevance of the individual to the particular, the past to the present. Carroll once said, “There ain’t much time left, you’re born out of this insane abyss and you’re going to fall back into it, so while you’re alive you might as well show your bare ass,” and that’s exactly what he does. Musician, Player and Listener described Carroll as “a transformer, chanting and moaning his litany into something infinitely more palpable than symbols made of sounds.”

When reporters began lining up in droves, wondering, “What’s a Pulitzer Prize nominee doing fronting a rock band?” Carroll was already well-known in underground circles for having lived a life of mythic proportions. One writer observed, “Carroll has his own voice and sound and he earned it the hard way

Cassie Carter