Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Funeral for a Friend

Is there any song that sounds more like New York City than "People Who Died" by the Jim Carroll Band? You've got all those locations like Rikers and the Tombs and the East Two-Nine, kids growing up too fast, and prodigious drug use. You've got noisy, not particularly well-played punk music. You've got all that death. It's like an episode of Barney Miller telescoped into a single four-minute punk song.

In that song, Jim Carroll lists, by my count, thirteen people who died. They were all his friends, and they died. It seems like more because he repeats half the song at the end, but I don't think even a degenerate like Jim Carroll could convince people that he had 24 friends who died.

If you asked me to count, I don't think I would be able to scrape up even 24 friends who lived. (Somehow, I have managed to amass 92 friends on Facebook; don't ask me how that happened.) On the other hand, hardly any of my friends have died. If you're wondering whether to befriend Jim Carroll or me, the choice ought to be obvious.

4 comments:

Repoz said...

Wow, Tom...I've had a few dozen of my friends that I used to run with die...as AIDS ravaged our needle-popping community.

Tom Nawrocki said...

That's really sad to hear... I hadn't thought about that. That wasn't the issue with Jim Carroll's friends, of course, since the song came out in 1980.

Rob said...

the Barney Miller comparison is genius.

Wojo got run over, walking too slow
Dietrich got shot in Office Depot
But Fish, I miss you more than all the others
this spinoff is for you, my brother!

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