Friday, September 18, 2009

FSOTD #26/People Who Died (1980)

With FSOTD #26, we expand the rules that govern the game. I've been looking for a way to salute a song when opportunity arises but still preserve the "purity" of FSOTD. My solution is this: Friday's Song Of The Day. Clever, huh? On Fridays, I'll have the option of picking any song I want. Indeed, it could be the first song of the day (but probably won't be most weeks). Had I gone with today's true first song, we'd be waxing on "The Boston Rag" by Steely Dan (1973). It's a song I dig and an album I love, but it ain't gonna be FSOTD. Not today anyway.

Perhaps some of you noted the passing of writer-musician Jim Carroll?  Something of a cult celebrity, Carroll hob-nobbed with the likes of Warhol and Mapplethorpe, doing a load of drugs in his time with the fast and cool east coast arts set. Carroll is best known for his book-turned-movie "The Basketball Diaries", but FSOTD memorializes him today for his song "People Who Died". Pure punk that it was, "People Who Died" received virtually no commercial radio attention, but it was a big hit on the college circuit.

It is only because of college radio that I know this song, but it's not the song itself that makes "People Who Died" today's choice for FSOTD. It's Carroll's ex-wife Rosemary. She was a svelte, modelesque blonde who did an afternoon shift when I first arrived at my college radio station in California. We might've said five words to each other. Maybe. She was known as Rosemary Carroll then, so I guess they were married. I never saw Jim, not that I would've recognized him anyway. Post-matrimony (and perhaps pre-), her name is Rosemary Klemfuss. Yikes! Does that have a backwater sound to it, or what?! I prefer remembering her as Rosemary Carroll - the sexy, snooty looker who disappeared after my sophomore or junior year.

As for Jim (may he rest in peace), he now has the unusual distinction of having what he wrote as an autobiographical song become, in essence, his epitaph. Writer, singer, sophisticate...apparently, he was all these things, but I find myself wondering just what kind of guy he really was. Jim Carroll died of a heart attack last week in his New York apartment at age 60.

Yabbathanks to our friend, the music-savvy Demo

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