R.I.P. Jim Carroll, Larry Gelbart

"Jimmy, I'll miss you more than all the others / and I SALUTE YOU , Brother..."

" I'll miss you more than all the others / and I SALUTE YOU , Brother..."

Poet. Rocker. Punk. Junkie. Jim Carroll, who was all of these,  passed away at his desk while working on new material. He first became famous for his novel The Basketball Diaries, but I didn’t discover that until after his album Catholic Boy blew my doors in. I can still sing “People Who Died” from memory and was fortunate enough to have seen the man himself do the honors. Many people believe he was the poet of our generation, a post-Beat Beat writer. Now he’s gone. Wicked, wicked gravity.

Larry Gelbart is probably best known as the creator of M*A*S*H, an accomplishment which would outshine many people’s career resumes. But his writing spanned generations – he started writing for Fanny Brice and Bob Hope, wrote jokes for Red Buttons and Danny Kaye, hit his stride in the incredible writer’s room for Sid Caesar (a crew that included Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Carl Reiner) and capped it off with M*A*S*H and Tootsie. His work is so good that I forgive him for AfterMASH.

The typewriter is mightier than the sword

The typewriter is mightier than the sword

My comments on these two is certainly no slight by omission on the recent passing of others. I just had more invested in the works of Carroll and Gelbart.  But over the past seven days the Grim Reaper has been working overtime:

  • Pierre Cossette, a TV and Broadway producer I had the pleasure of working with when I was in Artist Management. Total pro, as was his team.
  • Army Archerd, whose news items in Variety predated today’s gossip rags and TV shows…except Army had ethics and didn’t just blast rumors to get attention.
  • George Eckstein, a producer/writer for some great early TV shows.
  • Paul Burke, star of Naked City and 12 O’Clock High
  • William Beck, the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, who at least was saved from witnessing Michael Jordan’s embarassing Hall Of Fame speech.
  • Frank Batten, creator of The Weather Channel, saving millions of people from having to rely on that antiquated tool of looking out the window.

This idiot died last night, but only on stage. (I’m no fan of Beyonce’s music, but that was a class move at the VMAs.)

Christopher Kelly– hmmm, not suspicious at all, right?

And if the Universe had a better sense of irony,  this jackass would have died a day earlier.

***

Awww crap11pm update. I knew this was going to happen but not this soon.

And damn, Reaper – Wednesday update – you socked it to him, too?

***

Jim Carroll Wikipedia entry

Larry Gelbart page at IMDB.

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2 Comments

Filed under Editorials, Music

2 responses to “R.I.P. Jim Carroll, Larry Gelbart

  1. Russ

    Jim Carroll. Catholic Boys. Basketball Diaries. My mom who knew a lot of rock’n’rollers indirectly through my dirty little hobby was fooled by Jim Carroll and those titles.

    Little did she know he was younger, politer version of William S. Burroughs.

    Imagine my joy and wonder to have her tell me he had called the house to say how much he enjoyed what we had all written about him in that rag.

    Imagine my amazement that they had spent about 1/2 an hour on the phone talking about music, Syracuse, and our magazine.

    Of course, that was part and parcel of the rag, where the mom does the interview with the last person on Earth (aside from Paul Armstrong) you’d want her to talk to.

    And she thought he was sweet.

    Jim, I salute you my brother!

  2. drbristol

    Always knew we should have hired your Mom to write some copy. More reliable than Sean, more sensible than Mr. Mick and god knows more easy to get along with than Graham.

    Years later, in the RRH (rock retirement home) Keef and Iggy and the rest would be talking about how they were disarmed by the innocent sounding suburban housewife. Oh, yeah, and her cookies. (Note to readers: Not a euphamism)

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