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The Jim Carroll Website Home > Books > Translations & Foreign Editions

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 7 October 2009

Since this site launched in 1996, I have received a steady stream of email from fans and others interested in Jim Carroll. Below is an index of the most frequently asked questions, categorized by topic. Click on the questions to see the answers.

Note: these FAQs were originally written in 2001, and some are outdated. I've . . . removed the ones that became obviously irrelevant after Jim's death. The rest I'll update after I've finished re-building the site. -- Webmaster

Jim Carroll's Work on the Web

Where can I find some of Jim Carroll's full poems online?

There are a several sites on the Web that offer complete poems by Jim Carroll, and almost all of them are doing so in violation of United States copyright law. You are more than welcome to hunt for them yourself using all of the internet search engines at your disposal; usually they appear ranked in the mid-hundreds in search results.

I have a website. Can I put Jim Carroll's work on it?

Not without express written permission from Jim Carroll. Jim Carroll's work is protected by United States copyright law.

Can I use the images on CatholicBoy.com on my website, flyer, article, essay, etc?

You are welcome to use any of the Press Photos, so long as you credit the photographers.



Other than the press photos, most of the images appearing on CatholicBoy.com are NOT the property of CatholicBoy.com. Before using any of them, please refer to the photo credits provided to helo you locate and contact the copyright owners.

Images that ARE property of CatholicBoy.com include the logo caricature of Jim Carroll, design elements, and various photographs by Cassie Carter. You may contact Cassie Carter to request permission to use these.

Can I use the text on CatholicBoy.com for my website, flyer, article, essay, etc.?

If you wish to use any text from CatholicBoy.com, you must contact the copyright owner for permission. All articles, reviews, and interviews include a byline and, if from an outside source, the name of the source. Materials from outside sources also generally carry a copyright at the bottom of the article (separate from the Jim Carroll Website copyright). If you wish to use text from an outside source, you must contact the original source via the information provided in the byline and/or copyright. If the text is a review or other material exclusive to CatholicBoy.com, and the author is anyone other than Cassie Carter, you need to contact the author. If the author is Cassie Carter, or if there is no byline or any other identifying information, you should contact Cassie Carter.

Where can I find audio and video clips of Jim Carroll and the Jim Carroll Band?

Check out the audio and video pages within the Works section of this site.

Where can I find guitar tabs/chords for the Jim Carroll song "[fill in title here]"?

As far as I know, there is no online or offline source for guitar tabs/chords for any Jim Carroll or Jim Carroll Band songs. If you find a source, please tell me, because I get this question all the time!

If it's any help, John S. informs me that "People Who Died" is a 12-bar blues in C-major. (I have no idea if that's true.)

Where can I find Jim Carroll Books/Albums/Films, etc?

How do I get copies of Jim Carroll's books and albums?

You can purchase all currently-in-print work on online via CatholicBoy.com's links to Amazon.com, iTunes, and other sources on the books, albums, and films pages (in the Works section).

If you suffer from online purchasing phobia, go to the customer service desk at your local book/CD/video store and order the items you want. Merchants will always order items for you, usually at no additional cost.

Where can I find the Dry Dreams CD?

Dry Dreams has never been released on CD; it was released only on vinyl and cassette, and it is currently out of print. Sometimes you can find it in used record stores, auctions, and in collector's shops. Check out the Collecting page for tips on where to get it.

Where can I find a copy of the soundtrack to the movie Tuff Turf?

I really don't know where to find the soundtrack to Tuff Turf, which is unfortunate because it's the only place you'll get the original version of "It's Too Late." I got my vinyl copy directly from Rhino Records in 1989.

Where can I find [other hard-to-find item] by Jim Carroll?

Check out the Collecting page for tips on where to find rare Jim Carroll items.

Where can I find a poster of Jim Carroll?

Large-sized posters of Jim Carroll are hard to find. There's a gorgeous one that came out with Dry Dreams and an enlarged album cover poster for Catholic Boy (see them here). Obviously there are a lot of DiCaprio posters that came out with the Basketball Diaries movie. There are also some really cool ones for the Canadian film adaptation of Curtis's Charm, and I'm sure some must be out there for the film Tuff Turf, but you won't see Jim Carroll in these. These are the only posters I know about at the moment. There are, however, a lot of "broadsides" and other items ranging from single poems on legal-size to square cardboard album covers to promotional flyers in all sizes floating around, waiting to be owned by someone who will love them.



The sources listed on the Collecting page tend to sell posters as they become available. Also check out e-Bay.

Can you tell me the price of [insert item here] and how I would go about ordering it?

I generally do not keep up on the prices for Jim Carroll items, although I can tell you that rare items are skyrocketing.

You can view the prices of all currently-in-print work and some rare items on online via CatholicBoy.com's links to Amazon.com, iTunes, and other sources on the books, albums, and films pages (in the Works section). For rare items, check out the Collecting page.

I live outside of the United States. Where can I buy Jim Carroll's books/albums/films?

Much of Carroll's work is available in translation.

Additionally, international fans should use the links to Amazon.com on the books, albums, and films pages. Amazon ships internationally and offers a lot of flexibility in forms of payment.

If you still suffer from online purchasing phobia, go to the customer service desk at your local book/CD/video store and ask to order the items you want. Jim Carroll's books are available through Viking Penguin, which is an international company

International Questions

Will Jim Carroll's [insert title] be translated into [My Language]?

Jim Carroll's work exists in translation around the globe, and new translations appear regularly. However, when a particular title will be translated into a particular language is something I cannot foretell.

I live outside of the United States. Where can I buy Jim Carroll's books/albums/films?

Much of Carroll's work is available in translation.

Additionally, international fans should use the links to Amazon.com on the books, albums, and films pages. Amazon ships internationally and offers a lot of flexibility in forms of payment.

If you still suffer from online purchasing phobia, go to the customer service desk at your local book/CD/video store and ask to order the items you want. Jim Carroll's books are available through Viking Penguin, which is an international company

The Basketball Diaries (book and film)

How accurate is the movie?

The movie is not accurate at all. For details, read the book and check out the Basketball Diaries film section of the website, which offers a scene-by-scene guide comparing the film to the book, as well as reviews and commentary.

In the movie, [fill in scene details] happened. Did that really happen in Jim Carroll's life?

In short, no. I'd say the overall story sort of reflects something like what happened in Jim Carroll's life, but you've got to read the book. For details on the film, check out the Basketball Diaries film section of the website, which offers a scene-by-scene guide comparing the film to the book, as well as reviews and commentary.

Do you know what the music is when [fill in scene details]?

In general, no, I don't know what music is playing during a specific scene in the movie, although a few songs stand out. "Catholic Boy" by Jim Carroll (with Pearl Jam) plays at the start of the film. "People Who Died" by the Jim Carroll Band plays during the scene immediately after Bobby's funeral. "Riders on the Storm" by The Doors plays during the basketball game in which the boys have popped pill drawn from Pedro's hat (just don't ask me why this song was chosen--I have no idea!). That's about the best I can do without watching the movie again, and I really don't want to do that.

Do you know what poem is read in voice-over when [fill in scene details]?

Only two poems are read in voice-over during the film ("Little Ode on St. Anne's Day" and "Blood Bridge"), both from Living at the Movies; the other voice-overs are entries from The Basketball Diaries, usually bastardizations. If you are really dying to know what a specific piece is, pause and rewind enough times to write down the first line or two. If you take the time to do that, I'll be happy to report back with titles and/or page references. Note: if you describe the scene context, too, you'll be helping me add significant information to the scene-by-scene guide.

Is one of the characters in The Basketball Diaries book based on [me, my uncle, my friend, etc.]?

I've received only a handful of queries like this, but I think the topic bears mentioning in the FAQ simply because in several cases, the character in question was, in fact, who the questioner thought it might be. Case in point: Bobby Stokes, aka "Bobby Sachs," whose younger brother contacted me in 2000. It was a wonderful thing to put a face on this kid who had been memorialized in both The Basketball Diaries and "People Who Died."

Check out the 1968 Trinity School Yearbook to see some of the most easily-identifiable characters in The Basketball Diaries. Beyond that, if you think one of the characters in The Basketball Diaries might be based on you or someone you know, please specify which character and provide details about the person's real name, the neighborhood they grew up in, the school(s) they attended, and any other salient details that connect the real person to the character. Most of the time, the real person is not the character, but I will look into it. (Be forewarned: this always takes a long time because I have to ask Jim.)

Drugs

How did Jim Carroll conquer his addiction?

In Forced Entries, Carroll details the events in his life that led him to move to Bolinas, California, where he enrolled in a methadone program and successfully got clean in the mid-1970s. However, bear in mind that an addict is always an addict, whether they are actively using or not.

Research Help Desk

I'm writing a report/article about Jim Carroll. How do I find articles and interviews?

CatholicBoy.com offers a large collection of full-text articles, interviews, and performance reviews. Of course not all materials are available online; you will need to consult traditional print materials as well. Your best resource is the extensive annotated bibliography of Jim Carroll I published in the Bulletin of Bibliography (1990). An updated, unannotated version of this bibliography is available on the website. Look at the secondary bibliography for articles about Carroll, including interviews. Look at the primary bibliography for a detailed listing of work by Carroll.

I found these lines of [poetry/lyrics/prose]. Where are they are from?

If you are sure the lines are by Jim Carroll, be sure to include all of them in your message and state where you found them. If the lines are not by Carroll, I cannot guarantee that I will answer you.

What do these lines [quote song lyric, poem, prose] mean? What was Jim Carroll's intention?

As a scholar, I am happy to offer critical commentary on Jim Carroll's work, but I will not "tell you what it means" or claim to be able to read Jim Carroll's mind. Before you ask me to comment on Jim Carroll's work, please do the following first:
  • Conduct your own research, draw your own conclusions, and present your question to me in the context of your own thesis/argument.

  • Please read my published articles and conference papers on the Full-Text Articles page so you are familiar with what I have already said.

I am doing an English class project on Jim Carroll in which i must explain the meaning of [insert title of poem/book] and show all literary devices used. I would appreciate any help you could give me.

I beg you not to ask me questions like this. Please focus your topic (I am writing about Jim Carroll's use of similes in "The Distances") and come up with at least a tentative thesis statement expressing what you think is the significance of your chosen topic. Then ask me a specific question. As a rule, before you ask me to comment on Jim Carroll's work, please do the following first:
  • Conduct your own research, draw your own conclusions, and present your question to me in the context of your own thesis/argument.
  • Please read my published articles and conference papers on the Academic Studies page so you are familiar with what I have already said.

I am completing a analytical essay which needs to include textual criticism of [fill in title of poem/book], and I am having trouble finding the sources I need on the site. I am particularly looking for [insert type of criticism sought]. Can you assist?

Although CatholicBoy.com offers a large collection of full-text articles, interviews, and performance reviews, you also need to consult traditional print materials. Your best resource is the extensive annotated bibliography of Jim Carroll I published in the Bulletin of Bibliography (1990). An updated, unannotated version of this bibliography is available on the website. Look at the secondary bibliography for articles about Carroll, including interviews. Look at the primary bibliography for a detailed listing of work by Carroll.

I am researching a scholarly article/doctoral dissertation/master's thesis and would like your input. Will you be available for consultation?

Yes. I am delighted to consult on scholarly work about Jim Carroll. All I ask is that you respect intellectual property.

You may contact me by email.

I am looking for the poem [fill in title here], and I can't seem to find it anywhere. Please help me...

The most likely place to find Jim Carroll's poems is in his books. If you are trying to find a poem online, click here to read another FAQ.

Special Requests

Since you seem to have a large collection of audio and video of Jim, can we trade?

My website partner, LaVerne, maintains an extensive Jim Carroll Band collection and is an avid trader. Check out his page of rarities here.

Requests for Appearances by Jim Carroll

How can I book Jim Carroll at my club/college for a poetry reading?

If you are the owner or manager of the venue, or if you are a member of your college's student activities group, click here for information about booking Jim Carroll. Also refer to the Contact Information page.

How can I book Jim Carroll for a music performance?

Jim Carroll occasionally performs music, usually "on the fly" when musician friends happen to be available. He does not currently have a band and does not, as a rule, accept engagements for music performances. If you are the owner or manager of a venue, or if you are a member of your college's student activities group, and you are dead set on booking Jim Carroll for a music show, click here for information about booking Jim Carroll. Also refer to the Contact Information page.

Media Requests

Can you provide a video clip for my TV segment on Jim Carroll?

No, I can't. Although I have a large collection of archival material, I cannot distribute it without express approval by Jim Carroll's representatives.

Can you confirm [piece of news/gossip]?

Yes, I can field any questions about news items or gossip.

Can you put me in contact with Jim Carroll's representatives? I'd like to publish his work in [insert publication].

Refer to the Contact Info page section for publishers.

Permissions and Copyright Concerns

I have a website. Can I put Jim Carroll's work on it?

Not without express written permission from Jim Carroll. Jim Carroll's work is protected by United States copyright law.

I'd like to include some of Jim Carroll's work in [an anthology/chapbook/magazine]. Who should I contact?

Refer to the information provided on the Contact Info page. Be sure to provide sufficient details and plan on following up.

Whom should I contact to obtain permission to quote from poems or lyrics?

United States copyright law provides guidelines for "fair use." Do a search for "copyright fair use" on any internet search engine and check out the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress online to see if you need to obtain permission. If you do need to obtain permission, refer to the information for publishers provided on the Contact Info page.

Can I reprint/use the images on CatholicBoy.com?

Almost all of the images on CatholicBoy.com are NOT the property of CatholicBoy.com. Please refer to the photo credits provided to locate and contact the owner of any image you wish to use.

Images that ARE property of CatholicBoy.com include the logo caricature of Jim Carroll, design elements, and various photographs by Cassie Carter. You may email Cassie Carter to request permission to use these. Please be sure to specify what you want to use and in what capacity.

Can I use the text on CatholicBoy.com for my website, flyer, article, essay, etc.?

If you wish to use any text from CatholicBoy.com, you must contact the copyright owner for permission. All articles, reviews, and interviews include a byline and, if from an outside source, the name of the source. Materials from outside sources also generally carry a copyright at the bottom of the article (separate from the Jim Carroll Website copyright). If you wish to use text from an outside source, you must contact the original source via the information provided in the byline and/or copyright. If the text is a review or other material exclusive to CatholicBoy.com, and the author is anyone other than Cassie Carter, you need to contact the author. If the author is Cassie Carter, or if there is no byline or any other identifying information, you should email Cassie Carter for details.

Biographical/Bibliographical Questions

Where can I find basic biographical information about Jim Carroll?

The "basics" are available in the Short Biographical Sketch. For more detailed information, click on "Jim Carroll" in the main menu of the CatholicBoy.com website to go to the About Jim Carroll page, which offers a variety of biographies and other information. Also check out the Full-Text Articles and Interviews for various tellings of Jim's story. Above all, read The Basketball Diaries and Forced Entries!

What all has Jim Carroll published and what albums does he appear on?

Check out the Books and Albums pages.

The Jim Carroll Band

Where are the original members of The Jim Carroll Band?

Original JCB guitarist Terrell Winn reported on 3/19/01: "I saw that there is some interest as to what the rest of us are doing from the band: I teach English and global awareness to high school juvies here in Portsmouth, NH; Brian Linsley is an investment banker in Utah; Wayne Woods is a very successful photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area; and Steven Linsley is in L.A., also a successful photographer."

I want to know about the Jim Carroll Band. Where can I find information?

Just about any music mega-site has a section on the Jim Carroll Band. In the future, CatholicBoy.com will include extensive details on the band.

More Questions?

These FAQs haven't answered my question. What now?

If you haven't found answers to your questions here, please email me!

   

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