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The Last Autographs

Updated 13 January 2010

Although I was responsible for delivering most of the "fan mail" to Jim, I rarely got to see what he sent back to the people who wrote to him . . . and people whose letters I delivered almost never shared what they got back.

Around 2006, Jim asked me to hold all mail. Jim moved twice, and once he landed back in Inwood, I gave him a big box full of backlogged "fan mail."

The fan mail box sat unopened, along with boxes containing about 95% of his possessions, until I opened it in July 2009. Jim got busy reading and responding.

In August 2009, Jim had responded to everything in the box, but there were two he couldn't mail himself, and he put these two packages in my care. In one case, the recipient had not provided return mailing information or postage. In the other, it had been so long since the recipient had written to Jim, we could not assume the return address was still valid. I have taken steps to locate the recipients and hope to deliver these last messages from Jim to them as soon as possible. But in the meantime, it's a rare treat for me to share how Jim communicated with people who wrote to him.

I want to point out that the stationery Jim used for his notes was given to him as a birthday gift by a fan.


Dry Dreams Promo for Brian

This is an Atco promo for Dry Dreams that was published in the April 10, 1982 issue of Billboard.

Jim Carroll wrote a note for "Brian," who occupied (circa 2007) the apartment Jim had previously occupied in Chelsea.

Jim's inscription says:

Dear Brian,

I hope 3A is treating yr. needs

Actually I hope you're even a fan. Your sweet sister is, and I send this at her bequest.

(Not signed . . .)


What's more interesting is Jim's note to Janice, Brian's sister . . .


Note to Janice

Janice wrote to Jim asking him to sign the above Atco promo for her brother, who, as of about 2007, lived in the Chelsea apartment Jim had previously occupied. (My challenge, in delivering the package, is that Janice did not provide return mailing info . . . I COULD just mail to Jim's old address, but that would not fulfill the original intent!)

The note from Jim Carroll says:

Dear Janice,

My only problem
here is I don't get if
your brother is a fan
(or even knows my work)
I signed it anyway, but
I wish I had a sister
like you (very sweet & thought

Why not keep it for

It[s] all in your hands now.

All my best,
Jim Carroll '09

The P.S. at the top says:

By the way - my friend Annie Leibowitz took this picture (of the LP cover)

Note to David Linsay (1 of 3)

David sent a letter with some drawings and sleeves of all three JCB albums for Jim to sign. Jim signed all of them, front and back, with notations of his favorite songs. I'll put those up when I have better light to photograph them. In the meantime, Jim wrote a three-page note to David.

Jim Carroll's note (page 1) says:

Hey David,

Sorry, I don't have any
of those little basketballs
as gift from the movie, but
I wish I did, cool idea!

All we got were hats, tee shirts, & fanny packs!!

I do have a tiny BBall
like you're talking about. It's on a
keychain and I bought it at the
Basketball Hall of Fame
years ago, when the tour bus stopped
in Springfield, Mass, but now
I can't even find that. Some
one stole all
but one of
my hats and shirts.

Note to David Linsay (2 of 3)

Jim's note to David continues:

So I can't send you
anything but my thanks
& I can honestly say I
dig your drawings
Keep working, man. Maybe
you can study painting
I have just been finishing up a long
novel about a painter
& he's going nuts) Got to
get back to that now, in fact
Keep working on whatever
gets you there
But all my best

Jim Carroll

At the top, Jim has added:

[P.S. Don't know how long you've been waiting for this stuff. I just got a huge box filled with letters & packages 3 days ago]

Note to David Linsay (3 of 3)

The last page of Jim's note to David says:

P.S. -
Sorry these
notes are so
messy. Using the
computer makes me
forget my handwriting
(which used to be
pretty good.

Jim C

And thanks for the fucking Sharpie!

Catholic Boy LP Inscribed for David Lindsay

On the front cover, Jim has labeled the subjects "Dad," "Me," and "Mom."

The inscription says:

For David,
All of our best, Bro.
From Dad & Mom and --> Jim Carroll

Jim has added a little "good luck" drawing.

Dry Dreams LP Inscribed for David Lindsay (front)

The front cover is inscribed:

For David,
I love Annie Leibovitz's peach colored light on the bed
All my best & thanks
Jim Carroll

Dry Dreams LP Inscribed for David Lindsay (back)

On the back cover, Jim has identified the song "Rooms" as his favorite track on Dry Dreams with an arrow and the note:

Personal favorite song on this LP.

I Write Your Name LP Inscribed for David Lindsay (front)

The front cover is inscribed:

For David,
-Keep Rocking & Drawing
Jim Carroll
July 15, '09

I Write Your Name LP Inscribed for David Lindsay (back)

On the back cover, Jim has identified the song "Hold Back the Dream" as his favorite track on I Write Your Name with an arrow and the note:

My personal favorite song on this L.P.


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