A friend of mine recently sent me an old recording of the Jim Carroll Band in concert, shortly after the punk-poet died. While I cannot say I was a big fan, I did see him "live" a couple of times -once as a rocker with Lenny Kaye on guitar, and once as a stand-up poet, with Ray Manzarek of The Doors.
On this recording, Carroll ended his main set with his hit, "People Who Died". It was from a WBCN broadcast of a show at the Paradise Theatre in Boston. Here's a different live version.
Carroll changed the lyrics in the final lines of the last verse:
Lenny got shot in the New York rain
John I miss you more than all the others
This song is for you, brother.
It sent a chill down my spine. The concert took place on December 21, 1980.
"Lenny" was, of course, John Lennon.
John Lennon would have been 69 years old today.
What would he have been up to ? No one can say, of course. While I'm pretty sure he'd still be for love and peace, and he would have a lot of interesting things to say about the state of the world today, it's unclear what direction his career- and his art -would have taken. Would he have continued recording ? Would he have returned to the road ? Would he have reconciled with Julian ?
We'll never know.
Instead on focusing on what was taken from us, however, let's celebrate what has been left behind.
The DIRTY MAC 1968
OGWT with "Slippin' & Slidin'"
and let's end on a humorous note: