Tag Archives: Jim Carroll

Easy-Peasy, Gang!

Yes, I am of course talking about the endless editing that I’m now doing to Blessed By Light.

I finally signed off on the revisions to Chapter One (I’m really happy with them, btw; this is the strangest novel I’ve ever read, gang, and I think that’s a good thing). But then I realized that Chapter Two could be more streamlined, so I’m up to my eyeballs now in that.

But, honestly, it’s not so bad now. I got past all the stymied weirdness of the other day. And I know for sure that the whole book doesn’t need editing; it’s just these opening chapters that I want to tighten.


I’m okay with it.

That’s me, btw, up at the top there. 30 years ago. I was at my best friend’s beach house in North Carolina. He has long since died from AIDS. But back then – wow, he was the only person who could calm me down.

Actually, when we knew for sure he was dying, that he would not survive, that was his main concern: “Marilyn, how are you going to be okay without me?”

And I absolutely did not know.  Although I didn’t want him dying while worrying about me, so I told him that I would figure it out – how to be okay without him.

I guess I did; I’ve managed, anyway, even though I don’t have any other “best friend” and that is super lonely. But I can guarantee you there are no other photos in existence of me looking that relaxed.

Anyway! It’s a beautiful day here. I didn’t blog earlier because I slept in until 7 a.m.!! I don’t remember the last time I did that, but it felt good. I woke up happy.  But now that I’ve switched my meditation time back to first thing in the morning, then I do that Inner Being journaling thing, and then I had to get started on the revisions. Then do yoga…

So, anyway, here we are! Day’s half over!

I’m gonna say first, though, that I am hopelessly lost now re: all these Conversations with Nick Cave in the UK. I don’t think anyone in Scotland posted to Instagram last night. Plus, all these johnny-come-latelies from London and Manchester are still posting to Instagram, confusing me, and other people who have tickets to upcoming shows back in Scandinavia are posting things that haven’t even happened yet, and since Nick Cave apparently insists on wearing the same darn suit all the time, I am losing my ability to figure out where the heck he is.

The UK is really decidedly weird, though. Meaning that they seem to be incredibly okay with detaching themselves from their phones and so not posting pictures to Instagram. So they are really just screwing me up.

Oh, sort of on an unrelated note. Right this moment there is an amazing photo of Iggy Pop on Instagram that he posted to his own official page. He’s in concert and, as usual, is only wearing clothes from the waist down. But this photo is an extreme close-up of him from the waist up. He’s in his 70s now and still really muscular, but his skin is an absolute roadmap of lines and wrinkles. It is just jaw-dropping and breathtaking. It truly is.

I love Iggy Pop.

Back in the early 80s, when I was taking that songwriting workshop with (the late) Jim Carroll, one of our assignments was to write some specific lyrics and turn them in. And at that particular time, I was reading Iggy Pop’s memoir, I Need More, from his years living in Germany. So I wrote a song about that.

Here’s a photo of page 1 of my graded assignment – Jim Carroll’s comments. (I treasure this, obviously. Usually we didn’t have to turn stuff in, we went over stuff in class. So I don’t have his handwriting on too many things.) (Oh, I adored Jim Carroll, too, in case you’re new to this lofty blog.)

The song I wrote about Iggy Pop as an assignment for Jim Carroll’s songwriting workshop in early 1984.

Jim Carroll actually terrified me. He was SUPER nice. He really was. But he was also really tall – hence, The Basketball Diaries. And I was really shy. Whenever he would stand too close to me, I would sort of silently panic and freak out. Once, I arrived for class just as he was arriving and so we road up alone together in the elevator (he was usually surrounded by a swarm of students, but this time it was just him & me). He had an intense Bronx accent, and he said, “Hey, so, what’s yer name again – Mary Ann?”

ME: (inaudible reply)

HIM (smiles): “Hm. So how ya doin’?”

ME (just a sort of chirp): “oh. you know. fine.”

I was just terrified of him. It was too funny.

One time, at the end of a class, students still all over the place, he was talking to me about something I had written and while he was talking to me, he was picking at some lint or something on the lapel of my jeans jacket. So, in essence, he was touching me. I have no clue what he was talking about because the blood just went barreling through my eardrums and drowned out everything else. I was so excited that he was, you know, sort of touching me….Anyway.

I’m not 100% positive about this, but I think that Jim Carroll died in the same way that F. Scott Fitzgerald did — had a heart attack at his desk while he was in the middle of writing something.

Well, to switch gears entirely.

After I was done meditating this morning, I decided to get yet another hotel room in NYC for after that first Conversation with Nick Cave that’s happening on Saturday night, 9/21.  I got a hotel room close to Lincoln Center.

I had been planning to maybe ask Sandra if I could just stay that one night in her pieds a terre there in the city, because it’s close to Lincoln Center.

She & her husband now live up in Rhinebeck, which is where I’ll be when we aren’t rehearsing in the city, and I’ve been worrying how intensely rude it will feel for me to leave Lincoln Center and grab that last train out of Penn Station and then arrive back at their house up in Rhinebeck really late and maybe even wake them up.

But then I was afraid to ask her if I could borrow her pieds a terre, because it feels sort of presumptuous to do that – you know, she being an actress and I’m just a lowly scribe. But mostly because I still feel really weird about being in NYC for rehearsals of my own play and then inserting these 2 Nick Cave Conversations in the middle of all that and making myself unavailable for 2 nights.

But, anyway, I finally decided on getting another hotel room and so I’ll just do that and now I feel a little more relaxed about that whole thing.

So life is just working out merrily on all fronts!

And work with Peitor on the micro-short video scripts yesterday was kind of incredible. Extremely intense. It is a shot by shot kind of script that we’re working on right now. So I’m sort of transcribing the thoughts that are in his head – the visuals.  Sort of putting a storyboard into text (before we actually storyboard it), since this particular video has almost no dialogue, and it’s loaded with abstract visuals and industrial sorts of sounds.

I was kinda tired by the time we ended the call. And we only had maybe a page and a half of script. Just intense brain-work for me. But it’s all still so exciting.

Okay, I’m gonna close.  Have a good Sunday, whatever’s left of it where you are, gang! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.


Another one from Hell’s Kitchen!

You mean there are more??!!

Why yes, there are more! Plenty more! All I used to do back then (in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC) was write songs. (If you’re viewing this on your phone, you have to turn your phone sideways to view this.)

Sadly, this song featured today, LOU, is one of my favorites but this is the worst demo ever of this song! However, it’s the only demo of it that I have in a digital format.

Lou Reed was one of my heroes and I wrote this song about Lou Reed. Back when I wrote this song, in 1984, I was taking a songwriting class taught by another one of my heroes, Jim Carroll. The two men were extremely close friends, and so Lou actually got to hear this song. I have no idea if he liked it or not. All I know is that the demo Lou Reed got to hear of this song was one million times better than this one, and so for that I am grateful!

The one he got to hear was of course made on the 4-track in my bedroom. It was me, my guitar, a bass player and some percussion, which was how I performed it live.

This awful demo posted here was actually made in a huge 24-track studio, wherein my opinion mattered not one iota. Oh, those heady days!! I don’t miss them at all…

Anyway, at least enjoy the lyrics, gang! Thanks for visiting. I love you!! See ya!!!

Lou Reed 1978
Jim Carroll, late 1970s