Local Current Blog

Remembering David Carr, 1956-2015

via David Carr on Facebook

Readers across the country and around the world are mourning the sudden death yesterday of journalist David Carr.

A writer covering the media beat for the New York Times, Carr was a Minnesota native who had a fiery career in local journalism—including a lauded stint as editor of the free weekly Twin Cities Reader—before moving out east to continue a career that continued to ascend. Carr’s 2008 memoir The Night of the Gun told the gripping story of Carr’s struggle to overcome a decades-long struggle with addiction, and additionally painted a vivid picture of the Twin Cities that Carr knew inside and out in the 80s and 90s.

Carr was a lifelong music enthusiast, particularly known for his affection for local bands the Suburbs and the Replacements. In a scene filmed for the documentary Color Me Obsessed, Carr remembered the first time he ever saw the ‘Mats.

Minnesota journalist David Brauer, who knew and worked with Carr during their early years, has been tweeting a moving series of memories and tributes to Carr—including the observation that Carr was fond of the Eurythmics and the Suburbs; this morning Steve Seel and Jill Riley played “Music for Boys” in tribute.

Jim McGuinn, The Current’s program director, remembers meeting Carr:

I only met him once, when he came by MPR to talk about his role in Page One, the movie about the NYT. He was a big fan of The Current and streamed us from NYC.

After telling him we had won the “Non-Comm AAA Station of the Year” award, he turned to me and said, “so you’re saying you’re the tallest leprechaun, then?” Best comeback line ever to silence an overeager elevator pitch, and for the past four years thinking about that has both inspired me to grow past the narrow definition of our world, and sometimes provided me the necessary space to stop and realize that it’s just radio.

Play some punky ‘Mats or the Suburbs or Suicide Commandos today, and send it out to a Minnesotan who took his talent far, dealt with and overcame demons, and did make a difference. He was tall, and by way of performing alchemy with his words, he was a leprechaun who got that pot of gold—and then some.

Many members of our local and national communities have been paying tribute to this larger-than-life journalism great. Pitchfork has compiled a list of some of Carr’s music writing—on bands including the Replacements, Craig Finn, and Neil Young.