- 15 Apr 20
Dennis Driscoll was a poet, a bass player, a raconteur – and lots of fun to be with. “A great guy and a true punk, he will be missed,” says blues singer and friend, Mary Stokes.
Hot Press is sad to hear of the death of the New York punk poet, Dennis Driscoll.
Dennis was a completely genuine character and a wordsmith with a mission. A citizen of New York, he never forgot his Irish roots.
"I was born in the 50's, raised in the 60's and 70's, survived the 80's, did some stuff in the 90's and now look forward to the new millennium,” he said of himself back in the day, in what was a great summation of five decades of raucous action.
He released two CDs of his work, Inwood Stories and Cut The Gab.
Inwood Stories was based on his experiences growing up in the Manhattan neighbourhood of that name. "Besides being a storyteller (in Inwood that would be called bullshit artist),” he wrote, "I am involved with a small but amazing restaurant in NY's East Village. I also play bass guitar though not currently in a band."
There was an openness about him that was legendary.
"The restaurant I'm with is called Old Devil Moon along with Tami Latham and my brother Ken,” he said. He described it as a fun, comfortable restaurant that serves great food. "In the past I've played there with bands. In the future I hope to play more music and maybe do some readings there.”
For Dennis Driscoll, everything was connected.
"I'm very lucky to have lots of people I consider friends, and the restaurant allows me a way to keep in touch with them,” he explained on his website. "My other passion is music. Special thanks for encouraging my writing, Dr Cassie Carter and the Jim Carroll mailing list denizens – and for help with this site, the beautiful Annie Rex.”
Some of his stories were published on catholicboy.com – which he described as “a truly great website for Jim Carroll."
"The last time we spent with Dennis Driscoll,” Irish blues legend Mary Stokes recalled, "was in New York, attending Stano’s In Between Silence event, in January 2019. We had a great time together, himself and Brian (Palm) talking and having a laugh on the freezing New York night. Since then Dennis said regularly how he was planning – and really looking forward to – getting back to Dublin.
"I suggested to him that he could stay with us and genuinely expected it would happen. A great guy, a true punk, an artist and a poet, and very, very funny to boot. Rest now Dennis, the auld struggle is done. You will be greatly missed."