Tom Verlaine, a guitarist and co-founder of the influential proto-punk band Television has away. He was known for sharing the stage with Talking Heads, Patti Smith, and the Ramones at the CBGB, a hip downtown New York club. He was 73.
After a short illness, he passed away on Saturday in New York City, surrounded by his closest friends, according to publicist Cara Hutchison of the Lede Company.
“The afterlife that Tom Verlaine’s guitar playing always alluded to has now officially entered. Like Hendrix, he was the greatest rock and roll guitarist ever and could dance to garage rock from the universe’s spheres. That requires exceptional excellence, “The Waterboys’ Mike Scott tweeted.
Verlaine’s raggedly innovative playing as part of the band’s two-guitar assault was influential to many artists, even if Television never saw much commercial success. The innovative first album, “Marquee Moon,” by Television, included the almost 11-minute title track, and “Elevation” was released in 1977. The follow-up, “Adventure,” was released a year later.
“In the intervening years, “Marquee Moon” has evolved into the pinnacle of indie rock. Artists like Pavement, Sonic Youth, the Strokes, and Jeff Buckley have all been inspired by it. “In 2003, Billboard published an article.
Television split up after the release of its second album, “Adventure,” due to growing hostilities between guitarist Richard Lloyd and Verlaine. The band would get back together for a self-titled album on Capitol Records in 1992 and periodic live performances.
Richard Hell, the co-founder of Television, said, “We wanted to reduce things down further, away from the showbiz theatricality of the glitter bands, and away from blues-iness and boogie.” As the world was, “We wanted to be harsh, brutal, and ripped apart.”
Verlaine recorded eight solo albums, with his 1981 sophomore solo album “Dreamtime” reaching its highest point on the Billboard album list at No. 177, being his most financially successful. He regularly accompanied Patti Smith, a former flame.
Susanna Hoffs and Billy Idol paid tribute to Verlaine online, stating that his music affected the US and UK punk scenes. Smith posted a picture of the two of them together along with a tribute on Instagram: “Goodbye Tom, atop the Omega,”
He adopted the last name of the 19th-century French poet Paul-Marie Verlaine after meeting Hell, real name Richard Meyers, in a prep school in Delaware. He was born Tom Miller. They were cynical, tall, slender teenagers who dropped out of school before moving to the East Village, where they collaborated on poetry while working at bookshops.
According to a statement by his publicist, “He was recognized for his angular poetry and incisive lyrical asides, a sharp wit, and an ability to shake each string to its purest feeling.” “His imagination and vision will be missed.”