Tom Verlaine obituary: Television co-founder died at 73

Television released its breakthrough debut album “Marquee Moon” in 1977, which became a definite influence on many other artists.

NEW YORK – Tom Verlaine, guitarist and co-founder of the popular proto-punk band TV, who influenced many bands performing at the super cool CBGB music venue in downtown New York City along with the Ramones, Patti Smith and Talking Heads, have passed away. He was 73.

Cara Hutchison of Lede Company, a public relations firm, said he died Saturday in New York City, surrounded by close friends.

“Tom Verlaine has crossed the line his guitar playing has always implied. He’s the best rock and roll guitarist of all time, and like Hendrix, he can jump from the spheres of the universe to garage rock. That requires exceptional greatness,” tweeted Mike Scott of The Waterboys. He was one of many entertainers who posted tributes to Verlaine.

Although Television never achieved much commercial success, Verlaine’s innovative play as part of the band’s two-guitar assault has influenced many musicians. Television released its groundbreaking debut album “Marquee Moon” in 1977 – which included the nearly 11-minute title track and “Elevation” – and a second attempt “Adventure” a year later.

“’Marquee Moon’ has become something of a holy grail of indie rock in the years since. It had a clear influence on artists like Pavement, Sonic Youth, the Strokes and Jeff Buckley,” Billboard magazine wrote in 2003.

Rising tensions between Verlaine and fellow guitarist Richard Lloyd led to TV disbanding after their second album “Adventure”. The group would reunite for a 1992 album of the same name for Capitol Records and sporadic live performances.

“We wanted to take things further, move away from the showbiz scene of glittering bands, and away from blues and boogie,” wrote Richard Hell, co-founder of Television, in his autobiography, “I dreamed I was a very clean wanderer. “We want to be tough, tough and torn, like the world.”

Verlaine has released eight solo albums, the most commercially successful being 1981’s second solo album “Dreamtime”, which peaked at number 177 on the Billboard album chart. He often accompanies his ex-lover Patti Smith.

Online acclaim includes praises from Susanna Hoffs and Billy Idol, who say Verlaine has created music that has influenced the US and UK punk scene. Smith shared a tribute on Instagram, posting a photo of the two of them together: “Farewell Tom, on the Omega.”

His birth name was Tom Miller – later taking the surname of 19th century French poet Paul-Marie Verlaine after he met Hell, born Richard Meyers, at a preparatory school in Delaware. They were tall, thin, sarcastic kids who dropped out of school and made their way to the East Village, where they worked in bookstores and wrote poetry together.

“He is noted for his angular lyricism and for his lyrical aspects, a sly intelligence and the ability to shake every string to its truest emotion,” a statement from the house reads. his newspaper said. “His vision and imagination will be missed.” Tom Verlaine obituary: Television co-founder died at 73

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