The famous rock band Television’s guitarist and singer, Tom Verlaine, passes away at age 73
Tom Verlaine, a pioneer of American punk and a mainstay of the New York rock scene in the 1970s, passed away on Saturday in Manhattan after a brief illness. He was 73.
His passing was announced to NPR in a press statement by Jesse Paris Smith, a former lover of the artist and the daughter of Verlaine partner Patti Smith.
Jesse Paris Smith said in a statement to NPR, “I met Tom when I was a youngster, not long after my dad went away. “In him, I sensed the power of a father, a guy for a hug, a man to laugh with, a man to engage in pranks and wild imagination.”
Verlaine was best recognized for playing guitar and singing with the renowned rock group Television. Marquee Moon and Adventure, the first two albums by Television, received a lot of positive reviews, albeit not particularly strong sales. These records established the basis for alternative rock.
Verlaine was well-known for his rough guitar playing, which included a lot of vibrato and distortion, as well as his wacky lyrics, such as the line from the Marquee Moon track’s chorus, “Life in the hive puckered up my night / A kiss of death, the embrace of life,” which is used in the chorus.
- DJ Tom Verlaine, a visitor
- ALL SONGS WERE HEARD
- DJ Tom Verlaine, a visitor
Verlaine enjoyed popularity as a solo performer during the course of a musical career spanning five decades. He worked with artists like Sonic Youth and David Bowie.
He was idolized by upcoming artists like Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate and Nels Cline of Wilco. The Canadian indie pop group Alvvays named a song after him for their most recent album.
Verlaine, who was really named Thomas Miller and was born in Denville, New Jersey, grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and showed an early interest in poetry and music.
After relocating to New York City in the late 1960s, he took on the stage name Tom Verlaine in tribute to the French Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine of the 19th century.
Throughout his career, Verlaine gained a cult following but never fully broke into the mainstream and shied away from the spotlight. The artist, according to a 2006 New York Times story, “considered for a minute before delivering his favored self-deprecating epigram: ‘Struggle not to have a professional career'” when asked how his own life should be depicted in a biography.
Patrick Derivaz, Verlaine’s longtime engineer and working partner, told NPR that it has been a fantastic adventure and an honor to work with him for more than 30 years and until the end.
Jimmy Rip, a guitarist and member of the band Television, said in a statement to NPR, “Tom and I had a hysterically humorous chat that spanned the last 42 years.” “He was tremendously intelligent, well-read, and surrealistically ridiculous. The greatest honor [and] delight of my life was to stand 10 feet away from him onstage night after night, year after year, and STILL attempt to understand how he managed to do what he did.”