Tom Verlaine, a guitarist best known as the lead singer of the rock group Television, died at the age of 73. He gained notoriety in the New York punk movement of the 1970s.
Television achieved three UK Top 40 hits during their prime and received praise for their albums Marquee Moon and Adventure.
They parted in 1978, however, after finding more success in Britain than in their own United States.
The daughter of longtime friend and partner Patti Smith, Jesse Paris Smith, made the announcement of Verlaine’s passing.
He passed away “after a brief illness,” she said, without giving an explanation.
Verlaine was regarded as one of the most accomplished musicians to come out of the now-defunct CBGBs bar in the Bowery neighborhood of New York City, where they shared the stage with bands like Blondie, The Ramones, and Talking Heads.
Its music was more complicated than that of their competitors, despite the fact that they rose to fame as a result of the punk movement, with Verlaine and fellow guitarist Richard Lloyd exchanging protracted solos and intricate jazz-influenced riffs.
In New Jersey, Verlaine was given the name Thomas Miller, but he changed it to his stage name in honor of the French symbolist author Paul Verlaine.
Following the dissolution of Television, he put out a number of solo albums. David Bowie used his song Kingdom Come as the inspiration for a rare cover on his Scary Monsters album.
The alternative rock of the 1980s and 1990s was greatly influenced by Television, who regrouped in 1992 and released a self-titled third album. Television continued to perform occasionally after that.
Tom Verlaine has moved on to the beyond that his guitar playing always hinted at, as Mike Scott of The Waterboys noted in a memorial tweet.
He was the greatest rock & roll guitarist ever and, like Hendrix, could dance from cosmic spheres to garage music. That requires exceptional greatness.
Tom Verlaine’s playing meant a great deal to me, according to Echo & The Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant. I would be thrilled if I ever created any music that resembled him. Thank you Tom, he helped me get started as a guitarist.