Influential guitarist and songwriter Tom Verlaine dies at 73

Tom Verlaine, whose band Television was one of the most influential groups to emerge from the New York punk rock scene centered on nightclub CBGB – but his exploratory guitar riffs and poetic songwriting were never easy to attribute class—punk—or for that matter any other genre—died Saturday in Manhattan. He is 73 years old.

The death of Mr. Jesse Paris Smith was announced by his daughter, Jesse Paris Smith. Verlaine’s fellow musician Patti Smith. She did not specify the cause of death, saying only that he passed away “after a short illness”.

Although Television had only modest commercial success and disbanded after recording two albums, Mr. Verlaine – who went on to record several solo albums and reunited with the band regularly – had a lasting impact, especially on his fellow guitarists.

“If you’re a young rocker pretending to be smart and ingenious, Tom Verlaine is a guitarist worth mentioning today,” wrote the New York Times’ Robert Palmer in 1987.

Reflecting on Mr. Verlaine’s performance at the Bowery Ballroom in 2006, The Times critic Jon Pareles wrote: “Mr. Come to show off virtuosity. Instead, they pull it: falling behind on purpose, strumming chords on offbeat beats, trickling around it, or rising with bumpy, firm lines.

Layered, often ethereal sound, sir. The way Verlaine and the rest of Television have developed is a far cry from the pared-down approach of the Ramones and other leading figures of the punk scene. But that scene — which also included bands as disparate as Blondie and the Talking Heads — was never as one-dimensional as it is often portrayed.

gentlemen. Verlaine, who also leads the band and writes most of the songs, learned piano and saxophone as a child, and his music is rooted in everything from John Coltrane’s free jazz to the Rolling Stones’ hard-hitting “19th Nervous Breakdown”” He often uses Impressionist lyrics reflect the influence of poets such as Paul Verlaine, from whom Thomas Miller took his stage name.

Television originated with Mr. Verlaine’s friendship with Richard Meyers (later known as Richard Hell) when they were both students at a boarding school in Delaware. After moving to New York, they formed a band called The Neon Boys, which evolved into Television in 1973, with Richard Lloyd on guitar and Mr. To hell with Billy Ficca. gentlemen. In 1975, Hell was replaced by Fred Smith, who went on to form the punk band Richard Hell and the Voidoids.

After building a loyal following in New York, Television signed to Elektra Records and in 1977 released the album “Marquee Moon”. Sales were disappointing but critically acclaimed, “Marquee Moon” now regularly appears on lists of the greatest rock albums of all time.

A full obituary will follow.

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