Saturday, January 28, 2023

R.I.P. Tom Verlaine

Lately this blog has been a sad series of death notices of musicians I've loved: Jeff Beck, then David Crosby, and now Tom Verlaine, guitarist, singer, and songwriter of the band Television. Verlaine, born Thomas Miller, took his professional name from the French Symbolist, and later Decadent, poet Paul Verlaine. While Television was considered part of the punk rock scene that emerged in the mid 1970s, their style differed from the minimalistic three chord approach of groups like the Ramones or the Sex Pistols. Verlaine and Television's other guitarist, Richard Lloyd, played complex runs that reflected jazz influences as well as, according to Verlaine, inspiration from surf guitar bands like the Ventures. You can hear them, along with Verlaine's vocal, on the clip above of Television's live performance of "Foxhole."