Singer-guitarist Tom Verlaine, who founded the punk-rock band Television during the 1970s, died Saturday in New York City. He was 73.
Jesse Paris Smith, the daughter of Verlaine’s former partner, Patti Smith, confirmed that Verlaine died after a “brief illness,” Rolling Stone reported.
“He died peacefully in New York City, surrounded by close friends,” Jesse Paris Smith told the website. “His vision and his imagination will be missed.”
Tom Verlaine, Founder of Influential Punk Band Television, Dies at 73 https://t.co/1NC4ziiYNM— Variety (@Variety) January 28, 2023
A regular at New York’s CBGB club, Television set the pace for the punk rock era with their 1977 debut album, “Marquee Moon,” Rolling Stone reported. The 10-minute title track, with an extended solo by Verlaine, was a stark change from the shorter, stripped-down music performed by the Ramones and Talking Heads, Variety reported.
His influence also reached beyond punk music.
“Tom Verlaine is the guitarist to mention these days if you’re a young rocker with some pretense to intelligence and originality,” The New York Times music critic Robert Palmer wrote in 1987.
Tension between Verlaine and fellow guitarist Richard Lloyd caused the group to disband after their second album, 1978′s “Adventure,” Variety reported. The band would reunite for a self-titled album in 1992 and would play sporadically until Lloyd was replaced in 2007.
Verlaine released eight solo albums, according to the entertainment news website.
Born Thomas Miller in New Jersey, Verlaine, who adopted his last name from the French poet Tom Verlaine, went to high school with fellow punk rock legend Richard Hell, according to Rolling Stone. They teamed as the group Neon Boys before founding Television with Lloyd in 1973.
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