Tom Verlaine, guitarist, and co-founder of the band Television, dead at 73


Co-founder and guitar player for punk rock group Television, Tom Verlaine, is dead at 73 according to reports.
The musician passed away in New York City alongside friends after suffering from a brief illness.
“He was noted for his angular lyricism and pointed lyrical asides, a sly wit, and an ability to shake each string to its truest emotion,” said his publicist. “His vision and his imagination will be missed.”
Born Thomas Miller to a family in New Jersey, Tom adopted ‘Verlaine’ in honor of French symbolist poet, Paul Verlaine.
Verlaine, along with his classmate and friend Richard Hell, left high school in the early ’70s and formed the proto-punk band Neon Boys, before its eventual disbandment in 1973. The group later reunited under a new name, Television, months later.
His guitar playing was instrumental in the rock community, inspiring future musicians despite the rocker’s minimal commercial success, as evidenced by the plethora of tributes that poured in for the rocker.
“Peace and love, Tom Verlaine,” wrote The Bangles co-founder Susanna Hoffs, adding a broken-hearted emoji.
“I’ve lost a hero,” wrote R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe to Twitter. “You introduced me to a world that flipped my life upside down. I am forever grateful.”
Billy Idol also shared his appreciation for Verlaine, writing on Twitter, “Sad 2 hear of @TELE_VISION_TV #tomverlaine passing today. He made incredible music that greatly influenced the US & UK punk rock scene in the ‘70 RIP.”
During their peak, Verlaine and Television played at New York City spot CBGB. along with Patti Smith, The Ramones, and many other rockstars.
Smith shared a black-and-white photo of the duo on her Instagram, writing, “This is a time when all seemed possible. Farewell Tom, aloft the Omega.”
Best known for their first album, “Marquee Moon” Television ultimately broke up in 1978. Hell had previously been kicked out of the group by Verlaine in 1975.
In 1992, the band reformed. They have played internationally, infrequently, over the years.


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