Guitarist Tom Verlaine, an influential name on the New York punk scene and member of the band Television, died this Saturday (28) at the age of 73.
The information was provided by Jesse Paris Smith, Patti Smith’s daughter, who says his death happened “after a short illness” and in Manhattan, United States.
One of the artists to emerge from New York nightclub CBGB, Verlaine became known for experimental guitar improvisations and poetic lyrics in a career that has centered on television. He also performed as a singer and acted as songwriter on most of the songs.
The group broke up after two albums and despite critical acclaim it was never a big sales success, but it was the musician’s beginning as a reference in the music world. Together with the Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads, Television founded a new generation of music.
Born in Denville, New Jersey, Thomas Miller studied piano and saxophone as a child and decided to pursue a career in music after hearing The Rolling Stones’ “19th Nervous Breakdown.”
From there he took the name Tom Verlaine in homage to the French poet Paul Verlaine. His influences even included John Coltrane.
After the band, Verlaine pursued a solo career, beginning with the album “Tom Verlaine” in 1979. A total of ten albums were released, with the last “Around” being released in 2006. The artist also reunited with the group members for concerts including Brazil, where they performed several times.
He also worked with Patti Smith on songs like “Glitter in Their Eyes” and “Fireflies,” and with Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha on the album Look to the Sky. He was also part of the supergroup Million Dollar Bashers formed with Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, guitarists Nels Cline and Smokey Hormel, bassist Tony Garnier and keyboardist John Medeski.