Photo: Rhino Records - Public Domain

Punk Star Tom Verlaine: Dead At 73

Best known as a frontman of the New York City rock band Television alongside Billy Ficca, Fred Smith and Jimmy Rip, Tom Verlaine died on Saturday (1.28) at the age of 73,

Subsequent to a “short illness”, ex-partner Patti Smith confirmed the passing with “He died peacefully in New York City, surrounded by close friends. His vision and his imagination will be missed.” And Patti’s daughter, Jesse Paris Smith took to Instagram, writing:

“Dearest Tom. The love is immense and forever. My heart is too intensely full to share everything now, and finding the words is too deep of a struggle. The feeling inside is so heavy, though your spirit is light and lifted, it is everywhere, completely and truly free.” “I love you always and forever, and will always remember and hold close the touch of your hand – hands of a beautiful creator and of a love more warm, tender, delicate, and true that one can ever dream. There has never been another like you and there never will be. What a blessing and gift I was given to share my time on earth with you. I will be grateful to the end of my life, and we will see you again beyond that, meeting you there wherever you’ve gone. Thank you for leading the way.”

Along with his schoolfriend Richard Hell, Verlaine founded Television in 1973 and after recruiting Richard Lloyd, they began performing around clubs the following year. After Lloyd left the band and was replaced by Fred Smith, the group released ‘Marquee Moon,’ their first album in 1977 and despite selling less than 80,000 copies in America, the LP is considered by many to be a defining Punk era release.

The second Television album ‘Adventure’ peaked at #7 in the England, and 14 years passed before the group released their third and final full length.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Rhino Records – Public Domain