Television band star Tom Verlaine dies aged 73
Tom Verlaine has died at the age of 73.
The punk star was best known as a frontman of the New York City rock band Television alongside Billy Ficca, Fred Smith and Jimmy Rip but passed away on Saturday (28.01.23) following a “short illness”, with ex-partner Patti Smith confirming the news.
She said: “He died peacefully in New York City, surrounded by close friends. His vision and his imagination will be missed.”
Jesse Paris Smith – who is the daughter of Patti Smith – led the social media tributes.
Jesse wrote on Instagram: “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.”
The ‘Prove It’ rocker founded Television in 1973 with schoolfriend Richard Hell and after recruiting Richard Lloyd, they began gigging around clubs the following year and, following the departure of Richard and the addition of Fred Smith, eventually released their debut album ‘, Marquee Moon’ in 1977, which is – despite selling fewer than 80,000 copies in the US and barely cracking the Top 30 in the UK – is generally thought to be one of the defining releases of the punk era.
Their second album ‘Adventure’ landed at #7 in the UK but a wait of 14 years occurred before the group released their third and final album, ‘Television’ but they have continued tour the world ever since.