hello hello - We’ve had too many sad TOTDs lately! And unfortunately we must have one more.
As you all may have heard, Television frontman and guitar virtuoso Tom Verlaine died over the weekend.
As you all may also know, I’m a big Television fan. I like to think that their music is how dreams sound.
That’s largely because of the musical direction and experimentation of Verlaine. Born Thomas Miller, he renamed himself after French poet Paul Verlaine. Renaming yourself was all the rage back in those days (see: Bob Dylan).
Verlaine once shunned the guitar and pop music, instead playing the saxophone and exploring the world of jazz greats like John Coltrane.
But he eventually found the guitar to be a suitable vehicle for his voice and, more importantly, his poetry.
Television were one of the most influential bands to come out of the CBGB &OMFUG music scene in New York City that also housed Talking Heads, Blondie, Patti Smith and others.
Verlaine wasn’t like the others, though. And Television’s music was unlike anything to come out of New York City in the 1970s. Their dreamy, weightless music was the perfect foil for raconteur groups The New York Dolls and The Ramones, as well the disco-new-wave-pop experimentation of Debbie Harry’s Blondie.
Television redefined what punk music could be, punctuated by their debut album Marquee Moon. So much of that is because of the influence jazz had on Verlaine’s musical heritage. It created a sound that was entirely their own.
And I don’t think that’s encapsulated anywhere better than Marquee Moon’s self-titled song, which was featured in a track of the day months ago. Capturing the imagination of an introvert living out a night in New York City, it is ten minutes of increasing tension that builds up to such a degree and with such ferocity that its climax is what happens when two stars collide.
They followed up that album with something just as beautiful: Adventure. This was the album that introduced me to Television. And it was Carried Away that made me dream about misty nights in New York City.
It takes a certain charisma to name yourself after a legendary poet. If you’re going to do it, then you better be a great writer. Tom Verlaine was that and more.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, by Television
And now for your links:
Alasdair Gold: Spurs recruitment chief Chris Perkins set for Arsenal move
Wrexham denied FA Cup upset after a late Sheffield United equalizer
The Athletic ($$) on the concern about the rise of pitch invasions
NWSL set to add three teams with $50m franchise fees