“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.”
Patti Smith also shared her own tribute to Verlaine, in which she shared that she was “thinking about Tom”.
Born December 13, 1949 in Denville, New Jersey, Verlaine began his musical pursuits at an early age when he started studying the piano before switching to saxophone in high school.
Although he initially had no interest in playing the guitar he was later inspired to take up the instrument after hearing The Rolling Stones’ 19th Nervous Breakdown during his teenage years.
Alongside friend, Richard Hell, Verlaine formed the Neon Boys. However, the band quickly broke up after they were unable to recruit a second guitarist before re-forming several months later as Television.
After Verlaine kicked Hell out of the band due to his erratic behaviour, Television released their debut single, with Fred Smith replacing Hell, in 1975.
The band garnered critical album with their albums, Marquee Moon and Adventure, before splitting up in July of 1978.
Verlaine went on to release a self-titled solo album that triggered a successful solo career in the 1980s.
Following the news of Verlaine’s passing, fans and fellow musicians took to social media to pay tribute to the punk icon and reflect on his talent.
Tom Verlaine 1949-2023
“I’ve lost a hero…. You introduced me to a world that flipped my life upside down. I am forever grateful.” – Michael Stipe pic.twitter.com/csmxXhKPht
— R.E.M. HQ (@remhq) January 29, 2023
RIP Tom Verlaine of Television, who could make a guitar sound like lightning striking itself, a virtuoso of restraint & the negative void, a spare & elegant lyricist like his symbolist namesake. His stage alias, band name, and style defined punk cool. Artistic elevation perfected pic.twitter.com/wYdgbxCso0
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) January 29, 2023
Aww man…rest well, Tom Verlaine pic.twitter.com/rxCcUNYtVi
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) January 28, 2023
This one hurts. Rest in peace, Tom Verlaine. Marquee Moon (the album) has been soundtracking my life since age 16. His solo albums are fucking killer, too. One of the best guitarists ever? Easily, I’d say. ???? pic.twitter.com/j2uNrrlVYE
— Ana (@_motherslug) January 28, 2023