Tributes continue to pour in for late Television guitarist Tom Verlaine, who died on Saturday following a brief illness. He was 73.
The songwriter and frontman helped craft Television’s groundbreaking 1977 debut, Marquee Moon. Though the classic Television lineup of Verlaine, Billy Ficca, Fred Smith, and Richard Lloyd only released three albums—Marquee Moon, Adventure the following year, and a 1992 self-titled reunion LP—Verlaine’s work both with the New York punk outfit and his decades of solo releases would prove hugely influential to the post-punk and indie scenes that would follow.
Verlaine’s contemporary and former partner Patti Smith paid tribute to her late collaborator on Instagram. “This is a time when all seemed possible,” the singer-songwriter wrote. “Farewell Tom, aloft the Omega.”
R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe also mourned Verlaine, whom he referred to as “a hero.” Television, along with other CBGB staples like The Velvet Underground and Patti Smith, created the early inspiration for R.E.M., with Stipe and guitarist Peter Buck forming an early bond over the proto-punk architects.
Related: ‘Nightclubbing: The Birth Of Punk In NYC’ Doc To Tell The Story Of Max’s Kansas City [Video]
“Bless you Tom Verlaine for the songs, the lyrics, the voice!” Stipe wrote on Instagram. “And later, the laughs, the inspiration, the stories, and the rigorous belief that music and art can alter and change matter, lives, experience. You introduced me to a world that flipped my life upside down. I am forever grateful.”
More of Verlaine’s disciples in Sleater-Kinney also penned a remembrance of the guitarist and how he influenced their music.
“It was not only his serpentine style—jagged yet shimmering, capable of story-like melodies—but also how he played in conversation with his bandmate and fellow guitarist, Richard Lloyd,” the band wrote. “The intertwining of notes, completing each other’s sentences, toying with consonance and dissonance, beautifully colliding then breaking away; telling us so much without a single word.”
Wilco bandleader Jeff Tweedy paid homage to Verlaine during his latest episode of The Tweedy Show, performing Television’s “Venus” with his son Spencer Tweedy on drums. The cover begins around the 3:30 mark.
Check out some other tributes to late Television guitarist Tom Verlaine. Rest in peace.
listened to Marquee Moon 1000 times. And I mean LISTENED, sitting still, lights down low taking it all in. awe and wonder every time. Will listen 1000 more. Tom Verlaine is one of the greatest rock musicians ever. He effected the way John and I play immeasurably. Fly on Tom.
— Flea (@flea333) January 29, 2023
— Cʜʀɪs Sᴛᴇɪɴ (@chrissteinplays) January 28, 2023
Most nights we walk onstage to Marquee Moon- RIP to Tom Verlaine, the realest deal
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) January 28, 2023
I am running out of words, though not out of love and respect, or tears. So crucially important to me, my music and playing – this goes beyond music to an aesthetic, a vision, a VIBE. I could write so much. Right now I just deeply bow to the beauty, to the enigma of Tom Verlaine. pic.twitter.com/Y7sIv1Qf43
— Nels Cline (@nelscline) January 29, 2023
RIP Tom Verlaine. MARQUEE MOON is one of the best debut albums ever and it still sounds fresh any time you put it on. He made long and mind-blowing guitar solos and punk fit together. Remember hearing live album THE BLOW UP and being obsessed for weeks. https://t.co/ScmyuZQdrz
— Steven Hyden (@Steven_Hyden) January 28, 2023