Television – live at Earth Tavern, Portland – July 2, 1978 – Band soundboard –
Sad news again. This time, frontman, leader and guiding light of Television and in turn pivotal and seminal figure of the early Punk movement, passed away earlier today at 73 from what has been described as a “brief illness.
With tributes pouring in and with shockwaves still spreading, adding anything to the words and the shock is superfluous. This most poignant and heartfelt comes by way of Jesse Paris Smith and is only fitting to reprint it here:
Guitarist and frontman of US band Television, Tom Verlaine, has died at the age of 73, the daughter of his ex Patti Smith has confirmed.
Jesse Paris Smith, the 36-year-old daughter of legendary singer-songwriter Patti, penned a moving tribute to Verlaine on her Instagram page today.
Verlaine, who was born Thomas Miller, died “after a brief illness,” according to Jesse.
She wrote: “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 is 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 leading the way.”
Jesse’s mother Patti Smith was an influential member of the New York punk rock movement in the ‘70s, and is understood to have sparked up a romance with Verlaine after they collaborated on a number of musical projects.
On his birthday at the end of last month, Patti paid tribute to Tom on her Instagram page.
She wrote: “There is none like Tom, synthesising Coltranesque improvisation, surf music and Sufi like mysticism, to form his unique style, highlighted by masterful use of the tremolo bar on his Fender Jazz. Master.”
Today, she shared a black and white photo with Tom, with the caption: “This is a time when all seemed possible. Farewell Tom, aloft the Omega.”
And with that – a performance from Television, recorded at Earth Tavern in Portland on July 2, 1978.
No more words.