Musicians are mourning Television founder and frontman Tom Verlaine, who died Saturday at the age of 73. The rock guitarist was a groundbreaking figure of the punk era, whose inventive, askew playing style can be seen as an influence on younger groups like Sonic Youth, the Feelies and countless other groups.
Patti Smith, Verlaine’s former partner and regular collaborator, shared a tribute on Instagram on Saturday afternoon, posting a photograph of the two of them together: “Farewell Tom, aloft the Omega.”
Blondie co-founder and guitarist Chris Stein recalled his first meeting with Verlaine in 1972, while also sharing a promotional poster for a Television concert that featured a guest performance by Blondie.
Musician and producer Steve Albini hailed Verlaine as a “beautifully lyrical guitarist” and an “underrated vocalist.”
“He was my guitar hero at a time when I needed one most,” Dream Syndicate guitarist Steve Wynn said in a statement posted to Facebook. “I spent the entire year of 1981 practicing daily to Marquee Moon. Tom Verlaine’s soloing (and Richard Lloyd’s as well, of course) showed me you could be a virtuoso and dangerous at the same time, more Coltrane or Ornette than the arena rockers of the day. It was a revelation and I was hoping my Jazzmaster could somehow channel his when I played the solo on ‘Halloween’ on the first Dream Syndicate album. Such an immeasurable influence on me and, of course, on so many of fellow guitarist friends. A huge loss — keep poking at those heavens, Tom Verlaine.”
Guitarist and former Drive-By Truckers member Jason Isbell voiced how important Television’s debut album “Marquee Moon” remains to himself and his peers.
See more tributes below.