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Tom Verlaine

Tom Verlaine (born Thomas Miller, December 13, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known as the frontman for the New York rock band Television.

He was born Thomas Miller in Wilmington, Delaware. He began studying piano at an early age, but switched to saxophone in middle school after hearing a record by Stan Getz. Verlaine was initially unimpressed with the role of the guitar in both rock and jazz, and was only inspired to take up the instrument after hearing the Rolling Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown" during his adolescence,[2] at which point he beg ...read more

Tom Verlaine (born Thomas Miller, December 13, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known as the frontman for the New York rock band Television.

He was born Thomas Miller in Wilmington, Delaware. He began studying piano at an early age, but switched to saxophone in middle school after hearing a record by Stan Getz. Verlaine was initially unimpressed with the role of the guitar in both rock and jazz, and was only inspired to take up the instrument after hearing the Rolling Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown" during his adolescence,[2] at which point he began a long period of experimentation to develop a personal style. Verlaine also had an interest in writing and poetry from an early age. As a teen he was friends with future bandmate and punk icon Richard Hell (Richard Meyers) at Sanford School, a boarding school which they both attended. They quickly discovered that they shared a passion for music and poetry.

After one failed attempt, Verlaine (with Hell) succeeded in escaping from school and moved to New York City. He then created his stage name, a reference to the French symbolist poet Paul Verlaine. He is quoted as saying this name was inspired by Bob Dylan's name change and was a way of distancing himself from his past. He and Hell formed The Neon Boys, recruiting drummer Billy Ficca. The Neon Boys quickly disbanded after failing to recruit a second guitarist, despite auditions by Dee Dee Ramone and Chris Stein. They reformed as Television a few months later, finding a guitarist in Richard Lloyd, and began playing at seminal punk clubs like CBGB and Max's Kansas City. In 1975, Verlaine kicked Hell out of the band for his erratic playing and behavior, and they released their first single with Fred Smith replacing Hell. Verlaine dated poet and musician Patti Smith when they were both up-and-coming artists in the burgeoning New York punk scene. Television released two albums, Marquee Moon and Adventure, to great critical acclaim and modest sales before breaking up in 1978.

Verlaine soon released a self-titled solo album that began a fruitful 1980s solo career. He took up residence in England for a brief period in response to the positive reception his work had received there and in Europe at large. In the 1990s he collaborated with different artists, including Patti Smith, and composed a film score for Love and a .45. In the early 90s, Television reformed to record one studio album (Television) and a live recording (Live at the Academy, 1992); they have reunited periodically for touring ever since. Verlaine released his first new album in many years in 2006, titled Songs and Other Things.

Verlaine is regarded by many as one of the most talented performers of the early post punk era. His poetic lyrics, coupled with his accomplished and original guitar playing, are highly influential and widely praised in the music media. He and Television bandmate Richard Lloyd are known as one of rock's most acclaimed and inventive guitar duos.

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Similar Bands: Patti Smith, Television, Richard Hell and the Voidoids

LPs
Songs and Other Things
2006

4
1 Votes
Warm and Cool
1992

2.8
3 Votes
The Wonder
1990

2.8
2 Votes
Flash Light
1987

3.5
3 Votes
Cover
1984

3.5
4 Votes
Words from the Front
1982

3.8
4 Votes
Dreamtime
1981

3.8
7 Votes
Tom Verlaine
1979

3.9
7 Votes
Compilations
The Miller's Tale: A Tom Verlaine Anthology
1996

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