At the age of 73, Tom Verlaine, the renowned lead singer, and guitarist of the New York City band Television, has passed away. Born Thomas Miller in Denville, New Jersey on December 13, 1949, Verlaine was raised in Wilmington, Delaware.
Verlaine became well-known in the rock scene thanks to the blend of his music and poetic words. Verlaine’s ex-girlfriend Patti Smith’s daughter, Jesse Paris Smith, made the announcement of the musician’s passing.
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Timeline of Tom Verlaine’s romance with Patti Smith:
Verlaine and Television built their music as a leading band at legendary punk venues like CBGB, where they held one of the venue’s initial residencies and Max’s Kansas City. Patti Smith, a poet and musician, who famously compared Verlaine’s guitar sound to “a thousand bluebirds screaming,” was in the audience for one of Television’s early performances in 1974. When Patti Smith Group made their CBGB debut the next year, Television split the bill with them.
Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine were allegedly briefly involved in a relationship when they were both members of the budding New York punk scene. Over the years, they would work together frequently. Moreover, even Tom’s passing was reported by Jesse Paris Smith, Patti Smith’s daughter, who stated that he passed away after a brief illness.
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Smith posted a message for Verlaine on Instagram for his 69th birthday: “There is none like Tom, synthesizing 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.”