Tom Verlaine, Dead at 73
Guitarist Tom Verlaine, frontman of the 1970s New York punk band Television, passed away at 73. The band had three UK Top 40 hit singles and acclaimed albums "Marquee Moon" and "Adventure," but split in 1978. Verlaine died after a brief illness, according to Jesse Paris Smith, daughter of Patti Smith, a long-time associate. Verlaine was known as a skilled musician in the now-defunct CBGB club in New York's Bowery, alongside Blondie, The Ramones, and Talking Heads. Though they rose to fame in the punk scene, Television's music was more complex with intricate solos and jazz-inspired riffs. Verlaine was born Thomas Miller in NJ and adopted his stage name after French poet Paul Verlaine. After Television split, he released solo albums, with his song "Kingdom Come" inspiring a cover by David Bowie. Television reformed in 1992 and continued to influence alternative rock. Tributes poured in, with Mike Scott of The Waterboys calling Verlaine the "best rock and roll guitarist of all time" and Will Sergeant of Echo & The Bunnymen crediting him for setting him on his path as a guitarist.