Yes, I'm aware they pre-dated the Ramones in the stakes to put CBGB's on the map as New York City Punk Rock's proverbial Ground Zero, but I never really thought of them in the same light, especially after Richard Hell left the fold to go form the compartively much Television's music, but they always sort've struck me more as a frustrated "Art Rock" quartet who happened to dress like destitute junkies as opposed to Punks (even before the genre was saddled with the cartoony leather-clad, spikey-haired stereotype).
By the same token, I never heard what so great about Patti Smith either, but at least Television made cool, interesting music (unlike dear ol' Patti, whose self-indulgent caterwauling can still give me a migraine).
I dutifully picked up a copy of Television's much-feted debut album, ), who hosted a late night shift on the college's radio station, WDUB, 91.1 FM.
In very short order, Warwick ended up coming by my room hours before his show to borrow various records to unsolicitedly play a listening audience more interested in the yawnsome likes of Little Feat, the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers rather than the less user-friendly likes of the Damned, Naked Raygun and Black Flag.
In turn, Warwick had a penchant for playing completely left field stuff that I'd never heard of before like "Power in the Darkness" by the Tom Robinson Band, "Backwater" by Brian Eno, "Searching for Heaven" by Pauline Murray & the Invisible Girls and, most importantly, "Roadrunner" by the Modern Lovers (Warwick owned a rare copy of the band's original debut album from the mid-70's).
We quickly made a habit of raiding each other's record collections.
One oddball record Warwick played one night on-air was "Always" by ex-Television singer/guitarist, Tom Verlaine.
Verlaine then seals the deal with a signature solo that only a man well-versed in the travails of unrequited love could play. Verlaine went onto make a few more solo records (he's just released a new one, actually, along with an all-instrumental record) and even reformed Television ("Call Mr.
Lee" off their `93 eponymous reunion album is the stuff of genius), but nothing ever touched the greatness of "Always." When I moved downtown in 1996, I was somewhat shocked to see Tom Verlaine hanging out at my local coffee shop (The News Bar) and perusing the outdoor racks at the Strand Bookstore on a regular basis.
After seeing him eight or nine times, I decided to approach him to tell him what a fan I was of his music. I'd like to point that while I initially bought it somewhat out of obligation in high school (after reading of its seismic significance to the gestation of Punk Rock), it didn't really mow my lawn.
around / songs and other things Thrill Jockey Records – Spring 2006“Tom Verlaine and Television were for me the most inspiring: They were not glamorous, they were human.”– Patti Smith in a recent interview for New York magazine An accurate description of Tom Verlaine’s career would read much like a thesaurus entry for influential.
He has truly shaped the sound of modern music, from his early days with the Neon Boys and Television, throughout his solo career, and most recently as the guitarist in Patti Smith’s band.
Always ahead of the curve, Tom’s influence is immeasurable throughout the rock world with bands as diverse as The Strokes and Dos claiming him as an influence.