The American singer and guitarist, leader of the Television group and amateur of French poetry, died at the age of 73 years.
by Bruno Lesprit
There are musicians whose career radiates from a short period. Others whose importance is not measured by the volume of sales, but to the influence exerted on peers – what are called “musicians for musicians”. The two remarks apply to the American singer and guitarist Tom Verlaine, who died Saturday January 28 in New York, at the age of 73.
He will first remain as the prime contractor of this cornerstone that was in 1977 the album Marque Moon, birth certificate of the Television group. A founding disc for having established that the energy of punk rock was not incompatible with technical mastery and sophistication inherited from jazz and taste for improvisation
The announcement of her disappearance was made to the New York Times by the musician Jesse Paris Smith, daughter of Patti Smith, another central figure of the New York scene in the late 1970s which climbed in the ill-famed district Bowery around the CBGB’s club. Youth lovers During their bohemian years, Tom Verlaine and Patti Smith also shared a disturbing vocal kinship, with an androgynous stamp halfway through the complaint and the Psalmod.
Patti Smith’s obsession for Arthur Rimbaud is well known. But the romantic cult of the Proto Punk of Charleville-Mézières was in fact widespread in a circle of frequentations since Thomas Miller had himself chosen his artist name, Tom Verlaine, in reference to the other half of the scandalous couple formed by Rimbaud .
in residence at CBGB’s
Born on December 13, 1949 in Denville (New Jersey), the teenager had discovered that he shared the same passions – cursed poetry and music – as a Condisti de la Sanford School (Delaware), Richard Meyers. He had to rename himself Richard Hell by allusion to a season in hell of Rimbaud. Miller and Meyers will publish in 1973 a collection of poems, Wanna Go Out?, By attributing it to Theresa Stern, character of German and Puerto Rican Jewish origin, whose face on the cover combines those of the authors, both transvestites.
In New York, the friends founded a first ephemeral group with drummer Billy Ficca, The Neon Boys, who plates in Television in 1973 after the arrival of a second guitarist, Richard Lloyd. With the Ramones, the new formation is one of the first to build the reputation of the CBGB’s, mentioned immediately in glowing terms by the critical rock patti smith in the alternative weekly Soho Weekly News.
But quickly the leadership conflict exacerbates between Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell, who do not intend to give in their prerogatives of authors. Attracted by spontaneity and chaos, the second irritates the first by its scenic outrageous – inspired by the photo of Rimbaud by Etienne Carjat, Hell would be the initiator of the punk cup, cut to the chisel without mirror – and the insufficiency of his bass game. In return, technical competence is then considered a defect in the New York underground, and the Television that Verlaine wishes is visibly oriented towards this deviationism.
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