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What’s Television Frontman Tom Verlaine’s Death Cause at 73?


Founder of influential Punk-Era band Television Tom Verlaine’s cause of death was revealed by his daughter. He died in New York City on January 28, 2023, at the age of 73.

His death was announced by Jesse Paris Smith, the daughter of Patti Smith, who revealed that he died “after a brief illness”.

Tom Verlaine, whose real name was Thomas Miller, was born on December 13, 1949, in Denville, New Jersey. He started studying piano at an early age but switched to the saxophone after hearing a record by Stan Getz.

Verlaine created his stage name, a reference to the French symbolist poet Paul Verlaine. He and Richard Hell formed the Neon Boys, recruiting drummer Billy Ficca.

The Neon Boys disbanded after failing to recruit a second guitarist, despite auditions by Chris Stein and Dee Dee Ramone. They reformed as Television a few months later, finding a guitarist in Richard Lloyd, and started playing at seminal punk clubs like CBGB and Max’s Kansas City.

In 1975, Tom kicked Hell out of the group for his erratic playing and behavior, and they released their first single with Fred Smith replacing Richard Hell.

He dated poet and musician Patti Smith when they were in the burgeoning New York punk scene. Television released two albums, Adventure, and Marquee Moon, to great critical acclaim and modest sales before breaking up in July 1978.

The star soon released a self-titled solo album that began a fruitful 1980s solo career. In the 1990s Verlaine collaborated with different artists, including Patti Smith, and composed a movie score for Love and a .45.

In the early 1990s, the group reformed to record a live recording (Live at the Academy, 1992) and one studio album (Television). The band reunited periodically for touring.

Tom released his first new album in many years in 2006, titled Songs and Other Things.

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Tom Verlaine’s Cause of Death after Brief Illness

Founder of influential Punk-Era band Television Tom Verlaine’s cause of death was revealed by his daughter. His death was confirmed to The Times by his former manager, John Telfer.

Verlaine’s friends and fans have taken to social media to honor the late legend. Jimmy Rip, a friend who played with Tom for decades, wrote on Instagram, “At the end, he was surrounded by love and passed peacefully with the hands of myself and four more of his nearest and dearest friends on him.

“The personal loss, for me, is absolutely devastating. The loss, to the world, of this most innovative, imitated and iconic artist is incalculable.”

Tom Verlaine's Cause of Death after Brief Illness.

Michael Tarbox tweeted: “I saw Television in a small Boston club in 75, before release of MM. Few if any of the 40 or so people there knew anything about them. I was utterly unprepared for what was coming. They were staggering – lyrical, epic, precise, transcendent. Shockingly great. RIP Tom Verlaine.”

“He was my guitar hero at a time when I needed one most. I spent the entire year of 1981 practicing daily to Marquee Moon,” Steve Wynn said in a statement.

“Tom Verlaine’s soloing (and Richard Lloyd’s as well, of course) showed me you could be a virtuoso and dangerous at the same time, more Coltrane or Ornette than the arena rockers of the day.

“It was a revelation and I was hoping my Jazzmaster could somehow channel his when I played the solo on ‘Halloween’ on the first Dream Syndicate album. Such an immeasurable influence on me and, of course, on so many of fellow guitarist friends.”

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