Tom Verlaine

Posted by Alan Kovan on January 28, 2023 (0 Comments)

Tom Verlaine dead? Where do I start?

It seems I just got over my Jeff Beck and David Crosby binges. Now this?

That angular guitar sound I had never heard before. First Television's Marquee Moon and then the uber underrated Adventure. Not guitar sounds I had ever heard before. The way he bent guitar notes but not in a gratuitous way. It was art/punk. Shocking and exciting at the same time. 

The first solo LP was good. It didn't really grab me. However his follow up Dreamtime did. Big time. Just listen to Mr. Blur. Tom Verlaine - Mr. Blur - YouTube

I went to see Tom Verlaine headline a show on at Harpo's on the Dreamtime tour. It was a cool Thursday night in a really shitty part of Detroit. Harpo's was is/was considered to be one of the biggest shithole clubs in the world according to bands who played there. Another thing to be not so proud of in Detroit in the early 80's. I was sitting in my car smoking a joint and this guy in the car next to me gets out of his car and removes his hubcaps one by one. As my buzz kicked in I rolled down my window and asked why he took his hubcaps off. He said last time he was at Harpo's all his hubcaps were stolen. Then the paranoia kicked in. 

As I walked into Harpo's the crowd seemed odd. Really odd. The bill was odd too.

Tom Verlaine headlined. An East Coast punky power pop band The Necessaries were second and a Detroit hard rock bar band The Almighty Strut opened. This puzzled me. Then I was told it was .25 cent beer night hence The Almighty Strut opening. Bad recipe.

The bikers who ran Harpo's were hassling all the Tom Verlaine fans. Making guys take bandanas off and other stupid shit. Nothing was going to stop me from enjoying this show. And I did. Tom Verlaine was fantastic. 

I also saw him open for someone in Ann Arbor when Flash Light was released. Once again so happy to have seen that show. Bizarre I can't remember what band headlined. Sugar? The Boo Radleys? The Church? Annie's Tellin' Me - YouTube

Fast forward to the Television Marquee Moon 40th Anniversary tour in 2017 at The El Club in Detroit. So glad I went. Truth be told I didn't love the show but I was so happy I saw Television live finally.

Tom Verlaine has remained a constant source of enjoyment throughout most of my life. 

I'll leave with this gorgeous song from Marquee Moon.

Television - Guiding Light - YouTube


Rest In Power Tom. 

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