24 Facts About Tom Verlaine


Thomas Joseph Miller, known professionally as Tom Verlaine, was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter, best known as the frontman of the New York City rock band Television.


Tom Verlaine's father, Victor Andrew Miller, was of Lithuanian heritage, but born in Coatbridge, Scotland.


Tom Verlaine's father worked first as a maintenance man and later as a sales manager.


Tom Verlaine had a twin brother, John Peter Miller, who died suddenly at age 34.


Tom Verlaine moved to Wilmington, Delaware, with his family when he was six.


Tom Verlaine began studying piano at an early age, but switched to saxophone in middle school after hearing a record by Stan Getz.


Tom Verlaine initially was unimpressed with the role of the guitar in both rock music and jazz, but was inspired to take up the instrument after hearing the Rolling Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown" during his adolescence, at which point he began a long period of experimentation to develop a personal style.

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At Sanford, Tom Verlaine became friends with future bandmate and punk icon Richard Hell.


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


Tom Verlaine dated poet and musician Patti Smith when they were both in the burgeoning New York punk scene.


Tom Verlaine soon released a self-titled solo album that began a fruitful 1980s solo career.


Tom Verlaine took up residence in England for a brief period in response to the positive reception his work had received there and in Europe at large.


David Bowie covered Tom Verlaine's "Kingdom Come" on his Scary Monsters album in 1980.


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


Tom Verlaine died in New York City on January 28,2023 at the age of 73.


Television had been asked to open a European tour for Billy Idol, but Tom Verlaine's doctors told him he was not in good enough health to do so.


Tom Verlaine was in discussion with Jeff Buckley to produce his second album before Buckley's death by drowning in 1997.


Tom Verlaine guested as guitarist on numerous releases by other artists, including the album Penthouse by the band Luna.


Tom Verlaine played on Patti Smith's Grammy-nominated "Glitter in Their Eyes" from her 2000 album Gung Ho.


Tom Verlaine played with Smith in 2005 for a 30th-anniversary concert of Horses in its entirety, which was later released on CD.


Tom Verlaine was part of the Million Dollar Bashers, a supergroup featuring Sonic Youth musicians Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, Bob Dylan bassist Tony Garnier, guitarist Smokey Hormel, and keyboardist John Medeski.


In 2012, Tom Verlaine collaborated with former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha on his second solo album Look to the Sky.


In laster years, at solo concerts and at Television concerts, Tom Verlaine played a guitar built in the style of a Fender Stratocaster, modified with Danelectro "lipstick" pickups and fitted with a Fender Jazzmaster neck.


Tom Verlaine usually played with the bridge pickup on, but picked over the neck pickup.