Six-Pack: Tom Verlaine

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Rock
70s
Happy Birthday
Television
Tom Verlaine
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Six-Pack: Tom Verlaine

Born on this day: Thomas Miller, a.k.a. Tom Verlaine, who came to fame as the guitarist for the New York punk band Television. To celebrate his birthday, we’ve compiled a six-pack of songs.

1. The Neon Boys, “That’s All I Know (Right Now)” (1975): When Verlaine formed the Neon Boys with Richard Hell – the two musicians had attended the same boarding school, Sanford School – their collaboration didn’t last long, but it did survive long enough for the band to release this single.

SPOTIFY: Listen here

2. Ric Ocasek,. “P.F.J.” (1986): Although this song, which features guest guitar from Verlaine, appears on Ocasek’s most successful solo album, THIS SIDE OF PARADISE, it’s likely that only those who’ve owned a copy of the album have ever heard it, as it was never released as a single.

3. Tom Verlaine, “The Funniest Thing” (1987): We decided that we wanted to spotlight at least one track from Verlaine’s solo career, so we went with this one, a highlight from his IRS Records release, FLASH LIGHT.

4. Luna, “Moon Palace” (1995): Given Luna’s occasional art-rock stylings and their obvious sonic appreciation of both the Velvet Underground and Television, Verlaine fit right in when he contributed guest guitar to this track from the Penthouse album. He can also be heard on the song “23 Minutes in Brussels.”

SPOTIFY: Listen here

5. James Iha, “Till Next Tuesday” (2012): The former Smashing Pumpkin has delivered some of the catchiest, breeziest pop music of the past few years, and Verlaine capably matches his guitar accordingly.

6. Patti Smith, “April Fool” (2012): This track is from the most recent album by Ms. Smith to feature Verlaine, but he’s been part of Patti’s circle for years, having been decidedly in the more-than-just-friends camp way back in the day. Whatever their personal relationship, though, the two continue to collaborate musically, which is always nice to hear.