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Patti Smith, Michael Stipe, Sleater-Kinney Remember Tom Verlaine: ‘One of the Greatest Rock Musicians Ever’

The beloved musician passed away yesterday (Jan. 28) after a short illness
Tom Verlaine
Tom Verlaine of Television performs on stage at Hammersmith Odeon, London, 28 May 1977. He is playing an Ampeg Dan Armstrong guitar. (Photo by Gus Stewart/Redferns)

Tributes are pouring in to Television frontman/guitarist Tom Verlaine, who died yesterday (Jan. 28) at the age of 73 following a short illness. Longtime collaborator Patti Smith was among the first to honor Verlaine with a throwback photo, writing, “This is a time when all seemed possible. Farewell Tom, aloft the Omega.”

In a separate message today on her Substack newsletter, Smith added, “words cannot express my sorrow for the loss nor the joy for having known him. All who loved his music may wish to play his records. I am offering ‘Break It Up.’ It’s the song that Tom and I composed for Horses in 1975. The lyrics reflect a dream I had of the death and imagined resurrection of Jim Morrison. Tom’s uniquely beautiful and expressive guitar work can be heard throughout. Today on my Instagram I wrote that grieving is not an affliction but a privilege. And so I believe. Wishing everyone a peaceful Sunday perhaps filled with music.”


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