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Bad Crow Review, The Tom Verlaine Edition
Farewell to a rock'n'roll nobleman
Links are at the end, in the links boneyard.
That may be Chicago’s long-time guitarist Keith Howland in the photo. I ought should know for sure given who shot it, but alas.
Tom Verlaine, one of the more influential punk/art rock/rock guitarists and singer/songwriters, is dead at age 73.1 Television, the band he fronted and is best-known for, was an obvious descendant of Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, and like Velvet Underground influenced and inspired bands, guitarists, singers, and songwriters from their inception to the present day.
Also like Velvet Underground, the short-lived group had limited commercial success until long after they had dissolved, and like Lou Reed, Verlaine’s vocals and guitar were unmistakable throughout his performing life.
I’d have to go back and listen again to identify some of the contemporary and/or new-to-me, Verlaine\Television-influenced bands from my writing music, but it’s been not a few.
The encomiums from critics and from other noted performers are piling up, with musicians as diverse and influential as members of The Bangles, R.E.M., Garbage, Cocteau Twins and many more chiming in.2 (The Ramones would be praising him too, if any of them were still extant.)
Simon Raymonde from Cocteau Twins, now the owner of Bella Union records, tweets, "A true original. No one played guitar like Tom Verlaine before or since. Sat crossed legged on the floor on his side of the stage in Roskilde as he played in Patti Smith’s band and that was as close to perfection as you can get. A sad sad day. Rest in Peace Tom."
Glasgow band The Delgados posted the sleeve of Marquee Moon and wrote, "RIP Tom Verlaine. An icon. An inspiration. A fucking incredible guitarist. We're going to be blasting this brilliance long into the night."
Not a lot of rock and roll performers never sound dated, and Verlaine is among the few both as a solo performer and with Television. I’m saddened by his death but grateful I live in the era of the gramophone and moving pictures.
What I Forgot Yesterday
I meant to highlight this Jacobin story about housing policy in the U.S.,3 but my mind, it slipped. The subject is one to which the magazine (and I, through it and other sources) has repeatedly returned, with the core objectives being the decommodification, desegregation, and adequate provision of housing.4567
If you wonder why so many stories on more or less the same subject, the two-fold answer is that not all of them are about the U.S., and the gubmint has done nothing to substantively improve the situation during the eight years between the first story and the most recent.
Housing is a human right.
Memorial Music to Write By
That, Comrades, is all I got
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Be well; take care.