Tom Verlaine, a guitarist best known as the frontman of the rock band Television, passed away at the age of 73. Verlaine first gained notoriety in the 1970s New York punk scene.
In their prime, Television released the albums Marquee Moon and Adventure and had three UK Top 40 hit singles.
However, they were more successful in Britain than their native America, and they broke up in 1978.
The daughter of longtime friend and collaborator Patti Smith, Jesse Paris Smith, made the announcement of Verlaine's passing.
She merely stated that he passed away "after a brief illness," without providing further details.
Verlaine was regarded as one of the more accomplished musicians to come out of the now-defunct CBGBs club in New York City's Bowery, where their contemporaries included Blondie, The Ramones, and Talking Heads.
Although they gained notoriety as a result of the punk movement, their music was more intricate than that of their competitors, with Verlaine and fellow guitarist Richard Lloyd exchanging protracted solos and intricate jazz-influenced riffs.
While Paul Verlaine, a French symbolist poet, was Verlaine's inspiration, he was actually born Thomas Miller in New Jersey and took on the stage name in his honor.
Following the dissolution of Television, he put out a number of solo albums, and David Bowie used a rare cover of his song Kingdom Come on his Scary Monsters album.
Television, a seminal influence on the alternative rock of the 1980s and 1990s, reformed in 1992 and issued a self-titled third album. They continued to perform occasionally for the next few decades.
Tom Verlaine has passed on to the beyond that his guitar playing always hinted at, as Mike Scott of The Waterboys noted in a tribute tweet.
He was the greatest rock and roll guitarist ever and, like Hendrix, could dance from cosmic spheres to garage rock. That requires exceptional greatness. ".
The Bunnymen's guitarist Will Sergeant stated: "Tom Verlaine's playing meant the world to me. I would be happy if I could play anything that sounded like him. I'm grateful to Tom for helping me get started on my career as a guitarist.