Tom Verlaine, RIP: Television As The Anti-Ramones
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In 1977, four of the more disparate rock bands ever to play in lower Manhattan were collectively labeled “punk” by critics: The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, and Television. They didn’t actually have much in common, but they perhaps benefited from their common label in that they gave late boomers something to grasp onto in their generational rebellion.

For instance, the Ramones and Television were completely divided on the, at the time, key question of guitar solos. The Ramones hated them and Television adored them. The most famous Ramones song, “Blitzkrieg Bop,” is 2:20 long, while Television’s most famous song, “Marquee Moon,“ is 10:40.

The guy with the highest cheekbones in 1970s bands, e.g., Verlaine in Television, ruled.

Actually, Television was fairly democratic in that when I saw them around 1978 at the Roxy on Sunset Blvd., Television’s two guitarists, Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, appeared to hate each other. They grudgingly traded off long solos, which at age 19 I didn’t much like. I wanted to get up and dance.

On the other hand, at age 64 and content to sit and listen, I’m impressed.

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