Guitarist Tom Verlaine, who rose to prominence as the leader of rock band Television in the 1970s New York punk scene, has died at the age of 73.
Television had three UK Top 40 hit singles in their heyday and were praised for their albums Marquee Moon and Adventure.
They achieved more success in the UK than in the US, though, and disbanded in 1978.
Jesse Paris Smith, the daughter of long-time associate and collaborator Patti Smith, announced Verlaine’s death.
He died “after a brief illness,” she said, without elaborating on the cause.
Verlaine was regarded as one of the most competent musicians to emerge from the now-defunct CBGBs bar in New York’s Bowery, with Blondie, The Ramones, and Talking Heads.
Despite their notoriety as a result of the punk movement, their music was more complicated than that of their contemporaries, with Verlaine and fellow guitarist Richard Lloyd swapping lengthy solos and intricate jazz-influenced riffs.
Verlaine was born in New Jersey as Thomas Miller, but chose his stage name in honor of the French symbolist author Paul Verlaine.
Following the dissolution of Television, he went on to create a string of solo albums, with his song Kingdom Come inspiring a rare cover performance by David Bowie on his Scary Monsters album.
Television reassembled in 1992, releasing a self-titled third album, and remained intermittent in subsequent years, acknowledged as a major influence on alternative music in the 1980s and 1990s.