Tom Verlaine. Richard Lloyd. Richard Hell. Billy Ficca.
If those names catch your eye, you might recognize the elder statesmen of punk. The proto-punk band Television ignited a scene in New York City at CBGBs, ground zero for a decade of unfiltered yet lustrous music that turned music on its head. Formed in 1973, Television only ever released three albums and wasn’t active in the 1980s at all. But Tom and Billy now carry on the band still with bassist Fred Smith (truly an original as he’s been there since 1975, no?) and guitarist Jimmy Rip (a collaborator of Tom’s dating back to 1981).
Television is coming to perform at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Sept. 6 in a show that connoisseurs of excellent music cannot deny. Marquee Moon, released by Television as the band’s debut album in 1977, has been hailed as a peerless triumph over the past 40 years.
Roy Trakin wrote in the SoHo Weekly, “forget everything you’ve heard about Television, forget punk, forget New York, forget CBGB’s … hell, forget rock and roll—this is the real item.”
VH1 ranked it in its list of the 100 Greatest Albums of Rock and Roll. Rolling Stone placed it at #128 on the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Uncut magazine called it #2 of 100 Greatest Debut Records. Pitchfork said it’s #3 in the Best Albums of the 1970s.
Watch Television perform “Foxhole” on the Old Grey Whistle Test in May 1978 via YouTube:
By the way, Richard Lloyd, who amicably left the band about 10 years ago, visits Bethesda Blues & Jazz locally to open for Midge Ure on Oct. 4. (Check out details here.)
North Carolina singer-songwriter Chris Stamey opens for Television. Tickets are available online.