SPOTLIGHT : Television
SPOTLIGHT : Television

SPOTLIGHT : Television

This Television article was written by Adam Skirving, a GIGsoup contributor.


The current line-up of Television includes Tom Verlaine, Billy Ficca, Fred Smith and Jimmy Rip. Former members of the band include Richard Lloyd and Richard Hell.

Where are they from?

Television formed in New York City in 1973.

What do they sound like?

Television’s music retained elements of the guitar music of the 1960s but disregarded the Blues, pioneered the Punk scene that emerged around CBGB’s in New York City but was dissimilar to much of that music, employing a certain level of technical proficiency often lacking in the music of their contemporaries; the music is meticulous yet energetic. Sophisticated yet anarchic.

Songs to get you started?

Elevation (1977) Marquee Moon (1977) Venus (1977) See No Evil (1977) Ain’t That Nothing (1978) Days (1978) 1880 or So (1992)

What are they doing now?

Television initially broke up in 1978 due to Lloyd’s drug addictions and disagreements over artistic direction. They reformed in 1991, releasing third album ‘Televison’ and have continued to tour sporadically ever since, despite the departure of guitarist Richard Lloyd in 2007 due to illness.

Their are reports of a 4th album having being recorded for years now but nothing has seen the light of day yet. Television will play shows in Paris, Berlin and around the UK in 2016.

Bonus points facts

  • Original member Richard Hell departed the band in 1975, going on to achieve fame with Richard Hell and The Voivoids, and had considerable influence on the Punk scene in New York.
  • Tom Verlaine was inspired to start playing guitar after hearing ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ by The Rolling Stones
  • Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell were friends at Sanford boarding School in Delaware as teenagers, before moving separately to New York to be poets in the early 1970s.
  • Richard Hell was kicked out of the band due to his volatile behaviour.
  • Verlaine had discussed collaborating with Jeff Buckley by producing his second album, before Buckley’s untimely death in 1997.

SPOTLIGHT : Television

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