The tragic death of Tom Verlaine shook the music world on January 28. The Television founder was 73, and his passing was announced by Patti Smith’s daughter, who said he died “after a brief illness.”
The latest to pay tribute to the legend is Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. On an episode of The Tweedy Show last night, January 29, the indie singer was joined by his son Spencer and the pair performed a thoughtful cover of Television’s “Venus” from the band’s iconic 1977 LP Marquee Moon.
“That was not easy,” Tweedy said after the performance. “I just wanted to play that. Obviously, I’m not doing the guitar parts justice. But the main point is he gets a lot of accolades for changing the way a lot of people look at a guitar, but he changed a lot of the way I look at writing songs. And that’s a perfect song. I can’t imagine writing a song that good.”
The tributes to Verlaine are in abundance. Michael Stipe of R.E.M. shared on social media: “Bless you, Tom Verlaine, and thank you for the songs, the lyrics, the voice,” he said. “And later, the laughs, the inspiration, the stories, and the rigorous belief that music and art can alter and change matter, lives, and experiences. You introduced me to a world that flipped my life upside down.”