Left to right: Smith, Verlaine, Lloyd and Ficca.
Television were a cult Punk Rock
band from the USA, active between 1973-1978, 1992-1993 and since 2001. Its core lineup includes guitarist/vocalist Tom Verlaine, guitarist/vocalist Richard Lloyd, bassist/vocalist Fred Smith and drummer Billy Ficca. Early on, their line-up also included guitarist Richard Hell, who would go on to front the Voidoids, another influential punk group.
The band were famous for being more technically proficient than the punk scene they were associated with, with their Signature Style
involving complex, interlocking guitars (influenced by Velvet Underground
and Buffalo Springfield) and extended Improvs
- Marquee Moon (1977)
- Adventure (1978)
- Television (1992)
- Album Title Drop: "Marquee Moon".
- City Noir: The setting of most of Verlaine's lyrics. "Broadway looks so medieval", to quote "Venus."
- Epic Rocking: "Marquee Moon", "Torn Curtain", "The Fire", "The Dream's Dream", "Little Johnny Jewel".
- Meaningful Name/Red Oni, Blue Oni: According to one story, youngsters Thomas Miller and Richard Meyers ran away from a boarding school and set fire to a field. When questioned by the cops, Miller (who would later rename himself Verlaine after the 19th century French poet) said he just wanted to feel warm; Meyers (who would later rename himself Hell) said he just wanted to see it burn.
- Non-Indicative Name: They were a band, having nothing to do with TV at all.
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Verlaine.
- Self-Titled Album: Their 1992 reunion album.
- Title Drop: Every single song on Marquee Moon drops the title at some point.
- Verlaine stealth-drops the band's name in at least two songs - "Elevation" ("'Elevision, don't go to my head") and "Little Johnny Jewel" ("He just had to tell-a-vision")
- Trope Codifier: Along with The Velvet Underground, for many an Alternative Rock band. Similarly, Richard Hell often counts as the Trope Codifier for Punk Rock.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell were this for a long time...
- We Used to Be Friends: ...until their personal and professional relationship fell apart. Factors included Verlaine gradually taking creative control of the band and Hell's heroin use.
- What Might Have Been: Imagine if Richard Hell had stayed in the band and Marquee Moon had featured "Blank Generation" and "Love Comes In Spurts"...
- YMMV on this one, as Fred Smith is a much more technically proficient bassist, with a style that much better compliments the sound of the band. Hell's compositions would sound very out of place on Marquee Moon, and many feel that their parting was for the best.