Television were one of the most innovative bands to come out of New York’s underground scene of the mid-70s.
Guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd didn’t follow the rock stereotype - instead they took the raw energy of garage rock and added complex, lyrical solo lines that recalled both jazz and rock.
With angular rhythms and fluid leads, Television’s music always went in unconventional directions, laying the groundwork for many of the guitar-based post-punk pop groups of the late ’70s and ’80s.
In the early ’70s, Television began as the Neon Boys, a group featuring guitarist/vocalist Tom Verlaine, drummer Billy Ficca, and bassist Richard Hell. At the end of 1973 in New York City, New York, the group became Television, adding guitarist Richard Lloyd. The band soon found a bar on the Bowery, which would become an important venue for punk and new wave bands. In 1974, Verlaine played guitar on Patti Smith’s first single as well as writing a book of poetry with the singer.
Television recorded seven songs for Island Records with Brian Eno in 1975, but the band were unhappy with the sound so it was not released. Hell left the band, and was replaced by ex-Blondie bassist Fred Smith.
Marquee Moon, the group’s first album, was released in 1977 to great critical acclaim, and while failing to attract a wide audience in America; in the UK, it reached number 28 in the charts. launching the Top 40 single ‘Prove It’. In May of ‘77 Television supported by Blondie did their first ‘theatre’ tour of the UK selling out much to their own surprise.
Nearly 14 years after their breakup, Television re-formed in 1991, recording a new self-titled album for Capitol Records. The reunited band began its comeback with a performance at England’s Glastonbury summer festival in 1992, releasing Television a couple of months later. The album received good reviews, as did the tour that followed. In 2007 Lloyd left the band and they were joined by Jimmy Rip who had played with Tom since 1981. The iconic band is now on tour and will be playing at the De La Warr Pavilion on Tuesday June 14 - doors open at 7pm. Tickets cost £24.50 in advance or £27 on the night, to book call 01424 229111 or go to www.dlwp.com.