Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

Television: Breaking Out of the Inner Circle

Toby Goldstein, High Fidelity, June 1978

DESPITE HEALTHY critical acclaim for its 1977 debut LP Marquee Moon, Television has yet to become a household word. Leader Tom Verlaine seems to further obscure the band's identity by going out of his way to make himself untrendy. His taste runs to layers of oversized reefer coats, discount store buttondown leather jackets, and instantly forgettable plain trousers — not an ornament or carefully constructed tear in sight. Nor does he frequent New York's New Wave night spots with their sardine-like crowds and barely tolerable PA systems. Like the music he writes, Verlaine's personality cuts its own path: mysterious and intriguing on the surface, displaying increasing intricacy on closer examination, yet never wholly fathomable. So much for the ill-informed press's categorization of the band as punk rock.

Total word count of piece: 2000


Becoming a member is easy. Membership gives you access to all the thousands of articles in the library.

Click here to go to Subscribe page.

Click here for academic and other group subscriptions.