The first time I met Patti Smith was in a laundromat. We knew some of the same people, including Richard Hell.— Tom Verlaine
The most revealing Tom Verlaine quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you
I always hated jazz guitar. I loved jazz saxophone but I hated jazz guitar. If I would buy an organ trio record I would make sure I'd buy one that did not have a guitar player on it. The sound was awful!
I just don't like people coming up to me and saying something.
It immediately makes you become insincere. There is no way you can react to it sincerely.
When I think of 'influence', I think of 'influenza', like somebody's picked up a germ.
I never liked mellow sounding guitar.
The song Venus de Milo, the whole subject of it is Love is a drug.
When somebody turned me on to a Coltrane record around seventh grade, I took up saxophone.
I like thinking of myself as invisible. I find it a very advantageous way to live.
I don't see us as a big media gimmick band.
We don't have a cultivated appearance or anything like Kiss.
In Old English they don't say I had a dream, but there's another usage of the word - "life is but a dream," to be corny about it. It's implied with eyes wide open, rather than asleep. But I'm not a philosopher to explain myself. I wish I could. Maybe that's why I'm a musician.
I really don't have that much interest in stardom.
I grew up taking piano lessons and liking Wagner when I was in second grade.
Places like Belgium and the south of France, Sweden and Copenhagen are really alive. They really love rock 'n' roll, they really respond.
I like thinking of myself as invisible.
I find it a very advantageous way to live. Unfortunately, its not the way the music business works. If you don't create some kind of public image, it gets created for you.
You have to have that organizational principle behind the song.
I'm not a clown but I'm not an academic either.
Emily Dickinson has great sound and sense.
There were a lot of things I listened to, but so-called pop music never killed me, you know, the type of stuff that always seems to make it on the radio. The whole radio thing seems so... it's like they've accepted the whole "new wave" thing only because this kind of pop element came into it. In Europe they really love emotion, but here it's like, "let's stay away from it because we might cry or something".
I can't presume to speak for the others, but I never felt anything negative from anyone when I was onstage with Television. When I played rhythm behind Lloyd, the only thing that concerned me was to push him as hard as I could so that he'd go beyond what he was capable of and come up with something new, and vice versa. That's the only thing that mattered.
I don't think Marquee Moon was so good, y'know? Just another record.
First records everybody likes a lot.
What's really fun is to write under different names.
Well, I worked in a sheet metal factory once and scarred my wrist from the cuts.
I found a sympathetic psychiatrist who told the draft board I was insane. We used the scars as proof of a suicide attempt.
Style to me is incidental. The British are very adept at creating it for its own sake, but the best style is incidental. John Coltrane had a style but it was totally incidental to what he was.
You know, there is something I'm looking for when I'm writing. But I couldn't tell you what that is.
Practice? I never practice. I just write songs and take solos.
I always thought I was commercial. I always thought I was writing hit singles. These days, whatever's on the radio is considered commercial. People like what's on the radio, whatever it is.
You can't get so interested in just making sounds. The point of it all is some kind of expression.
People ask me this a lot, what a song's about.
... I do think analyzing a song can be interesting, although it doesn't necessarily get to the point. It's a whole other side activity. I do like making a thing into pictures. If I get an abstract idea and all the words in it don't represent tangible things, I might try to take the idea and make it into a picture, create a little scene there, an image.
I'm kind of proud of that little record! I mean I've heard about a million other records that have come out since then by all these groups around here and there and I really like 'Little Johnny Jewel'.
Boogie! I hate boogie, God, I mean, not the Chicago boogie like Willie Dixon or Howlin' Wolf, but all those awful white bands.
I told somebody in Europe I was 43. I never tell my true age. It's ridiculous that people ask. The press doesn't deserve anything but lies.
I'd never assume an audience was anything but totally receptive and perfect.
Seriously, it seems to me that's the only circumstance you can work under. Otherwise, speaking for myself, you may as well be in the advertising business.
The whole reputation of being a rock guitar player, I could really care less about it. Still, when I hear new groups today I do occasionally hear something where I think... ahh, I've heard that lick before.
I think almost every woman artist I've ever met has this ideal of being in a partnership working situation with a man, that men don't seem to share. They seem to want this ideal thing, that we'll always be together and work together.
I write a lot of more instrumental music than I do vocal music.
It's because I come out of a background of playing piano and then playing sax for a number of years. I kind of got into rock backwards. A lot of guys go into rock and then get sick of it and then go into something else. I came the other way, so I've always just had a lot more stuff lying around.
I don't think anybody thinks about their past much, unless they're in a mental institution.
I can't remember ever being really bored.
I find life very interesting, actually. I think some other musicians are always looking for something to give them an idea, but I find I have to reject 90 percent of my ideas because they don't live up to some self-imposed standard. That's also why I don't make a record once a year. I throw so many things out, and I have to have something to say.
I've got a quote for you, a good quote to describe Television...In madness there is order.
It's like first grade where you make all your mistakes and people see it and yet some people see that there's something there that's really valuable. That's the way it went for more than 2 years almost 3 years of playing.
Everybody's out trying to be commercial. I'm not trying to be anything, really.
I don't want any production credit. I think producers are overrated. They're for people who, first of all, don't know anything about music or arranging and have no ear for their own doings. They can't tell a good solo from a bad solo, stuff like that.
I've seen a lot of people getting into Jazzmasters because of me, and, well, people don't know what they're in for. I mean if you're looking for endless sustain, you're going to have to get it out of your hands (laughs). Because a saxophonist gets it out of his breath. You've got to work for it on the guitar - it means you have to pull it out of yourself, otherwise, what are you doing? You end up playing a lot of noise or scale exercises.
The Beat thing happened when I was younger.
I used to run away from home, inspired by the Beats, like in '64 and '65.
My non-career. My excuse for a career? Honestly, I never think about the word 'career.' I've had managers, the minute they say it to me, they look at me and just roll their eyes.
I recently realized that Television has influenced a lot of English bands.
Echo and the Bunnymen, U2, Teardrop Explodes - it's obvious what they've listened to and what they're going for. When I was sixteen I listened to Yardbirds records and thought, "God, this is great." It's gratifying to think that people listened to Television albums and felt the same.
With my records, it's just a matter of trying to create something fresh for myself in a very finite context, which is the pop song. I don't know anything about the people who buy my records, and what, if anything, they get out of them.
I wonder what all those Chinese poets sound like in Chinese. I like their distilled quality.
All the Frank O'Hara types seem to have very little sound stuff going.
.. it's so chatty or something.
I'm not even sure who my audience is.
I have a real soft spot for flying saucer songs and Frenkenstein songs.
When I was a kid the first record I ever really liked was called "The Mummy", and the flip-side was called "The Beat Generation" which Richard Hell later re-wrote as "The Blank Generation". I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever heard. I didn't like Elvis much then, but I was very young. When I was a kid I used to play that monster all the time!