posted on October 22, 2011 at 8:36 pm

test pattern


when i was a kid

i was scouring all the music rags

looking for the next big thing

i read a small article on a band called television

in a mag called rock scene

it was written by patti smith

she wrote about this guy tom verlaines hands

how he was the kinda guy you’d wanna lose yer virginity to….

over the next few years there were tantalising references constantly

all of em saying how this band were incredible

johnny jewel a single (kinda strange but intriguing)

and bits and pieces until in 1977 the first album came out

of course it was called marquee moon

and verily it was all they said it would be

an incredible record

34 years later today

i got an email from some guys watching televisions current progress

co guitarist richard lloyd is out

and some other guy jimmy rip is in

theres a whole argument going down on youtube

richard lloyd weighing in slagging off tv

funny that people are interested in these ancient clashes

i met tv in 1988

he was opening for the church and peter murphy

he wanted to borrow my acoustic guitar

it was a black guild got stolen n broke my heart

as soon as he played one note you could hear it was him

a totally unique approach dare i say virtuoso

pk sometimes has this effect like a total understanding

anyway tv was sposed to go on murphys bus

but within one second tv had some falling out with murph

and ended up on our bus for a whole tour

he started the night with a 30 minute set

alone with an acoustic he was kinda ordinary

he was very jokey in a bizarre way on and off stage

he was a total caffeine and nicotine man too

he was always wired tho he eschewed all other substances

television had been a huge influence on us all

we were all quite surprised n impressed to have tv with us

he treated me a bit like an annoying kid and i probably deserved it

i blabbed on to him all day about television ..why i liked them…

but he was bemused and sent me up a bit

we played monopoly for real money once on the bus

and tv bickered over the fuckin’ rules and argued the toss

eeerrr kil-bee lets see uh this triple double in jail rule

uh i think this is an uh english rule and uh i aint goin’ to jail..

how bizarre to be arguing monopoly rules with verlaine

somewhere in dakota or  wherever as we sped thru the night

as the tour progressed tv would come out each night and play with us

we did :you took and cortez the killer with 3 lead guitarists

3 of the very best you can get too

offstage however

tv was an incredible stingy miser arguing over every last cent literally

eerrr uh kil-bee uh you should pay an extra 75 cents for your share of the fries

this was one of the complaints on the you tube vids toms meanness

he was never very complimentary about richard lloyd either

lloyd didnt have anything to do with it if you listened to tv

he downplayed the guy right outta existence

it was unnecessary i thought to be so ungracious….

one day off in houston we went to this place

it was 1988 and you could record your vocal over a cassette backing

i sang my vocal over i left my heart in san francisco ( for DT)

tv got some old country n western track n giggled n whispered n muttered

he played it back to us convinced he’d found some new direction

one night  the phone rang in my room

eerr kil-bee eerr uh i’m down here in the bar with some divorcees

and i was ah wondrin’ if uh you could uh take one off my hands …

he was very charismatic and quite the ladies man

every night different women would seek him out backstage

strangely none seemed too bizarre for his taste

he had a little sweetie in every town

one morning we checked in some place early on the east coast

it was winter and snow lay on the ground

tv suggested a walk

and we hiked up this hill with a reservoir at the top

it was 630 in the morning and we interrupted something

cos suddenly about 10 big black guys were chasing us

baying for our blood

tv and i ran downhill into the woods

tv was like a thoroughbred horse leaping thru the trees

it was weird to be in such a pickle with a one time idol

anyway the stuff that happened onstage when he joined us was magic

he could coax a million sounds from a guitar trains and birds

and doppler effects and helicopters and guns ..anything..

but you could never see exactly how he did it …he was a true genius

we vaguely planned on recording together but his heart wasnt in it

we bickered over the financial details and that was it

i dont believe it would have worked out anyway

tv had some essential suspicious jokey sarcastic ny schtick

it was hard to get through it

he insulted lembo who was trying to manage him

and lembo couldnt see the financial gain

as opposed to the grief n pain that managing tv would bring

he was ungrateful in spades and just incredibly penny pinching

like a scrooge from brooklyn or something

it was an unnerving mixture

we drifted apart after the tour i never saw him again

marty played on on of  ‘is solo records

and the church did an insipid uninspired version of friction

funny seeing tv on that show in portugal just filmed lately

that same old cagey grin that same old tom cat jive

jesus what a character

ha ha





40 Responses to “tv dinner”

  1. Jmb066
    Jmb066 | 22 October 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    Love these recollections Steve,

    Was never a fan of Television, yet I am very familar with their influences on many artist. It seems TV, Lloyd, and Quine have become some of the most notable NY guitarist. Those three are mentioned often and none of them probably get enough credit in their contributions to music. I played Monopoly for money once, bad idea and I chuckled when I read that. You never know reach out and record together or maybe just say hello.

    Take Care,


  2. avatar
    Richard | 22 October 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    if you are right
    that your friction is insipid and uninspired
    then you have set your standards very high
    (which probably explains lots)

  3. avatar
    Richard | 22 October 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    …oh, and that was a really good read

  4. avatar
    bc | 22 October 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    funny…a frugal sagitarius with a straight-edge punk rock attitude… sounds like an abrasive genius

  5. avatar
    keith23 | 22 October 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    I remember those shows in ’88 and I had several opportunities to hang out with TV and Richard when they played 688. Verlaine was/is a genius, but I was always drawn to Richard’s disposition, I am sure it was hard to exisit under TV’s thumb. And I do remember a big fight over money with TV and the owner of 688 when it came time to be payed, something about the opening band being paid too much. Memories…………

  6. avatar
    Belfy | 23 October 2011 at 12:21 am #

    I think I saw that stuff too 😉
    You know I brought Television to Dublin 3 times and the first two times Verlaine barely spoke to me. Richard was a gentleman and helped me alot via email.
    The second time they came, they told me they’d refused an offer from the biggest promoter in the country because I was their man in Ireland. That was quite touching.
    Anyway – back to Tom. At gig 1, I asked him if I could get a photo with him – they’d made €10k from the gig – he said “Maybe next time Frank”.
    Next time I didn’t ask.
    The 3rd time, in 2004, he finally seemed to trust me and was friendlier and a bit jokey. He couldn’t believe that Kilbey had married a girl from Delaware where he was from.
    The kicker was when he actually asked me if I wanted that photo. I took great pleasure in saying “Maybe next time Tom”

  7. avatar
    chris moore | 23 October 2011 at 12:42 am #

    Interesting insight, not surprised on the almost instantaneous nerve grate with murph. There can only be one highlander…on the bus.

  8. avatar
    p webb | 23 October 2011 at 2:15 am #

    I always liked those versions of You Took when he joined you on stage – interesting to hear what he add to add to an already great live song. I may have to dust off the old bootlegs and give them another listen….

  9. avatar
    will robinson | 23 October 2011 at 4:31 am #

    an accidental traveling companion on a bus trip? wow. and then you relax on the road, well maybe not relax but travel along in that particular part, making history, taking it in. and it became a story of something given meant to be. what an interesting story to read. there used to be that whitish sparkling static when television stations would take down broadcasting for the evenings… all fuzzy in the universe – remember? and tv was pretty then.

  10. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 23 October 2011 at 5:56 am #

    That’s a great story, sounds like a true character. I remember reasons the part about the ‘fries’ in NCA. Well, I slept a little bit, out of pure exhaustion. And now I gottabstart getting mybact together because im ding the good ‘ father’ thing and taking my son Alex and his girlfriend out to dinner than to a 4300 seat sold out ‘Australian Pink Floyd’ concert. They are gonna play ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ after their first intermission…in fucking 3D. Yeah, 3 fuckin D. I have to wear silly glasses so I.can see a concert. Well, thank god I got balcony seats so I don’t have to stand.
    Guys like that you described would never have made it in America, their asses and whatever belongings they had would have tossed from a moving tour bus. I am hopefully you never paid for those fries and gave a weasel like that a bit of a smack around. Back in your heyday, who in the band was the bloke that you didn’t want to mess with cuz he would knock your
    lights out. My guess would be Peter, he…the shy quiet one…until he was revved up a bit.

    Darrin K

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 23 October 2011 at 3:09 pm #

      Concert Review: if your in the states or ant other place, I recommend seeing the Aussie Pink Floyd show. Sound was professional, light show was the best they could do with their traveling budget, which seems pretty well to do. They do the video screen projections of madness and such, but they paid homage to the founding members including Syd (this world truly misses you – you were a rock star). They played a whole lot of early stuff. The crowd loved the show. Set list was tight. Encore of : Run Like Hell, nice touch. I give it 4.25 out of 5. It still isn’t the Church. And you lucky ladies and gents get to see ‘future, past, perfect, ‘ in less than 2 months. That, the Chicago …February 12, 2011 was the best concert I have ever seen. And iv seen them all. Genesis with Gabriel, UFO with Shenker, Ozzy with Randy. And the late great Stevie Ray for my Birthday with Clapton and Robert Cray…to name a very few. The Church killed em in 84, 88, 90, and all the way till today. Best musicians on the planet, best singer songwriter ever…now that’s a real ‘suck-up’ if you wanna categorize one. They simple are the fuckin BEST !!!

      And no I haven’t been drinking, maybe a contact ‘high’ cuz there was a whole lot of that being smoked…everywhere at the show tonight.

      Darrin K.

  11. avatar
    Galamor the Wizard | 23 October 2011 at 6:52 am #

    You know that was really good. You should collect some of your rememberances and put them out in a little tome for those who don’t frequent this site.
    I particularly liked the bit where you said, “he treated me a bit like an annoying kid and I probably deserved it “.
    Hmmm. Sounds familiar.
    Every time I’ve met you I get that.
    And yes, I probably DID deserve it!

    By the way, when is Isidore 2 out?????? (he asks annoyingly again)

  12. avatar
    Lara | 23 October 2011 at 7:08 am #

    I remember that tour. I saw–or sort of saw–it in SF. Went mostly for the Church but I did like Marquee Moon. Had gotten high beforehand and somehow by the time I got there (was it the Fillmore?) TV was done and P. Murphy was already singing his last song. I remember being mildly outraged that the show had actually started on time. What a noodlehead. 🙂

  13. avatar
    JW | 23 October 2011 at 8:28 am #

    That triple guitar 88 onslaught was surely epic and etched into my psyche for eternity/

  14. avatar
    robin | 23 October 2011 at 9:01 am #

    funny to read this, Steve. i had just finished mixing some tracks i did with Richard Lloyd that year when i walked into the studio to mix your King Biscuit show that we had recorded in Philly. the assistant engineer was in guitar heaven and when we finished i told him to grab a seat while i did a live mix of the Cortez jam from that show. it was an amazing 45 minutes or so that i’ll never forget.

  15. avatar
    andy | 23 October 2011 at 9:14 am #

    hob-nobbing with legends eh?
    i love both original television albums and remember being quite
    shocked when tv’s solo stuff turned out to be rather lacklustre.

    done some good things in our little studio tonight steve…..
    ‘the failed’ are finally back in action!
    abel looked down from his place on the wall and gave a little nod of approval.
    oh yes he did.

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 24 October 2011 at 1:52 pm #

      Thats great Andy !!!

  16. avatar
    Once | 23 October 2011 at 10:21 am #

    A perfect recollection of an imperfect man…

  17. avatar
    Once | 23 October 2011 at 10:26 am #

    It would be really cool if you – Steve – could step outside yourself and recall yourself – Steve – in all of your glory/mistakes/wonderment…

    A memoir would certainly be valid…along with your poetic grace, a best sellah in spades…

  18. avatar
    Ron Bonham | 23 October 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Ahh, loved the Houston mention! I wonder if that place was in the Galleria mall, seem to recall a recording booth they had there back in the day.

  19. avatar
    janie | 23 October 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    cross reference?

  20. avatar
    hellbound heart | 23 October 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    that was an absolute corker!!!!!
    thanks so much for sharing this…….
    love always

  21. avatar
    . | 23 October 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    tom must’ve been your connection to jay dee daugherty, right?

  22. avatar
    matthew | 24 October 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Wow! that’s a unique insight.

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 October 2011 at 6:59 am #

    good interviews/discussions — and this is not a criticism, just an observation/comment, within one of your comments — and I think sometimes we sometimes forget where another is looking from: not everyone is as genius as you are (and you are, no doubt… and it is powerful, you are blessed and it is really cool to listen to/read/etc. what you do — thank you), so sometimes others (I forget names of the book(s) thinking of that brought this thought, or the name(s) of the author) need to go back to what they wrote, or what someone else wrote, or what they saw in the place that they’re derving thought from to check their recollection and their words, to see if they are still valid words… recollection…, and to see what comes next, etc. — and all of that together pushes them forward. I think that’s why an author travels back/checks what was there; and then what was already written — checking the two against. you get stuck, and then for most of us, it’s back that brings us forward. And sometimes when it’s 500 pages! My gosh, most people would forget the beginning before they got to (write) the middle, let alone the end… I mean, every footstep throughout has to stay in sequence with what came before. That’s its own genius and I would assume quite frustrating too. anyway, been thinking about all those pages and I don’t think it’s because someone wants to re-read his own words/what was just written, except that to do so keeps it going forward.

  24. avatar
    Steven Krut | 24 October 2011 at 7:38 am #

    Cool story.

  25. avatar
    princey | 24 October 2011 at 10:44 am #

    haha, what a sight that would’ve been of you two running for your lives 😀 I really enjoyed reading that one!

  26. avatar
    Giggy | 24 October 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    do you remember eddy and the hot rods?

  27. Kraig
    Kraig | 24 October 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    Have you heard Peter Murphy’s new solo album yet? It’s pretty awesome! Go get it if you don’t already. Thanks Steve for the trip down memory lane…wish you’d bring out a DVD of all this stuff or a biography type of thing…is ther one out there beside the book? Anyway, go get the Peter Murphy CD, it rocks!

  28. avatar
    colette | 24 October 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    A good one to sup on. Jesus: ‘what a character’ indeed.

  29. avatar
    Michel | 24 October 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    “Warm And Cool” is one of the best instrumental albums I know (after “Earthed”, of course !).

  30. avatar
    davem | 25 October 2011 at 3:55 am #

    Ta for the link to the melbourne interview.
    I love Television, but nothing compares to the church!

  31. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 25 October 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    I backtracked a couple blogs ago …only to find a ‘nice belittle and name callings directed at me. Thank you Steve for being ever so kind to stick up for me. Yes, its your blog. As Andy, Donna, and a few other will contest that I get a bit wordy when I write. I will curtail that. I was reaching out and seeking help from a family of friends only to be demoralized in return, by more anonymous hiders. My medication- would not ‘kill’ a horse as one put it. I was just a person asking for help. Sorry, wont happen again. But I do appreciate you, Steve, defending a complete stranger- u can add that to the list why I and so many others do ‘ admirer ‘ you.


  32. avatar
    Larry | 25 October 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Not trying to start anything here, but is it true you and Murphy didn’t get along either?

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 25 October 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      we didnt get along or not get along
      we just avoided each other
      he seemed like a real turkey to me..
      (as i did to him no doubt)

  33. avatar
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