First Last SONIC TRANSMISSION

ISBN 13: 9781902588162

SONIC TRANSMISSION

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9781902588162: SONIC TRANSMISSION

Looks at the lives and musical careers of Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell, who formed the punk rock group Television in the early 1970s.

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About the Author:

Tim Mitchell is a music journalist and the author of There's Something About Jonathan: Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers and Sedition and Alchemy: A Biography of John Cale. Also a musician, he has recorded CDs with poet Jeremy Reed. He lives in London, England.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

14. Marquee Moon By the autumn of 1976, Patti Smith’s relationship with Fred Smith was assuming more and more importance in her life, and she had moved out of Allen Lanier’s apartment and back into the loft of artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Although there was to be no resumption of her romantic relationship with Verlaine, the two were now rebuilding the bridges between them and becoming friends again . Once Television’s contract with Elektra had been signed and the schedule set for the recording of their debut album, one of the first things that Verlaine had wanted to sort out was the cover artwork. Mapplethorpe had taken the groundbreaking cover photograph of Patti Smith ‘ androgynous and touslehaired ‘ for the ‘Horses’ album and Verlaine now enlisted him to come up with something that would make a similar impact for Television. Although Verlaine was not personally much interested in the visual appeal of the band, he had strong ideas about its identity and that identity had to be conveyed forcefully on the album’s sleeve. Mapplethorpe later commented that Verlaine was ‘sort of fanatical about (the cover) coming out the way he wanted? and didn’t want ‘the art director to touch it’.80 Before beginning the recording sessions for ‘Marquee Moon’, the band first of all finalised the list of songs for inclusion (the tightness of the budget Elektra had given them did not allow for much experimentation with material). In the ‘weedingout’ process, ‘Double Exposure’ was rejected as too old and ‘Kingdom Come’, which had been part of the band’s sets for a while now, as too long. There were other problems, too, with ‘Kingdom Come’, though ‘ despite a neat descending guitar line, its melody was rather strained, and it relied on some rather turgid riffing. The only song they were to take into the sessions with them, but not include on the album, was ‘O Mi Amore’. Once they had decided on the material they were going to record, the band put themselves through an intensive period of rehearsal, working six or seven days a week, as they concentrated on perfecting both the arrangements of the songs and their performances of them. They ignored vocals during these sessions, concentrating instead on the instrumental tracks, which they would be recording first....

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