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(TV) Television compared to duck

In message <20030322172440.12753.qmail@web11004.mail.yahoo.com>, Philip P. Obbard <pobbard@yahoo.com> writes
After watching last night, I have a question for those of you who were
fortunate enough to see Television in their 1976-78 heydey. I've seen
Television four times now - once in 2001, twice in 2002, and last night. Every
time, I get the feeling that Billy, Fred, and Richard are deadly serious, but
that Tom is only half-serious, basically just playing along while everyone else
is working.

Never saw them in the 70s but at the recent show I've seen I have to agree with you - I thought Richard Billy and Fred were working hard so that Tom didn't have to, if you see what I mean. At the ATP gig in 2001 if they hadn't been working so well/hard it would have been a disaster because Tom couldn't have held it together on his own. Certainly, looking back at that gig he seemed to be along for the ride. The whole thing makes me think of a swimming duck - it seems to be gliding effortlessly along but under the surface there's a whole lot of concerted work going on to keep it moving along so well. It's kind of sad that most of the audience is watching Verlaine when most of the work seems to be done elsewhere on stage.

Of course it's possible for Tom to be half-serious if the other three are making the thing _work_ (which they do). Imagine what a fiasco it would be if Billy appeared to get lost in the middle of their most famous song. Don't you think it's a bit odd that Verlaine can forget the lyric when just about everyone in the audience could step up on stage and sing it word-perfect?

I've got a feeling there's something wilful in Tom V. that won't allow him to do things 'properly'. As we've said before, this is probably why he's seen as a 'cult figure' rather than, say, another Bowie.

"The Wonder - Tom Verlaine, Television & Stuff"
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