Television is an American rock band, formed in New York City in 1973. Although Television have never had more than a cult audience in the USA, they have achieved significant commercial success in Europe. Today, they are widely regarded as one of the founders of "punk" and New Wave.
Television was part of the early 1970s New York underground rock scene, along with bands like the Patti Smith Group, The Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell and The Voidoids, Talking Heads, just to name a few. In contrast to the Ramones' rock 'n' roll minimalism, Television's music was more complex and more technically proficient, defined by guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd.
Television's roots can be traced to the teenage friendship between Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine. The duo met at Sanford School in Hockessin, Delaware, from which they ran away. Both moved to New York, separately, in the early 1970s, aspiring to be poets.
Their first group together was the Neon Boys, consisting of Verlaine on guitar and vocals, Hell on bass and vocals, and Billy Ficca on drums. The group lasted from late 1972 to late 1973. A 7-inch record featuring "That's All I Know (Right Now)" and "Love Comes in Spurts" was released in 1980.
In late 1973 the group reformed, calling themselves Television and recruiting Richard Lloyd as a second guitarist. Their first gig was at the Townhouse Theatre, on March 2, 1974. They soon persuaded CBGB owner Hilly Kristal to give the band a regular gig at his club, where they reportedly constructed their first stage. After playing several gigs at CBGB in early 1974, they played at Max's Kansas City and other clubs, returning to CBGB in January 1975, where they established a significant cult following.
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