Monday, 30 January 2023

Celebrity Jukebox #65: Tom Verlaine

Well, the Cadillac
It pulled out of the graveyard
Pulled up to me
All they said, "get in, get in"
Then the Cadillac
It puttered back into the graveyard
Me, I got out again

Just as it came time to fire up the Celebrity Jukebox again, the news of Tom Verlaine's passing was announced. I didn't build this jukebox purely as a memorial machine, but it seems to increasingly be used that way. Ashes to Ashes...

Being quite an influential figure in the world of rock 'n' roll, Tom Verlaine pops up in quite a few songs. Here are a strong selection...

When she sang about a boy
Kurt Cobain
I thought what a shame it wasn't about
Tom Verlaine

When the gang came down here again
And they're phoning up Australia and they call each other names
And they all just wanna look like Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine
Some of my best friends are trains

I left school with 12 GCSEs, 3 A Levels and only one good song
I'm just another Russell Group punk
Just another Distrokid kid
Just another dime-store Tom Verlaine
Waiting for my 15 seconds of fame

April the 7th, 1979
Didn’t we breakfast together?
We celebrated my seventeenth
And heard Tom Verlaine together
We shouted from my bedroom window
And weren’t we happy that day?
But perhaps it was the whisky
Well at least no-one died that day

I can't turn you off
I just try and laugh you off
Tom Verlaine you maybe are
But you sure ain't rock n roll

Nights by the lake
Ribs and lemonade 
Tom Verlaine
Tape on auto-play

If I could dance
With Tom Verlaine
He's the one
On the television

That when you walk away
It's gonna be for good
You were my Tom Verlaine
Just sitting on the hood


  1. Really sad about this - I know its tenuous but I thought I would mention the wonderful Hawaiian Baby by the Spinanes, with its mantra of "Verlaines, Verlaines, Verlaines" partway through. I know this is a reference to the band, The Verlaines. Having just checked, apparently they were named after Paul Verlaine - however, so was Tom Verlaine - so I am happy to stretch the link.

    1. Stretched links are more than welcome round here.

  2. I'm frequently surprised at how many people are referenced in other songs, and get quite the education thanks to your research, Rol - had no idea that Tom was among them. What a legacy, alongside his own output.


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