Listen To Tom Verlaine Threatening Me
I may need to clarify a few points regarding my strange interaction with Tom Verlaine, as some people are so thick that they are still accusing me to have broken the rules when I used my iPhone during Television’s gig at the Teragram Ballroom. I want to be clear, the place is very liberal when it comes to cameras, I have been to tens of concerts there, and I have always been able to use my professional camera without asking for a photo pass. I have seen Queens of the Stone Age there and used my camera. And I have even seen Television at this same place a few years ago, and used this same camera without any problem. This is why I didn’t bother to ask for a photo pass in advance Looking back at what happened, I guess it would have been denied anyway.
Then I asked the Teragram Ballroom staff if it was okay to take pics with iPhones, and they said iPhones pics were fine – apparently they had just talked with Television’s manager because they mentioned to me it was a special request from the manager, going against their normally generous policy. They obviously know you can film with iPhones so I don’t think I had to specify I would also use my iPhone for this.
There was not a ‘no picture policy’ anywhere in the venue, no sign, no warning and if phones were allowed, they knew pictures would be taken. I even saw people behind me using regular cameras (with no detachable lens), so they were allowed at the show. This is a common practice at concerts, ‘no professional cameras allowed’ doesn’t mean no pictures at all, it just means that professional cameras are not allowed but all the rest is. I am convinced this was the case for this show, and the use of iPhones was totally allowed.
And for all the people who say I was obstructing the view, I have to say they are wrong as I was front row and was not holding the phone higher than my chest or eyes height. It was not an intrusive way to film, and I was not using the flash either.
I am convinced the entire thing was about the potential monetization of the photos and videos, Verlaine asked me if I would be selling the recordings, and professional photos can eventually be sold, although I am not sure if there is a real market for pics of Television! So it was not about being intrusive, it was about the idea of me making money off him. however, the idea of selling the recordings is completely out of touch with today’s reality, has Verlaine ever heard of YouTube where every concert is documented for free access? Whether you like it or not, this is 2017, music is all over the internet for free and bootleggers are not making any money with recordings of concerts.
To confirm this point, his ex band mate Richard Lloyd reposted my first report of the incident on his Facebook page and got many reactions. This particular comment is particularly telling
Verlaine could just have said ‘stop filming’ and I would have stopped. Sarcastic or not, a threat like ‘I’ll chop your head off’ was totally out of line, and the way he touched my hair as he did was extremely weird. A friend standing next to me witnessed to incident, and although he told me he didn’t hear what Verlaine told me, he commented with this:
The funny thing is that my phone was still recording and I have isolated the part when he threatens me. You have to imagine, he had his arm around my neck at this point, and this is why I sound uncomfortable. You can listen to it below.