LIVE: Richard Lloyd of Television @ Putnam Place, 05/14/2022
It’s towards the end of the night, and most of the people who saw the show had left Putnam Place in Saratoga Springs. I was standing near the bathroom waiting on my partner, when I looked across and I saw Richard Lloyd, a legendary guitar player, most notably known for his time in the seminal New York City band Television.
Lloyd had played that night with his three-piece band, to a disappointing thin crowd. Simultaneously surprising and unsurprising given the cultural iconic weight tied to his name. Why weren’t more people there? Putnam Place is a popular stop for jam bands and dead-heads, that, whenever such a band plays, the venue is packed. Saratoga Springs may not have been the right place; a member of Television is too niche for a small town like Saratoga Springs – the distance from New York City then truly felt.
It was also enlightening as to how underground Television, to this day, still is.
The crowd, however thin, was made up of true diehard fans – some who were there during the late 1970s when Television made its mark at places like CBGBs, a breeding ground for punks and misfits, and produced countless alternative rock, post-punk, and new wave bands.
The rest were of a younger generation, myself included, who either were introduced to the band by cool parents or were crazy enough about discovering new music to dig up a dusty Television record somewhere.
So, it was here on Saturday night, amidst a shared haze of disbelief, that I squinted my eyes and noticed Lloyd. I could have sworn he was looking at me. As the dust settled, I could still hear and feel ‘See No Evil,’ Lloyd’s choice for a set-starter, straight from Television’s groundbreaking debut album Marquee Moon. It was still ringing in my head, creating confusion, angst, and passion – a testament to the unshakable power of that kind of music.
So I did what I knew I would most definitely regret not doing later. I walked across the now even emptier club, and went up to him and said “hi, what a great show. I am from a local music publication, may I ask you a question.”
Unfortunately, Lloyd, who was standing with the drummer of his band, was not as open as his gaze or demeanor might have suggested, and said “not tonight.”
Perhaps I may have pushed a little too hard, and I may have followed up with: “Just one question, please.”
At that point, Lloyd was not having it, and he barked at me, “Did you not hear me the first time?”
I immediately felt terrible, and I ended up regretting anyway. I gave him a genuine apology. The drummer must have seen how bad I felt because he gave me his contact information to set up an interview at a later date.
Who knows, perhaps there will be a follow-up interview with Richard Lloyd, a man who never really had to say much more than what his guitar already did.
My eyes are like telescopes
I see it all backwards, but who wants hope
If I ever catch that ventriloquist
I’ll squeeze his head, right into my fist – ‘Friction’