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Still Here

Former Television guitarist Richard Lloyd won’t let himself forget BY LAURA JOHNSON


Punk legend Richard Lloyd brings his fuzzy and fluid guitar skills to the Bartlett as part of a short Northwest tour. GODLIS PHOTO

ichard Lloyd still lives in New York City. He’s tried living in other cities, even ones in exotic locales, but nothing else but the bustle of NYC feels like home. It’s the place where most of his music was imagined. the magical city where the now-closed CBGB came alive with Lloyd’s former band Television and other seminal punk and new-wave acts like the Ramones, Talking Heads, Patti Smith and Blondie. But this month he’ll leave his cramped (he admits to saving everything) two-bedroom apartment and head west with his band — starting in Vancouver, B.C., with stops along the way to Yellowstone National Park, including one at the Bartlett next week. He hasn’t performed much this year. He’s found a new art form. “I’ve been painting since late February. I’ve sold quite a few. I’ve already outsold Van Gogh,” Lloyd says with a laugh. “I sometimes finish three paintings in a day. They’re stacked floor to ceiling in my office.” But the music won’t leave him. He writes songs every day; he just never writes anything down. It’s saved up there in his episodic memory. His guitar? That never lays idle for too long. “You have to practice. You can’t slack off at all,” Lloyd says. “Otherwise, like a razor blade, you don’t sharpen, you’ll lose the edge. When I was younger, there were people who could play better, but I was hungrier. I would play and play in my closet, and then eventually, I woke up and I was good.” Speaking from his apartment last week, Lloyd is as quick to quote a Bible verse as something from the Quran. He’s a source of poetry, highbrow literature and Eastern philosophy. He constantly flips between answering questions and talking about things like the time he walked from San Francisco to L.A. He explains his bipolar disorder; he’s able to keep working with the help of a psychiatrist and medication. At 63, Lloyd has experienced much strife in his life. Though he left the band in 2007, Television tours on without him after years of trying to keep the group together. ...continued on next page


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