When singer-guitarist Richard Lloyd, drummer Billy Ficca and singer-guitarist Tom Verlaine played together in the ’70s in the NYC proto-punk act Television, there was reportedly an unusual amount of tension in the group that led to its early demise. While the band has subsequently reunited for the occasional tour, those reunions have been few and far between. Some of that inner turmoil was on display last night at the Grog Shop as Lloyd played a headlining show as part of a trio that included Ficca.
Shortly before taking the stage, Lloyd and Ficca started shouting, appeared to shove each other and then threw their respective drinks at one another. Lloyd walked up to the microphone and pleaded Ficca to still play despite the fight. “You quitting or playing? I want you play. I love you like a brother,” he told Ficca. “Yeah, like Cain loved Abel,” responded Ficca. After a short stand-off, Ficca finally acquiesced, and the band opened with the Lloyd tune “I Thought,” an anxiety-ridden song that bristled a little more than usual. At the song’s conclusion, Lloyd muttered, “I’m so tired of the crap I have to put up with."