Born Thomas Miller in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1949. Verlaine (who borrowed his artist name from the French poet) was trained as a pianist but got interested in rock music because of The Rolling Stones.
Looking back, Big Star seems to be one of the most unfortunate names a band could ever choose. Big Star wanted to conquer the world with beautiful music but they never even came near chart succes. During the band's existence (1971-1975) they only sold a couple of thousands of records.
The Stooges released an excellent 1st lp in 1969 ('The Stooges', produced by John Cale). It was a raw rock 'n' roll album with catch-phrases rather than complete lyrics which made a lot of impression on those who heard it.
An enormous amount of factors influence tone. If I were to start all over again in a search for a rig that gives me the tones that I like, I would now stick to a few principles and points of attention I wasn't very aware of when I started.