News dropped earlier this week that songwriter, guitarist, vocalist for the Smithereens, a New Jersey Rock band that became popular in the 1980s, passed away at the age of 62. The official statement was initially released on the band’s official website, but the news quickly spread throughout the media as people began to recall their memories of the talented musician. At the time of death no cause of death was mentioned; however, Pat had suffered from several illnesses over the past several years. In fact, the group had to cancel three concert engagements earlier in the year because of injuries Pat sustained during a fall.
For the younger audience, Pat DiNizio may not be a notable name, so we decided to share several facts that would introduce him to the young readers.
1. The Band Struggled Initially
According to columnist and photographer, Paul Ioria, the first time that he met Pat, they were playing in their music to an empty bar in Greenwich Village. At the time, the group did not have a recording contract, they would not be recruited by A&R executive, and there was no visible sign that they would become one of the most popular rock bands of their era. Ioria would be the become the first person to interview the band and its members after the band’s disappearance from the music scene, and he would develop a unique and lasting relationship with Pat.
2. He Was Tough-Minded
While the Smithereens struggled for a while, it was the tough-minded approach kept the band focused on practicing and performing wherever they could get a gig. Although he was a bit edgy, pat also a good sense of humor which provided him with a unique type of balance. During the early years, Pat would be tapped to do the majority of the writing for the group, and almost all those songs would become staples of the group’s long list of hits.
3. He Was a Huge Fan of the Beatles
Okay, if you grow up during the 1960s, which is the case of Pat DiNizio, it is likely that you, like everyone else in the world, developed a love for the Beatles. While Pat’s writing style was all his own, you could definitely tell that he was influenced by the Beatles. It is likely that his love for the group allowed him to expand his creativity when it came to his writing, which is probably the most appreciated talent of his.
4. He Never Lost His Love for Music
There are some groups that remain in the game long after their prime because they are cash strapped and they don’t have other options; however, Pat was still writing and performing because he had a passionate love for music that could not be satisfied any other way except through writing and performing.
5. He Never Left New Jersey
While it is common for people to gain notoriety and wealth then pack up and move to greener pastures, Pat DiNizio never left his home state of New Jersey. While he would travel the globe as a recording artist with the band and as a solo entertainer for a while, he would ultimately return to his state of residence. I guess when you are that close to New York, you can easily find anything that you are missing with just a quick drive down the turnpike.
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