Sadly, it seems that The Band in the Great Beyond has brought on another member, as New Jersey’s own Pat Dinizio, a founding member of The Smithereens has passed away at the age of 62. The musician had been dealing with numerous health issues over the recent months but was looking forward to getting back on the road as soon as possible. A statement from the members of the band is below:
“Today we mourn the loss of our friend, brother and bandmate Pat DiNizio. Pat had the magic touch. He channeled the essence of joy and heartbreak into hook-laden three minute pop songs infused with a lifelong passion for rock & roll. Our journey with Pat was long, storied and a hell of a lot of fun. We grew up together. Little did we know that we wouldn’t grow old together. Goodbye Pat. Seems like yesterday”. Jimmy, Mike, Dennis (December 12, 2017)
Historically speaking, I have very limited background in Pat’s backstory outside of my first being exposed to the music of The Smithereens with their very fist single “Blood And Roses” back in 1986. I was pursuing a largely Metal path at the time so Alternative Rock was not something I looked too deeply into. I did love the track and its B-side “Behind The Wall Of Sleep” and many years later would cover them in a short lived Rock and Roll project of my own. Great stuff, and clearly Pat was a skilled songwriter. I wouldn’t see the band until the show that these photos hailed from which was a gig at the Times Square staple B.B. King Blues Club and Grill where they would do an annual show. Our stalwart concert companion Skeleton Pete Parrella had suggested it and I finally took the plunge. Sadly, this was my only go at the band despite having an excellent time.
One memory that I have of the show I saw was Pat teasing me from the stage with his guitar picks. I collect them and when he looked like he was going to hand one to someone in the crowd I would eagerly respond and watch him hand it to the person next to me or right over my head. He chuckled as he did this and at the close of the show he handed me one directly with a big smile. Such a tease for making me wait. Yes I still have the pick in my collection and now its all the more special a thing to have.
According to what I’ve read, and some of the posts on the bands Official Facebook from Pat himself. Over the last few months he had been suffering some nerve damage in his hand along with other health issues related to falls he had taken. It’s sad that he couldn’t completely recover and return to the craft that he loved the most. With my background being far less than others, I direct you to his and the bands Wikipedia entries to learn more but please do head over to Spotify or YouTube to enjoy better times and wonderful music. I wish that I had been more on point with this band after that show, but its too late now. We wish his family, friends, bandmates and worldwide fans the deepest of condolences. Rest in Peace Pat D. Thanks for the music.