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The Smithereens’ Pat DiNizio Dead At 62

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Pat DiNizio, the singer/songwriter of The Smithereens has died.

The New Jersey-born DiNizio was 62.

The Smithereens dominated the second half of the ’80s with albums like Especially For YouGreen Thoughts and 11. Those albums spawned such memorable hits as “Behind The Wall Of Sleep” “House That We Used To Live In” and “A Girl Like You” which were all well-worn radio staples.

The band toured with everyone from The Kinks to Tom Petty.

With his goatee and leather jacket, DiNizio looked part beatnik hipster and part noir sleuth and as a frontman he was a compelling and engaging presence.

DiNizio was a man of many interests–he recorded soundtracks, wrote and starred in a one man show, recorded an audio book, made films, ran for United States Senate and joined a minor league baseball team.

On the band’s Facebook page was the following message: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the influential New Jersey rock band, The Smithereens – America’s Band. Pat was looking forward to getting back on the road and seeing his many fans and friends. Please keep Pat in your thoughts and prayers.”

That post was followed by a statement from the band:

A message from Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros: 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