In a bit of news which was a genuine blow- Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens died at the age of 62. The pride of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, Mr DiNizio was a fantastic vocalist, a great songwriter, and a champion of young bands and special needs children. By all accounts, he was a genuinely nice man... and did I mention that he was a hell of a songwriter?
If I recall correctly, the band's breakthrough single was supposed to be Strangers When We Meet, a personal favorite of mine:
The song was eclipsed by two other singles from the 'Especially for You' album... one being the moody Blood and Roses:
The other being Behind the Wall of Sleep, a song which inspired a previous blog post:
Pat also had a way with a tender song, like his Blue Period duet with Belinda Carlisle:
One of the band's biggest hits was A Girl Like You, which was originally written for the movie Say Anything- the song pretty much encapsulates the movie's plot:
We lost one of the greats on Tuesday night, and a personal favorite. Here is a 1988 interview of Pat by Terry Gross, in which Pat describes the songwriting process.
I am going to memorialize Pat DiNizio in the most appropriate manner- I'm going to listen to a bunch of Smithereens tunes and I am going to turn the music up to 11.