Rock Candy

NEW YORK - APRIL 28: Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens sings during the USA Tennis Rock & Rally on April 28, 2003 at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

We’re saddened to learn of the death of Smithereens frontman Pat DiNizio, who passed away Tuesday (December 12) at the age of 62.

DiNizio had been recovering from unspecified “medical issues” after suffering a fall last week but said in a social media post at the time that he was looking forward to healing and returning to the road.

In a statement released this morning, Smithereens posted, “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. 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.”

Born in Scoth Plains, N.J., DiNizio co-founded Smithereens in 1980, releasing 11 albums and scoring hits such as “Only A Memory,” “A Girl Like You” “Blues Before And After,” “Blood And Roses,” “Behind The Wall Of Sleep” and “House We Used To Live In.”

DiNizio also released four solo albums and wrote a memoir, Confessions Of A Rock Star, in 2009. He also appeared in the films Singles, King Leisure S.O.B., Mr. Smithereen Goes to Washington and Dead Horse and voiced a character on the Cartoon Network’s Space Ghost: Coast To Coast.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.