Pat DiNizio, leader of the Smithereens, dies at age 62

Pat DiNizio
Pat DiNizio

Pat DiNizio, singer-guitarist of the New Jersey rock quartet the Smithereens, has died at age 62.

The announcement came via a post on the band’s website:

“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 ’n’ 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.”

The cause of death was not immediately known. DiNizio had been rehabbing from hand and arm injuries, and ensuing nerve damage, sustained in a fall . He had said recently on social media he was looking forward to touring in the new year.

The Smithereens’ edgy version of British Invasion music found favor with MTV (“Blood and Roses” and “Behind the Wall of Sleep”) and college rock stations in the late 1980s. They had radio hits with “A Girl Like You,” from 1988’s “Green Thoughts,” and “A Girl Like You,” from 1989’s “11.”