Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Pat Dinizio: 1955-2017

If Pat DiNizio had left nothing but The Smithereens "11" behind as his musical legacy, it would have been more than enough to seal his status as one of the great rock songwriters of his generation. A perfect record, from top to bottom, The Smithereens "11" shows DiNizio at his peak. I woke up to the incredibly sad and shocking news of his passing at the all too young age of 62.

R.I.P., Pat.

A blue period, indeed.


Troy said...

Agree 100% on the '11' album, it's perfect from top to bottom. I have been a big fan since the first record, so I'm saddened to hear the news. One of my favorite Smithereens tunes is buried towards the end of the 'Blow Up' album. It's called "It's Alright". Killer hook and for some reason I just love the lyrics:

Ran into a girl I used to know yesterday
It's all right, it's all right now and then
Used to have a lot, but there was nothing to say
It's all right, it's all right in the end

It's all right if you want to come home
It's all right if you're better alone
Since you left yesterday
Black and white has turned gray
It's all right

RIP, Pat. Thanks for the killer hooks and great tunes.

Tumblingdice70 said...

In 2009, Pat did a tour where he would play in people's houses. My buddy hired him to play his basement in Evansville, Indiana, for 11 people, and Pat could not have been a greater sport about it all. He played us the Smithereens' cover of Tommy, which they had just finished, and it rocked. Then he played a great little show in my friend's basement, which he compared to a Turkish whorehouse with affection, and even had my friend accompany him on a couple songs. He told us how he wrote Blood and Roses after a breakup, where after an argument in the living room with his girlfriend, distraught, he went into the bathroom and wrote the song straight through, then walked back out and played it for his now ex-girlfriend. We bought everything he was selling and sent him on his way with some pizza, and we still talk about it today. A good man, gone too soon.

Robin said...

So agree, Sal. Very sad news today. 11 is perfect, my favorite is "Yesterday Girl". "In a Lonely Place" from earlier I adore and so many more. I also love "Christmas with the Smithereens". Godspeed, Pat you were brilliant.

Gene Oberto said...

If you told someone that “11” was a Smithereens “Best of...” you wouldn’t be lying. I’ve played that collection for over 20 years and it still will sound fresh the next time I play it.

One of Jersey’s only a memory. See ya, Pat, behind the wall of sleep.

Bill said...

Behind the Wall of Sleep is always in pretty heavy rotation in the jukebox of my mind, and has been for many a year. Those opening verses really stick to your ribs:

She had hair like Jeannie Shipton back in 1965
She had legs that never ended
I was halfway paralyzed.
She was tall and cool and pretty and she dressed as black as coal
If she asked me to I'd murder, I would gladly lose my soul.

Now I lie in bed and think of her
Sometimes I even weep,
Then I dream of her behind the wall of sleep.

Well she held a bass guitar and she was playing in a band
And she stood just like Bill Wyman
Now I am her biggest fan.
Now I know I'm one of many who would like to be your friend
And I've got to find a way to to let you know I'm not like them.

Bill said...

Sorry, that's Jeannie Shrimpton of course. Can't trust the interwebs.

Chris Collins said...

How very sad.

kevin m said...

I bumped into him at a Graham Parker show at Irving Plaza about 10 years ago. For some reason, Sandra Bernhardt was allowed to do a stand up comedy set unannounced and she was dreadful. Like a drunk Homer Simpson, I started booing.

A voice behind me told me to stop because he was the one who had allowed her to perform.

"Hi, I'm Pat" he introduced himself. And he couldn't have been nicer.

I mentioned that the first time I saw the Smithereens, they were opening for Lou Reed in New Jersey and he said remembered that gig.

Overall, I probably saw them about a 6 or 7 times

The Smithereens had a great run of records from the mid-80s to the early 90s. Their songs pop all the time in my iPod and I never skip or fast forward.

RIP sir.

Noam Sane said...

I hear he was a very nice guy and may he rest well. Am I the only one that found them derivative to the max? Like Oasis (for just one example)...having heard firsthand the stuff they were "honoring"'s hard to get behind a pale copy. Just me, maybe, but....

Forgive me, Jesus.

Sal Nunziato said...

Noam, I really love Smithereens 11, Beyond that, I tend to agree with you.