I've been listening to The Smithereens a lot lately. Good heartbreak music that will get you through anything no matter how petty and childish and hurtful it is. And then I woke up to the news that Pat DiNizio, their lead singer, passed away at the age of 62. Fuck. Pat DiNizio was one of the nicest guys you would ever meet in a musical world full of hacks and assholes and asshole hacks. Totally down to Earth Jersey guy who had a voice that spoke for the brokenhearted and a knack for capturing the emotions involved in any relationship and putting it in a 3 minute long Pop song format. I hadn't thought of him or the band in a while, because I was happy - DUH!!, but doing so now brings up a big smile and laugh about some great memories of riding around on tour buses having great conversations with Pat, Dennis, Mark and Jim... playing gigs, doing the whole sex drugs Rock 'N' Roll thing, gambling (They stole all my money!! ha ha ha), drinking, smoking cigars and just being manly men with them for a short while, young and stupid and not sleeping much, being silly, and seeing the world roll by through a window. I would watch from the sidelines as Pat would lead The Smithereens through their paces on stage, playing this powerfully catchy Pop/Punk music that got stuck in your head for days, and the crowds would eat it up. Great to see and the music still stands up today. It's timeless, forever, eternal. While recording Nevermind, Nirvana used the first 2 Smithereens albums as an aural guide on how the record should sound. They were one of Kurt Cobain's favorite bands. They were sooooooooo fucking good it was sickening. And Pat was just the most unassuming guy about it, going from being in front of thousands of adoring fans to hanging around with us bums just seeing how we were doing, always a good word and a smile on his face for everyone. That's how I choose to remember Pat DiNizio. Forever young. The music will never die. Well played Sir! Rest well my friend. Lord knows you deserve it.
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