The Smithereens

Influenced strongly by British rock bands, the American hard rock group The Smithereens formed in New York in 1980 with singer-songwriter and rhythm guitarist Pat DiNizio, lead guitarist Jim Babjak, bassist Mike Mesaros and drummer Dennis Diken. Their infectious performances and recordings made them a top touring band and their single 'Only a Memory' topped Billboard's Mainstream Rock Chart in 1988. They produced several albums but then had a long recording hiatus from 1999 to 2011 and with Severo Jornacion in for Mesaros on bass, their career was back on track until the untimely death of DiNizio at the age of 62 in 2017. The four New Jersey musicians who created the band started out playing in New York City clubs in the early 1980s, released two EPs - 'Girls About Town' (1980) and 'Beauty and Sadness' (1983) - and produced their first album 'Especially for You' in 1986. 'Green Thoughts' followed in 1988 and other releases included 'Smithereens II' (1990), 'Blow Up' (1991), and 'A Date With The Smithereens' (1994). Singles included 'Blood & Roses' (1986) and 'House We Used to Live In' (1988), both of which reached number 14 on the Mainstream Rock Chart followed by 'A Girl Like You', 'Blues Before and After', 'Yesterday's Girl', 'Top of the Pops' and 'Miles from Nowhere'. For 12 years they played some 300 dates annually around America and released the cover albums 'B-Sides the Beatles' (2008) and 'The Smithereens Play Tommy' (2009). They returned to the studio for an album of original songs titled '2011'. DiNizio suffered from ill health following injuries sustained in falls at his home and plans for a new album and a concert tour were placed on hold when he died in 2017. A sold-out tribute show, 'Time and Time Again - A Celebration of Pat DiNizio' was set for January 2018 with guests including Patty Smyth, Steven Van Zandt and Scandal.

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