The Smithereens lead singer Pat DiNizio dies

Pat DiNizio 2007

The band gained a strong following in the New Jersey and NY area.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the influential New... Back in 2015, he lost the use of his right hand and arm following a pair of falls which caused serious nerve damage.

Following two more studio albums on the Enigma label, The Smithereens released two major label records: 1991's "Blow Up" (with Capitol) and 1994's "A Date With The Smithereens" (BMG). The band featured DiNizio on vocals and guitar, Jim Babjak (guitar and vocals), Mike Mesaros (bass and vocals), and Dennis Diken (drums).

DiNizio also starred in ESPN2's 7th Inning Stretch in 2006, a reality special that followed the singer recovering from a nervous disorder and attempts to rehab by joining minor league baseball team the Somerset Patriots.

"I have been receiving very good care and several physical therapy sessions at home each week here at Hollingsworth House in Scotch Plains (a Victorian farmhouse built in 1885 that I purchased 20 years ago - I am only the 3rd owner of the house!)", he wrote on December 9.

His three bandmates posted a note on the social media website acknowledging the loss of 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. Little did we know that we wouldn't grow old together.

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