Pat DiNizio

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Pat DiNizio
DiNizio in 2009
Background information
Birth name Patrick Michael DiNizio
Born (1955-10-12)October 12, 1955
Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Died December 12, 2017(2017-12-12) (aged 62)
Summit, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres Rock, power pop
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, actor, film producer, politician
Instruments Guitar, harmonica, vocals
Years active 1980–2017
Labels Fuel/Universal, East West Records, Koch Records, Enigma, Little Ricky Records/Capitol, BMG/Excelsior, Velvel Records/Koch Records, E1 Music, Warner Bros., D-Tone
Associated acts The Smithereens

Patrick Michael DiNizio (October 12, 1955 – December 12, 2017) was the lead singer, songwriter, and founding member of the band The Smithereens, which he formed in 1980 with Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros, from Carteret, New Jersey.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

DiNizio was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and grew up in nearby Scotch Plains.[3] In addition to his work with The Smithereens, he released a number of solo albums, Songs and Sounds (1997), This is Pat DiNizio, a collection of cover songs arranged for piano and vocals (2006), Revolutions (2 CDs plus 1 DVD, limited edition of 300 copies, 2006), Pat DiNizio (2007), and Pat DiNizio/Buddy Holly (2008).[3] An expanded 2-CD version of This is Pat DiNizio was issued in 2012.

DiNizio and Severo Jornacion of the Smithereens performing at Bar Anticipation in Belmar, New Jersey in 2012

DiNizio was a trash hauler, working for his father, while trying to break into the music business. He has cited his influence as The Beatles. In 2000, DiNizio made an unsuccessful run for the New Jersey seat of the United States Senate, running on the Reform Party ticket.[3] He finished 4th with 19,312 votes (0.64%). The campaign was chronicled in the 2001 documentary film Mr. Smithereen Goes to Washington.[4]

The same year, he launched the "Living Room Tour," a five-month jaunt where he performed solo, by request only, in the homes of fans.[3] The tour was a success, and he later occasionally did similar concerts for a nominal fee.[5]

In 2001, DiNizio was one of the first musicians to throw his support behind XM Satellite Radio, becoming host and program director for the XM Radio Unsigned station.[citation needed] He was also an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards' judging panel to support independent artists.[6]

In 2006, he was the focus of 7th Inning Stretch, an ESPN2 reality special. The special focused on DiNizio's recovery from a "life-threatening and debilitating nervous disorder" by training and attempting to try out for a Minor League Baseball team (The Somerset Patriots), along with tales of baseball folklore from other musicians such as Joan Jett, Gene Simmons, and Bruce Springsteen.[7]

DiNizio also released a print and an audio book, Confessions Of A Rock Star, and continued to perform both solo acoustic shows and with The Smithereens.[citation needed] From November 2011 to June 2012, DiNizio presented a condensed, live adaptation of the book (with storytelling and full band accompaniment) in nightly performances at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.[2] Through September of 2017, he toured nationally with The Smithereens and performed in venues near his home with his local band, The Scotchplainsmen.


DiNizio died in Summit, New Jersey, on December 12, 2017, at the age of 62. According to bandmates, his health declined following a series of issues that began in 2015 after a pair of falls which resulted in nerve damage that limited the use of his right hand and arm.[3][8]


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Best of Pat DiNizio, 2015 (Airline Records)



  • Singles (1992), actor
  • Mr. Smithereen Goes to Washington (2001), actor
  • King Leisure S.O.B. (2004), writer/director/actor
  • Dead Horse (2004), actor/producer/composer




  1. ^ Cahillane, Kevin (October 10, 2004). "Not Fade Away: The Smithereens' Monument to Persistence". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b "Pat DiNizio". Confessions of a Rock Star. Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Slotnik, Daniel E. (December 13, 2017). "Pat DiNizio, Singer and Songwriter for the Smithereens, Dies at 62". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ 242 Productions, Inc,; accessed October 12, 2016.
  5. ^ Pat DiNizio - Living Room Concerts Archived October 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.,; accessed October 12, 2016.
  6. ^ Independent Music Awards - Past Judges Archived July 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ a b "NUVO News | Indianapolis, IN". Retrieved 2016-10-13. 
  8. ^ Morris, Chris (December 12, 2017). "Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens Dies at 62". Variety. Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017. 

External links[edit]