Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens dies at age 62

The lead singer of the New Jersey band had been sidelined by recent health woes.
AP photo
AP photo
Published Dec. 13, 2017|Updated Dec. 13, 2017

Pat DiNizio, the lead singer/guitarist for '80s power rockers The Smithereens, passed away Tuesday, the band announced overnight. He was 62.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the influential New Jersey rock band, The Smithereens – America's Band," the band wrote on its Facebook page. "Pat was looking forward to getting back on the road and seeing his many fans and friends. Please keep Pat in your thoughts and prayers."

In recent years, DiNizio had suffered nerve damage after a series of falls. Earlier in 2017, another fall caused neck and back injuries and the band was forced to cancel a series of concerts, including a performance at the inaugural 80s in the Sand festival in the Dominican Republic.

Founded in New Jersey in 1980, The Smithereens found modest chart success in the late '80s and early '90s with tunes such as Blood and Roses, Only a Memory and A Girl Like You. The band broke up and reunited over the  years, with DiNizio always proclaiming a love for the music and the profession.

"I love it," DiNizio told the LA Times in 1990. "It beats picking up garbage, like I used to do. We're self-employed – beyond the fact that we get to do what we love for living."