DiNizio in 2009
|Birth name||Patrick Michael DiNizio|
|Born||October 12, 1955|
Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||December 12, 2017 (aged 62)|
Summit, New Jersey, U.S.
|Genres||Rock, power pop|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, actor, film producer, politician|
|Instruments||Guitar, harmonica, vocals|
|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.
Life and career
DiNizio was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and grew up in nearby Scotch Plains. 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). An expanded 2-CD version of This is Pat DiNizio was issued in 2012.
DiNizio was a trash hauler, working for his father, while trying to break into the music business. He has cited his influences as Buddy Holly and 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. He finished 4th with 19,312 votes (0.64%). The campaign was chronicled in the 2001 documentary film Mr. Smithereen Goes to Washington.
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. The tour was a success, and he later occasionally performed similar concerts for a nominal fee.
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. He was also an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards' judging panel to support independent artists.
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.
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. 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. Through September 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.
Awards and Honors
• On June 7, 1990, The Smithereens' recording Smithereens 11 was certified gold (500,000 copies sold) by the RIAA.
• On November 17, 2015, he was inducted into the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Hall of Fame.
• On April 18, 2018, the township of Scotch Plains ceremonially named the street near his former home "Pat DiNizio Way".
• On January 18, 2019, he was inducted as an "Asbury Angel" at the 19th annual Light of Day Winterfest in Asbury Park, NJ.
- Songs and Sounds, 1997 (Velvel Records)
- This is Pat DiNizio, 2006 (Fuel 2000)
- Pat DiNizio, 2007 (East West Records)
- Pat DiNizio/Buddy Holly, 2009 (Koch Records)
- The Best of Pat DiNizio, 2015 (Airline Records)
- Acoustic Aid, 1992 (Kome 98.5, Oxymoron P & D Inc) – "Blood and Roses" (Recorded live in New York City as broadacst on KOME, December 1990)
- Piss & Vinegar - The Songs of Graham Parker, 1996 (Buy Or Die Records) – "Local Girls" and "That's What They All Say" ("Local Girls" performed with Frank Black and Gary Lucas)
- Who's Not Forgotten - FDR's Tribute to The Who, 2003 (Face Down Records) – "Behind Blue Eyes"
- 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
- Space Ghost: Coast to Coast (1996, Cartoon Network), as himself
- 7th Inning Stretch (2006, ESPN2), actor/director/writer/producer
- Meth, Clifford Lawrence (2003). Wearing the Horns. Foreword by Pat DiNizio. Aardwolf Publishing. ASIN B007AHL18Q.
- Milano, Brett (2003). Vinyl Junkies. Foreword by Pat DiNizio. St Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0312304270
- DiNizio, Pat (2009). Confessions Of A Rock Star.
- Cahillane, Kevin (October 10, 2004). "Not Fade Away: The Smithereens' Monument to Persistence". The New York Times.
- "Pat DiNizio". Confessions of a Rock Star. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- Slotnik, Daniel E. (December 13, 2017). "Pat DiNizio, Singer and Songwriter for the Smithereens, Dies at 62". The New York Times.
- 242 Productions, Inc, 242inc.com; accessed October 12, 2016.
- Pat DiNizio - Living Room Concerts Archived October 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, patdinizio.com; accessed October 12, 2016.
- XM Program Team Grows, www.radioworld.com; accessed February 20, 2019.
- Independent Music Awards - Past Judges Archived July 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "NUVO News | Indianapolis, IN". Nuvo.net. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
- 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.
- "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
- "Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS Hall of Fame Inducts Eight New Members". TAPinto. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
- "Scotch Plains Unveils Pat DiNizio Way in Honor of Local Music Legend". TAPinto. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
- Desk, BWW News. "Asbury Angels Induction Show Starring The Ventures, The Weeklings, More, Fri. 1/18 at Stone Pony". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2019-01-18.