Pat DiNizio, singer/songwriter/guitarist/founder of The Smithereens, has passed away. He was 62.

Pat Dinizio with Tom Cunningham on the 10th anniversary of the Bruce Brunch
Pat Dinizio with Tom Cunningham on the 10th anniversary of the Bruce Brunch (Townsquare Media NJ)
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This was not news I was prepared to see first thing in the morning when I got on Facebook.

I effing LOVE The Smithereens. I've always thought they were a severely underrated band, from both the Jersey standpoint and a national one. I've seen them perform a few times, and I've seen Pat do solo shows even more. He joined the Hawk for our "Acoustic Christmas" show years ago at the Headliner in Neptune, he was a part of one of our old Wingstock shows, I saw him do a benefit for a friend of mine at Asbury Lanes, I even spent my birthday watching him do his "Confessions of a Rock Star" show in Asbury Park three years ago. I voted for the man when he ran for Senate in 2000.

DiNizio had been in declining health since a fall at his Scotch Plains home left him with nerve damage. He was still performing, however, and his death came as a shock, at least to me.

Pat DiNizio was really one of the nicest, kindest, most passionate rockstar/celebrities I've ever met.

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