I'm in shock. I interviewed Pat several times and also had the chance to meet him and chat with him after a performance at the Coach House. Click here to read my feature story on Pat that I wrote in connection with his full-length Buddy Holly tribute in 2009.Click here to read my review of his solo show at the legendary Coach House staged on Feb. 18, 2010.
I'll never forget one of the first times I saw the Smithereens back in the 1980s, I was standing near the Coach House stage and Pat saw me wearing something with the band's name. He motioned at me and threw me a guitar pic. A cool guy and great artist...
Robert Kinsler (Dec. 13, 2017)
LIGHT OF DAY FOUNDATION MOURNS THE LOSS
OF ‘FAMILY’ MEMBER PAT DiNIZIO of THE SMITHEREENS
|Pat DiNizio performing at The Coach House|
in San Juan Capistrano, CA in Feb. 18, 2010.
Photo: Robert Kinsler
ASBURY PARK, NJ (Dec. 13, 2017) – The Light of Day Foundation today mourns the loss of one of its own, Pat DiNizio of legendary New Jersey power-pop band The Smithereens, as the charity organization prepares to launch its annual Light of Day WinterFest without his participation for the first time since he came aboard in 2015.
WinterFest is the primary fundraiser for the Foundation, now in its 18th year of raising money and awareness through the awesome power of music in order to defeat Parkinson’s Disease and the Parkinsonisms, ALS and PSP, in our lifetime. DiNizio, vocalist-guitarist-songwriter for the Smithereens who died yesterday, performed twice at WinterFest as a solo acoustic artist, and in January 2016, with the Smithereens as headliners of “Bob’s Birthday Bash,” the marquee event of the 10-day charity festival. The next WinterFest will be held Jan. 5-15.
“Pat was a powerful vocalist with one of the most distinctive voices in rock, a brilliant songwriter, a great cook, a proud Italian, a lover of America’s favorite pastime and the and most importantly, a sweet and bright human being,” said Tony Pallagrosi, Light of Day Foundation executive director. “Once he started working with us, he was here to stay. This is a tremendous loss to the Light of Day family, and the music community overall.”
The Smithereens headlined at WinterFest’s “Sweet Little 16” to kick off a yearlong 30th anniversary of the release of its multi-platinum major label debut, Especially For You. To mark the occasion, the band highlighted their jazzy baroque stylings by adding horn and string sections to the presentation.
“I played Light of Day for the first time last year as a solo acoustic act and it was one of my most memorable performing experiences in that I’ve seldom seen an audience that responsive to virtually every performer,” said DiNizio in anticipation of the 2016 Smithereens show. “It was simply electric.
“We’re honored that we’re headlining WinterFest. It’s some sort of acknowledgement that what we did over the past 35 years as a rock ‘n’ roll band from New Jersey meant something, and that it had some sort of impact on a lot of people who love rock ‘n’ roll.
“Parkinson’s disease could happen to anybody at any time. We know people and have supporters of the band who are stricken with this disease who come to the shows. Obviously, we have a lot of empathy for anyone who’s suffering. This is one of the good events for a good charitable cause.”
ABOUT THE LIGHT OF DAY FOUNDATION
The Light of Day Foundation, Inc., utilizes the awesome power of music to raise money and awareness in its continuing battle to defeat Parkinson’s disease and related neuro-degenerative diseases, specifically Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), within our lifetime. The Foundation’s mission is to fund research into possible cures, improved treatments and support for patients who suffer from those diseases, their families and their caregivers to help improve their quality of life. Gifts to the Light of Day Foundation, Inc. are tax-deductible to the full extent of the Internal Revenue Code. The Light of Day Foundation, Inc. is designated by the IRS as a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization. The Light of Day Foundation, Inc.'s Federal ID # is 20-1560386. Light of Day - the concerts and the organization - grew from a birthday party and fund-raiser held in 1998 at the Downtown Cafe in Red Bank to celebrate the 40th birthday of artist manager and music industry veteran Bob Benjamin, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1996. More info at www.lightofday.org.