By Diane DiMemmo

October 17, 2019

Untitled photo

New Jersey rock sensations - The Smithereens - have been pumping out energetic, dynamic music and entertaining their adoring fan base since 1980. Founding members Jim Babjak (guitar), Dennis Diken (drums), Mike Mesaros (bass), and the late Pat DiNizio (lead vocalist) stayed together as a band since their high school years … something that’s unheard of today. Since DiNizio’s devastating and untimely passing in 2017… the remaining members have decided to keep pushing forward; in large part, to continue honoring Pat’s legacy and contributions to the music industry. The band now performs with rotating guest vocalists, including longtime friend Marshall Crenshaw and Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms, among others. Rock fans from all over the world are “over-the-moon” ecstatic that they can still see this iconic group perform.

Over the last 39+ years, The Smithereens built a successful career on relentless touring throughout the tri-state area, TV and commercial appearances, song contributions to movie soundtracks, and even a movie appearance in Class of Nuke'em High! They have performed 2500+ live shows and produced seventeen albums, with 5 million copies sold. Their recent 2018 release of COVERS features 22 of the bands’ favorite songs that were first recorded by other artists. Generations of musicians have credited The Smithereens as a musical influence, including the late Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. And they have toured with the likes of Tom Petty, Squeeze, The Pretenders, Lou Reed, the Ramones, and many others. 

In addition to all of their accomplishments, the band members have also contributed their talents and helped raise funds and awareness to a wide range of charities, including families of 9/11, homeless shelters, community food banks, HIV/AIDS, pediatric cancer, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, Parkinsons and Light of Day, the Betty Babjak Memorial Scholarship Fund at Rutgers University, and the Pat DiNizio Music Performance Scholarship at the Count Basie Center for the Performing Arts.

In honor of The Smithereens’ illustrious career and monumental contibutions to rock music, Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, Mike Mesaros, and the late Pat DiNizio, are being honored by their home state and will be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame (Class of 2018) in the “Performing Arts” category at The Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey on October 27th. The Stone Pony will host a celebration the night before, featuring The Smithereens in an historic performance which will include Marshall Crenshaw.

A forty-year career for a rock band is an extraordinary feat in today’s world! What’s even more impressive is that The Smithereens don’t seem at all ready to slow it down … much to their fans’ delight!

Asbury Park Vibes

ASBURY PARK VIBES is a media outlet dedicated to shining a light on the music scene at the Jersey Shore and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S.! We strive to provide show reviews and photographs that capture the true essence and fan experience of each concert. Our coverage focuses keenly on the artists and venues in legendary Asbury Park, New Jersey, however you'll also catch us promoting events in PA and NY as well!

There is nothing better than the dynamic energy and vibes you feel when you experience a concert at the Jersey Shore! We're sure we'll see you at a concert here very soon!

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In