“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 Tuesday. “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.”
DiNizio formed The Smithereens with Carteret High School classmates guitarist Jim Babjak, bassist Mike Mesaros and drummer Dennis Diken in 1980. The band had a number of hits including “Only a Memory” and “A Girl Like You.”
No cause of death was given, but DiNizio had some problems with his health in recent years. In 2015, he lost the use of his right hand and arm following a pair of falls.
The Smithereens canceled three tour dates earlier this year after DiNizio injured his back and neck in another fall.
DiNizio posted several days ago that he was continuing physical therapy from those injuries at the Victorian farmhouse he was restoring in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.
The band was set to start touring again in January.
Web Extra: Smithereens co-founder Jim Babjak shares his thoughts on DiNizio’s untimely death with WCBS 880.