Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


From Me To You: A package from Smithereens frontman Pat DiNizio

They say that you always remember your first....

For me, one of the first bands that I met as a young impressionable youth, was The Smithereens.

As a regular reader of ATV, you'll know that I've certainly put a few posts up on the site in regards to my favorite bunch of New Jersey gents, forever "behind the wall of sleep."

I was hanging out with the band, behind the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH on a warm summer evening in the early 90's, and my friend and I talked about many things with all four members of The Smithereens for nearly an hour, as if we were old friends. They made quite an impression on this particular music fan, not yet jaded by the experience of meeting bands and "celebrities." I still believed.

The Smithereens have built this kind of relationship with their fans over the years, which is why I'm never surprised to see a hand addressed package show up in my mailbox from Scotch Plains, NJ, marked with lead singer Pat DiNizio's home address in the top left hand corner.

Don't get me wrong, we're not pen pals - it's just another batch of Smithereens/DiNizio collectibles to arrive in my household, dispatched directly by DiNizio, a one man operation right down to handling processing of mail orders from his fans, placed at his website.

DiNizio recently wrapped up nearly 140 shows in six months, combining Smithereens dates with the latest installment of his popular Living Room Tour series. Each night, DiNizio brought the rock to Smithereens fans in their homes, while driving alone 300 miles or more during the day traveling from city to city for the shows.

That's the definition of "workin' it," folks.

To celebrate, DiNizio offered up a special $20 end of tour package giving Smithereens fans a choice of several DiNizio and 'Reens items - mix and match, rock and roll! There are still a few of the sets left, and you can get your hands on those right here.

All sets come with a tour t-shirt, tour poster, Pat DiNizio documentary CD/DVD combo, and your choice of an autographed copy of either The Smithereens Play Tommy, or DiNizio's Buddy Holly tribute disc, personally autographed for you.


Since I already had the Tommy disc, I opted for the Buddy Holly disc, which after a couple of listens, might be my favorite out of all of the recent DiNizio/Smithereens tribute projects.

DiNizio shared an update on the DVD companion to last year's Live in Concert CD release - a release is now planned for this fall, and the band (Pat, Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken) have recorded a commentary track for the DVD. That's music to my geeky commentary track loving ears!

Pat also says that the band will finally enter the studio within the next month to begin pre-production on the long-promised new studio album from The Smithereens!!

Producer Kurt Reil has been behind the boards for all of the DiNizio/Smithereens recording in the past few years, and will be a good and very capable set of ears in the studio once the 'Reens are ready to record.

A January 2010 release is planned for the new album, and I've got my fingers crossed that Reil and the band will emerge from the House of Vibes studio with another classic 'Reens release.

For now, mark your calendar for the annual birthday/Halloween fan jam at DiNizio's house in Scotch Plains, scheduled for October 8th-October 11th.

Among the planned activities for the weekend: DiNizio will celebrate John Lennon's 69th birthday on the 9th by performing an entire Lennon solo album to be chosen by the fans, additional Lennon Beatles favorites, and plenty of Smithereens songs by request.

How do you follow that? How about an entire performance of the Beatles "White Album" in sequence for the next night?

Get the complete lowdown on the entire weekend here. I swear to God, this might be the year that I finally make the trip!

Closer to home, Pat DiNizio is booked for a solo Cleveland date at the Beachland Ballroom on Saturday, November 7th. Tix are $20 in advance, and should be available online soon via the Beachland's website.

  • sheva g

    Very nice piece! My bundle of goodies came a few days ago. Take it from me – you should definitely make this the year you come to Scotch Plains. Seeing Pat play in his living room is the ultimate experience for any Smithereens fan, not to be missed and never forgotten!

  • Layla

    Very cool story!

  • kevin

    Don’t know if I can make Scotch Plains but the Beachland is certainly on the calendar! Always good to see new rumblings from the Smithereens.

  • Michael

    Hey Matt-
    Nice blog!
    I am a Lakewood High School graduate – now live in the DC area.
    I make it to Pat’s October house concert each year!

    And speaking of The Beachland – Have you seen this?:

  • donpattison

    Hi Please profile the Pat Dinizio/Freedy Johnston show and I am hoping this will be ADV's pick of the week. thanks for your nice review of Cracker!
    Don Pattison
    DAP Productions

  • donpattison

    Hi Please profile the Pat Dinizio/Freedy Johnston show and I am hoping this will be ADV's pick of the week. thanks for your nice review of Cracker!
    Don Pattison
    DAP Productions