TRENTION, NJ -- Governor Phil Murphy has announced that The Smithereens will be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in the Performing Arts Category in the fall.
The Smithereens -- Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, Mike Mesaros, and the late Scotch Plains native Pat DiNizio -- will be inducted at the 11th annual ceremony to be held on Sunday, October 27, 2019, at the Paramount Theatre on the Asbury Park. The band had a string of modest hits in the 1980s, including Only a Memory (video link below), Blood and Roses, and A Girl Like You.
DiNizio, who was proud of his Scotch Plains roots, has been celebrated locally as an inductee into the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Hall of Fame. In 2018, shortly after his death, the Township honored him by naming a street after him. Mayor Al Smith and Township Manager Al Mirabella unveiled the sign marking Pat DiNizio Way at the intersection of Montague Avenue and Westfield Avenue in front of the musician's family home across from St. Bartholomew's Church.
"This is terrific news for The Smithereens, Pat DiNizio, and his beloved hometown of Scotch Plains," Al Mirabella said. "Pat was a true personal friend of mine and I always enjoyed his stories and the way he shared his love of New Jersey."
"Wherever in the world he was performing, he always talked about New Jersey," Mirabella added. "I miss him, but I’m happy to know that he’ll be inducted into the NJ Hall of Fame. I’m sure his mother, Antoinette Dinizio will be very proud of this prestigious honor."