SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith and Township Manager Al Mirabella unveiled the street 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. Bart's.
DiNizio, a proud Scotch Plains resident, fronted the late 1980s rock band The Smithereens, best known for a string of modest hits including Only a Memory, Blood and Roses, and A Girl Like You. The singer's Smithereens band mates, Jim Babjak and Severo Jornacion, attended the celebration of their friend's life and music. DiNizio's mother, Antoinette, members of the Scotch Plains Council and township officials were also on hand.
Babjak performed "Life Is So Beautiful" and read tributes to his late band mate, including on from DiNizio's daughter, Liza.
“My father revered his township of Scotch Plains. He missed no opportunity to quite literally sing hometown praises, from his childhood home on Front Street to his beloved ‘haunted mansion’ on Westfield Avenue. " - Pat DiNizio's daughter Liza
“If you walked away from Pat DiNizio, and you didn’t have a smile on your face, or a good memory, then that was your fault,” Mirabella said. “He was a terrific guy, and a good friend of mine. Many people here loved him as a person and as a musician.”
The local music legend died unexpectedly on December 12, 2017. On June 30, Scotch Plains will pay tribute to DiNizio with a pre-fireworks concert by The Scotch Plainsmen at the Scotch Hills Golf Course.