SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — The Township of Scotch Plains is looking at several different ways to honor native son Pat DiNizio, the local music legend who rose to fame with his band, The Smithereens, during the 1980s.
DiNizio, who died unexpectedly on Dec. 12, was proud of his roots in the community and was a 2015 inductee into the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Hall of Fame (Class of 1973). His group, The Smithereens, featured DiNizio on vocals and guitar, Jim Babjak (guitar and vocals), Mike Mesaros (bass and vocals) and Dennis Diken (drums). The band was best known for the hit songs "Only a Memory" and “A Girl Like You,” which peaked at #38 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"There are a few ideas of things we can do, including possibly naming a street after him," said Township Manager Al Mirabella in an interview with TAPinto SPF. “Pat was a personal friend. He never missed an opportunity to say how proud he was of his home town of Scotch Plains."
DiNizio ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2000. In 2006, he starred with other rock stars including Joan Jett in the ESPN 2 special “7th Inning Stretch Baseball Meets Rock & Roll,” which highlighted his recovery from a life-threatening nervous disorder.