Fans can lobby for Smithereens to be included in NJ Hall of Fame


The Smithereens, in a vintage publicity shot (from left, Pat DiNizio, Jim Babjak, Mike Mesaros and Dennis Diken).

It was no surprise when The Smithereens were not included in the list of 2018 New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees, announced yesterday. They were not nominated, after all. But what are their chances of getting in next year?

It’s hard to say. But fans can do something, to help the cause. The hall asks state residents to recommend nominees, at

There’s no guarantee, of course, that if Smithereens fans by the thousands recommend them, it will make a difference. But it couldn’t hurt.

In other Smithereens news …

Scotch Plains township manager Alexander Mirabella tells that the late Pat DiNizio’s hometown is “definitely” going to honor him in some way, but he wasn’t sure if that is going to take the form of a street renaming, a plaque, a memorial service or something else.

In response to this news, Smithereens members Jim Babjak and Dennis Diken put out a joint statement saying: “The Smithereens support and applaud the grassroots effort by our fans to have a street in Scotch Plains, NJ, renamed in honor of the late Pat DiNizio, our dear friend, brother, and bandmate in The Smithereens. He was always a proud resident of his hometown and lived there until his passing. Such a tribute will be well deserved.”

The Feb. 3 DiNizio tribute at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick — featuring Babjak, The Grip Weeds and others — is sold out. Also, Diken has been added to the show. Diken posted on Facebook, yesterday: “looking forward to sitting in with my pals at the Court this Saturday. happily, I was able to move a gig to make the scene. I’m loving all the love for Pat.”

Members of DiNizio’s side band The Scotch Plainsmen will pay tribute to him at Crossroads in Garwood, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m., with proceeds going to DiNizio’s mothers. For information, visit

Diken will play drums at the just-announced show by Dave Davies of The Kinks at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, April 7.

Babjak and Diken, along with Marshall Crenshaw and Graham Maby, taped a musical tribute to DiNizio that will be included in “Lest We Forget,” a PBS show about notable musicians who died in 2017. It will air at some point in the spring.

DiNizio was honored in the “In Memoriam” segment of this year’s Grammy, last weekend. The mention can be seen at the 9 second mark of this clip:

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