No one should be allowed to die this time of year. It’s just too sad. Of course, lots of people do die during the holiday season. Joe Cocker did. John Lennon was robbed of his life in December. My grandmother passed early in December some 20-odd years ago, and it will still go down as the most somber Christmas ever, even more so than last year’s muted celebration after Mom’s cancer diagnosis (but she’s doing okay right now). And let’s not forget all those people who’ve lost everything they had in the SoCal fires this month, with at least one death being directly related to the blazes. But I really hate just adding to the list of sadness this time of year. I want people to celebrate and be happy. To find joy in everything.
So my heart goes out to the friends and family of Smithereens lead singer Pat DiNizio, who passed yesterday at just 62. It’s gonna be a difficult holiday for them (whatever holiday they celebrate. . . I make no presumptions). I hope they can still take joy in knowing that he made a lot of people very happy with his special brand of Rock & Roll.
I like the Smithereens. They were one of the band’s I discovered watching MTV. Or maybe listening to the radio. It’s been long enough that I’m not sure either way. But either way, they were good. Solid. I’m not a big enough fan to need more than their greatest hits, but those songs make me pretty darn happy whenever I hear them. “Behind the Wall of Sleep” has long been my favorite of theirs, an ode to a beautiful bass-playing girl. The sound is chunky and fuzzy and utterly irresistable. As a teenager, this kind of music was all I needed to brighten my mood. Still is. Thanks, Pat.