Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It's Music By People I Actually Know Week!: Part II -- Special It Came From Jersey! Edition

From last Saturday night, at the fabulous Count Basie Theater in glorious Red Bank, New Jersey -- please enjoy Robin Wilson (lead singer of the Gin Blossoms) fronting the surviving members of The Smithereens in a fabulous performance of the 'Reens breakthrough hit "Blood and Roses."

This, of course, is from the official streamed version of a concert in memory of the 'Reens great frontman/songwriter/hero of mine Pat DiNizio. Hopefully the rest of the show -- which featured performances by Marshall Crenshaw, Steve Van Zandt, and Freedy Johnston, among other worthies -- will be up on YouTube shortly. Or somewhere else officially.

I watched the whole thing at home in real time, and trust me -- it was fricking fabulous.

I should add that the guys have established a music scholarship program in memory of Pat (which I think he would have loved). And you can find out more info about it (including a link where you can contribute) over HERE.


Jai Guru Dave said...

Is that the original bassist? What has he been doing all these years he was away from the band? His skills have obviously not atrophied, so he must still be playing. Why did he leave anyway?

steve simels said...

Yes, original bassist. Don’t know why he ever left; however, in the early 90s he was in a fabulous band with Dion DiMuci called The Little Kings, who are well worth checking out.

MJConroy said...

I went to Saturday's show. Great show, but uneven vocal performances, as to be expected. The Smithereens rocked as usual. IMHO the best vocals were from Robin Wilson(he obviously took the time to study the songs ahead of time, unlike some who seemed to not know the lyrics except for reading the teleprompter - looking at you Little Steven!) and Kenny Howes (sometimes fill-in 'reens bassist and a power popper in his own right) who put his all into Drown in My Own Tears, complete with an intro lifted from the video for the song.

The full show is online at www.countbasietheatre.org/dinizio/
although it is not obvious you have to click on the picture to start it, or that the show doesn't start till about the 58 minute mark.

Mike Mesaros left the band as he relocated to San Francisco area to raise his kids. He reunited with them for the memorial concert for Jim Babjak's wife (I was at that show too) and has done a few others since.

Plans were afoot for a new album with Mike, sadly that will not happen now.

MJConroy said...

“Time and Time Again: A Celebration of the Life of Pat DiNizio”, took place at the Count Basie Theatre in NJ on Jan. 13, 2018. The Smithereens were joined by Ed Stasium, Stevie Van Zandt, Marshall Crenshaw, Dave Davies, Robin Wilson and many more. The show was also streamed live and can be viewed at countbasietheatre.org/dinizio/.

The Smithereens performing with Stevie Van Zandt at Time and Time Again

A big thank you from The Smithereens regarding “Time and Time Again: A Celebration of Pat DiNizio”

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for helping to turn sadness into joy. While we will forever miss Pat, the love we felt – from the audience at the Count Basie Theatre and all the comments from the live stream – assured us that his spirit will live on.

We’d like to thank Little Steven for giving us the opportunity to celebrate Pat’s life, the entire backstage crew, and all of the guest artists who contributed their passionate renditions of The Smithereens’ songs: Richard Barone, Bebe Buell, Andy Burton, Marshall Crenshaw, Ken Dashow, Dave Davies, The Grip Weeds (Kristin Pinell Reil, Kurt Reil, Rick Reil,) Kenny Howes, Freedy Johnston, John Jorgenson, Severo Jornacion, Lenny Kaye, Ted Leo, Graham Maby, Kenny Margolis, Jim Monaghan, Tony Shanahan, Ed Stasium, Keith Streng, Steven Van Zandt, Robin Wilson, Peter Zaremba, Zou Zou.

We’d also like to thank Patty Smyth and Scandal for their performance. A very special thank you to the White Castle corporation for their generous donation of $10,000 to the Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship fund and as a special bonus, for treating our audience to 500 cheeseburgers as a late night snack!

To be continued… Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, Mike Mesaros

Pat Dinizio Tribute Film
Produced by John Rokosny, edited by Patty Schumann

Archived recording of the show from the Count Basie Theatre
Patty Smyth and Scandal perform first beginning at 55 minutes in. The Smithereens and special guests begin at 2:05 and ends at 5:35 – a full 3-1/2 hours of music!!!

Time and Time Again Video

Set list
“Sorry”- Little Steven Van Zandt
“Only A Memory”- Richard Barone
“Blues Before And After”- Robin Wilson
“Green Thoughts”- Robin Wilson
“Strangers” [The Kinks]- Dave Davies
“Baby Be Good”- ZouZou Mansour
“Now And Then”- The Grip Weeds
“Drown In My Own Tears”- Kenny Howes
Ed Stasium comments [Bristols story]
“Behind The Wall Of Sleep”- Robin Wilson
“All Things Must Pass” [George Harrison]- John Jorgenson w/The Grip Weeds & Richard Barone
“Even If I Never Get Back Home”- Marshall Crenshaw
“Well, All Right” [Buddy Holly]- Marshall Crenshaw
“Strangers When We Meet”- Marshall Crenshaw
“Cut Flowers”- Richard Barone
“Blue Period”- Jim Monaghan & Kenny Howes
“Life Is So Beautiful”- Jim Babjak
“Cigarette”- Freedy Johnston
“In A Lonely Place”- Freedy Johnston
“Especially For You”- Ted Leo
“Miles From Nowhere”- Ted Leo
Dennis Diken comments
“I Don’t Wanna Lose You”- Dennis Diken
“Top Of The Pops” -Bebe Buell
“War For My Mind”- Mike Mesaros [Severo bass]
“Please Please Me” [Beatles]- Graham Maby
“She’s Got A Way”- Lenny Kaye & Tony Shanahan
“One Look At You”- The Grip Weeds [Severo bass]
“Nobody Lives Forever- Freedy Johnston [Severo bass]
“House We Used To Live In”- Severo Jornacion
“Sparks” [The Who]- The Smitheereens
“Time And Time Again”- Peter Zaremba & Keith Streng
“Blood And Roses”- Robin Wilson

“White Castle Blues”- The Smithereens
“A Girl Like You”- Little Steven Van Zandt w/ ZouZou Mansour

MJConroy said...

Just found this out: Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms found out he was performing "Blood and Roses" less than an hour before showtime, no rehearsal of it.

Billy B said...

The Gin Blossoms guy sang it nicely. Babjak's guitar work has always been exceptional. I seem to remember DiNizio playing some pretty cool solos himself.