Pat DiNizio, lead singer of rock band Smithereens, dead at 62

SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. -- Lead singer and songwriter of the New Jersey rock band Smithereens, Pat DiNizio, has died at age 62.

The band announced on Facebook that DiNizio died Tuesday. The cause of death was not announced.

DiNizio posted several days ago that he was hopeful of getting back on tour as he continued physical therapy for neck and back injuries at the Victorian farmhouse he was restoring in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. 

Band members said their "journey with Pat was long, storied and a hell of a lot of fun." DiNizio and Carteret High School classmates guitarist Jim Babjak, bassist Mike Mesaros and drummer Dennis Diken formed formed the Smithereens in 1980. 

"Pat had the magic touch," the band wrote early Wednesday. "He channeled the essence of joy and heartbreak into hook-laden three minute pop songs, infused with a lifelong passion for rock & roll."

A message from Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros: Today we mourn the loss of our friend, brother and bandmate...

Posted by The Smithereens on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The band's 1986 "Blood and Roses" was featured in the movie "dangerously Close."

Other hits included "A Girl Like You."

Several musicians reacted to DiNizio's death, including R.E.M.'s Mike Mills.