One Of Kurt Cobain’s Musical Heroes Has Died

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Pat DiNizio, a singer and songwriter who made popular rock songs as the leader of The Smithereens, died on Tuesday at age 62, his fellow band members say. No cause of death was provided. Cobain mentioned in his journals that The Smithereens album Especially for You was one of his favorite albums. He also mentioned that Nirvana was listening to the Beatles and Smithereens during the making of Nevermind.

“Today we mourn the loss of our friend, brother and bandmate Pat DiNizio,” said DiNizio’s fellow Smithereens Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros, in a Facebook posting that echoed one on Diken’s account.

The Smithereens and DiNizio had a string of hit songs that have persisted among rock fans, from “A Girl Like You” and “Behind The Wall Of Sleep” to “Only a Memory” and “Blood and Roses.”

“Pat had the magic touch,” DiNizio’s bandmates said. “He channeled the essence of joy and heartbreak into hook-laden three minute pop songs, infused with a lifelong passion for rock & roll.”

R.E.M.’s Mike Mills paid tribute to DiNizio on Twitter.