The Smithereens are a rock band from Carteret, New Jersey. The group, formed in 1980, has consisted of Pat DiNizio (lead singer/guitar), Jim Babjak (guitar), Mike Mesaros (bass guitar), and Dennis Diken (drums) until 2006, when Mike parted ways with the band. Severo "The Thrilla" Jornacion currently fills his spot.
The Smithereens are known for writing and playing catchy 1960s-influenced power pop. The group gained some publicity when a single from its first album, "Blood and Roses", was included on the soundtrack for, and as the theme song of the 1986 Albert Pyun movie, Dangerously Close, and the video got some moderately heavy rotation on MTV. The group spent some time in its initial semi-celebrity phase defending itself in Rolling Stone against thinly-veiled accusations of sounding too much like The Byrds and The Beatles, pointing out that its Marshall Amplifier-heavy live sound was closer to heavy metal than it was to The Beatles. The Smithereens have always worn their inspirations proudly, but the band also influenced other musicians, most notably Kurt Cobain during the period he was writing Nevermind. Ironically, some feel the Smithereens (like many early 1990s bands) were hurt by the rise of grunge music.