Sad news for alternative rock music fans. According to Newsday, Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the Smithereens died yesterday at 62 years old. The cause of death has not yet been announced.

Pat was definitely one of my unsung musical heroes. The Smithereens possessed their own unmistakable sound and though they only had two Top 40 hits, "Girl Like You" and "Too Much Passion", they had a vast catalog of great songs.

One of those songs, as a matter of fact, started me on a passionate search. Allow me to explain. Back in the 80's, I was a fan of a certain pastel colored television show that I simply HAD to watch every week. That show was "Miami Vice"(don't judge). If you were a Vice-aholic as I was, you know that rock music was featured pretty heavily on the show. A lot of times, music was just part of the background ambiance, but on many occasions, it was used effectively to set up(or carry) a scene.

I remember one episode where a particular song was used very well to match the scene. I just had to find out what that song was and the only thing I knew was that the chorus featured the line "...blood and roses..." That's it--that's all I had to go on. Keep in mind that this was before the internet, so no help there. AND they never listed songs in the credits, either. At least, not then.

So I proceeded to bug fellow music freaks and local DJ's(who never hung up on me, thank you) for a year or so and I finally found out that song was indeed "Blood & Roses" by the Smithereens. A favorite of mine to this day. Thanks for the musical memories Pat. You will be missed.