What to Know About 'The Smithereens' Before Their Providence Show; An Interview with Marshall Crenshaw
In December of 2017, a big blown was dealt to rock fans everywhere with the passing of Smithereens founder and lead singer Pat DiNizio. While Smithereens fans were, and are, deeply saddened by Pat's passing, they overwhelmingly wanted the band to continue. Fast-forward to today, and the remaining original members of The Smithereens: Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros currently out on tour with singer-songwriter Marshall Crenshaw, who is sitting in as the band’s guest vocalist.
I spoke with the singer prior to the band's stop in Rhode Island:
Tony Jones: What can folks who attend the upcoming gig expect, as far as material, is it strictly Smithereens tunes?
Marshall Crenshaw: Yes, Smithereens Only. I do my stuff at my shows; this is their show. It’s fun for me to play in their band..
TJ: Your association with The Smithereens goes way back, tell us about that?
MC: I have known the guys since forever, played a little bit on their first album. At Pat’s memorial back in January it felt like a giant family-reunion. I sat in with the band for 3 songs that night; a little while after that they reached out to me about doing what we’re doing now.
TJ: Are there any plans for you to record new music with The Smithereens?
MC: Not that I know of.
TJ: What keeps bringing you back to touring?
MC: Playing music keeps my spirit intact. God knows what I would turn into if I stopped doing it. Maybe I will stop sometime but I’m not there yet.
TJ: How do you prepare for a tour?
MC: I don’t always prepare, actually. Sometimes I just show up at the first gig and wing it from there..
TJ: You and I both share a passion for independent radio, is there any chance that The Bottomless Pit will someday return to the airwaves?
MC: Ah, thanks for asking. The show went on hiatus in January so I could focus on a film production that I decided to attempt. Once I’ve completed that (unless I die trying), I’d like to do the show again, probably will.
TJ: What advice would you give to new and up-and-coming bands and musicians?
MC: Be yourself.
The Smithereens tour hits Rhode Island on Saturday, November 17th at The Greenwich Odeum. Tickets are available here
Donations to the Pat DiNizio Scholarship fund can made online here (Select “Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship” in the drop-down menu)
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