Friday, April 6, 2012

Only A Memory

This week's edition of Retro Friday features the band The Smithereens, and the song "Only a Memory."

The Smithereens are a rock band from Carteret, New Jersey. The group began in 1980 with members Pat DiNizio on vocals & guitar, Jim Babjak on guitar & vocals, Mike Mesaros on bass guitar & vocals, and Dennis Diken on drums & percussion. This lineup continued until 2006, when Mesaros left the band and Severo Jornacion took over on bass guitar. The band's name comes from a Yosemite Sam catchphrase, "Varmint, I'm a-gonna blow you to smithereens!"

The Smithereens are known for writing and playing catchy 1960s-influenced music. The group gained publicity when a single from its first album, "Blood and Roses", was the theme song of the 1986 Albert Pyun movie, Dangerously Close, and the video got some moderately heavy rotation on MTV. "Blood and Roses" was also featured on the 1980s TV show Miami Vice during the episode 'The Savage' (first aired on February 6, 1987).

The group spent a good chunk of 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 on their sleeve, but the band also influenced other musicians, most notably Kurt Cobain during the period he was writing the album Nevermind. Ironically, it is thought that the Smithereens (like many early 1990s bands) were hurt by the rise of grunge.

Two of my favorite Smithereens songs are "Only a Memory" and "Blood and Roses". "Only a Memory" was on the Green Thoughts album ... the second album released by The Smithereens. "Only a Memory" only reached #92 on the Billboard Hot 100, but topped the Album Rock Tracks chart in 1988.

And now, some Smithereens for your listening pleasure!

"Only a Memory"

"Blood & Roses"

And a bonus track for this week ... "A Girl Like You"


1 comment:

  1. Another week and another excellent Retro Friday post. I really like your song(s) and band choice this week. Thanks for sharing.