The Smithereens are a rock band from Carteret, New Jersey, United States. The group formed in 1980 with members Pat DiNizio (vocals & guitar), Jim Babjak (guitar & vocals), Mike Mesaros (bass guitar & vocals), and Dennis Diken (drums & percussion). This lineup continued until 2006, when Mesaros left the band and Severo Jornacion took over on bass guitar.
The Smithereens have collaborated with numerous musicians, both in the studio (Suzanne Vega and Belinda Carlisle) and live (Graham Parker and The Kinks). 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 power pop. The group gained 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. "Blood and Roses" was also featured on the 1980s TV show Miami Vice during the episode 'The Savage' (first aired February 6, 1987).
Belinda Jo Carlisle (born August 17, 1958) is an American singer who gained worldwide fame as the lead vocalist of the Go-Go's, one of the most successful all-female bands of all time. Topping the Billboard charts with the Go-Go's, she sold more than seven million albums in just three years and later went on to a successful solo career with hits "Mad About You", "Summer Rain", "I Get Weak", "Circle in the Sand", "Leave a Light On" and "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" among others, which were major successes in the United States and United Kingdom as well as internationally. Her autobiography, Lips Unsealed, published in June 2010, reached No. 27 on the The New York Times Best Seller list and received favorable reviews. On August 11, 2011, she received, as a member of the Go-Go's, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In the late autumn of 1990, the Go-Go's reunited for a tour to support their first best-of album, Greatest, including a new recording of the cover song "Cool Jerk" (Go-Go's original cover was featured on their 1980 European EP, with a second version being released in 1982). A notable feature of the tour was an anti-fur campaign, where the band members supported People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA, an animal rights organization. That same year, Carlisle joined with The Smithereens lead singer Pat Dinizio on his group's ballad "Blue Period" and also performed backing vocals on Then Jerico's album The Big Area on the track "What Does It Take?".