Smithereens’ Babjak on NJ Hall of Fame: ‘DiNizio would love this’
The Smithereens induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame makes the second HOF for Jim Babjak. The guitarist is also a member of the White Castle Hall of Fame.
"I wrote a song called 'White Castle Blues' back in the 70's and it ended up on our first album as a bonus track," Babjak said. "For CD's because CD's weren't selling as much as vinyl at the time. But then CD's became the norm and it stayed on there, the song. The people at White Castle...they loved it. They put us on their timeline, on the website. My friend in high school Bob Banta, we wrote the song together and we both got inducted."
But there's nothing like the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
"It's just really great to be recognized by your home state." Babjak said. "I'm a life long New Jerseyan, I could've lived anywhere you know after the band got signed, but I love New Jersey."
How would have lead singer the late Pat DiNizio have felt?
"You know, he would love it," Babjack said. "He loved this sort of stuff...we didn't do this to be rockstars or anything, we truly have a passion for this."
Babjak reflected on the bands best "Jersey" moment.
"They [WNEW] had us play on the boardwalk, not on the boardwalk, on the beach, for a couple of times like three times," Babjak said. "And there was like 20,000 people out there, and then we would go play the Stone Pony that night. And sell it out over capacity and it was just a great time."
The tour they're embarking on now with includes Marshall Crenshaw and Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms splitting the vocals.
The 11th annual induction ceremony for the New Jersey Hall of Fame will be held Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, at the Paramount Theatre on the famed Jersey Shore boardwalk.
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