A Smithereen recalls The Passaic Book Center   Leave a comment

Well folks, I attended the fantastic Smithereens concert this past Friday evening

on the Rockin’ The River Cruise series in Manhattan, and afterwards

was privileged to get on the autograph meet-and-greet line for the band,

and got a bunch of CDs signed as well as my new Smithereens 2011

tour t-shirt by drummer Dennis Diken, in that instance, and I asked

him if any of those guys remembered The Passaic Book Center,

given that the whole band, including original bassist Mike Mesaros (who

left later and was replaced by Jornacion the eponymous “Thrilla From Manila” who

hails from L.A. originally–spoke to him too and he was a super nice

guy, as were all of the band) almost grew up in Carteret, New Jersey,

it was a total shot in the dark, but indeed, to my amazement,

or not, Dennis Diken the band’s drummer since day one for 33 years,

told me that he not only recalled the fabled The Passaic Book Center

with great fondness, but spent a lot of time going there

even going back to about 1968 or so!!   He also readily

agreed that once it moved later to Montclair, N.J., as I’d

mentioned recently on this very blog, it was just never,

ever, the same and I related to him how I’d gone out

there last year and that I was fairly disappointed in the

book selection, etc.  I told him a tiny bit

about my dad having lived right down the street

from the place and all that, and how it was just

blind luck, really, that that had been the case

but of course this was in the early 1980s in my case,

just about the time the Smithereens were starting

to get the band going, more or less.

So there you are, the word on how

great the Passaic Book Center once was, straight

from one of New Jersey’s most accomplished and

famous sons!   Thanks Dennis! and thanks again

to all of The Smithereens for an ass-kicking show

this past Friday night on the boat, it was a good and

loud, sweaty, raucous night of bracing rock music

as only The Smithereens can deliver.   So even

the mighty Smithereens have weighed in on

how we’ve lost some treasures like the Passaic

Book Center in the past 25 years or so.  So sad!

But at least The Smithereens are still around

and haven’t lost their integrity and are still

going strong after 33 years, for goodness’ sake.

I’ve been a major fan of theirs since at least

1985 and their first album produced by

R.E.M. producer Don Dixon, the album

was Especially For You, the one that

put them over the top on alternative

rock radio and college radio charts,

still one of my favorite albums of all time,

and it was a great thrill to get my CD

copy signed this past Friday night!!


























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