October 29, 2016 marked a very special night for the Smithereens, their fans, family and friends, as all four original members played together again for the first time in over a decade to honor the memory of the late Betty Babjak. Bassist Mike Mesaros joined his former bandmates to play a set that included their first album “Especially for You”.
Also on the bill was Buzzed Meg, Jim Babjak’s side project (with Dennis Diken, Kurt Reil and Kristin Pinell of The Grip Weeds, and Vince Grogan) as well as Snow Blind featuring Tommy Babjak on drums. The event was held at the Hungarian-American Citizens Club in Woodbridge NJ, where Jim and Betty Babjak frequented when they first dated. Proceeds from the show went to benefit the Babjak family as and The Betty Babjak Memorial Fund to establish a scholarship for Rutgers students who have lost a parent to pancreatic cancer.
Thanks to all the fans who came as well as everyone who participated in making the event possible. Please visit the Smithereens Official Facebook Group for Band for fan photos and videos. Much love to all of you from the Smithereens.
by Chris Jordan, Asbury Park News
November 1, 2016
It was an evening of spontaneity and emotion. Fans shook hands and hugged each other and band members embraced fans throughout the night.
by Jay Lustig, New Jersey Arts
October 30, 2016
“The show had so much meaning, on so many different levels, that Babjak’s voice sometimes quivered with emotion when he spoke, and when it came time to say his final thanks and goodbyes, DiNizio broke down in tears.”