Smithereens 11: Guitarist Jim Babjak Breaks Down 11 Essential Smithereens Tracks
Guitar World's Damian Fanelli asked longtime Smithereens guitarist Jim Babjak to dissect 11 key songs from the band's impressive catalog.
Below, Babjak discusses the guitars and amps he and singer/guitarist Pat DiNizio used on "Blood and Roses," "Behind the Wall of Sleep" and "A Girl Like You" -- straight through to their recent single, 2011's "Sorry."
Babjak's descriptions also put the songs in context, providing an insider's view into what many still feel is New Jersey's greatest rock band.
From 2011 (2011, eOne Entertainment)
In October 2010, The Smithereens reunited with producer Don Dixon to record our latest album, 2011. It had been 16 years since we last worked with him on our 1994 RCA album, A Date With the Smithereens. We traveled down to North Carolina and recorded the basic tracks for 2011 at Mitch Easter's Fidelitorium studio.
I was told he had some vintage equipment I could use, so all I brought with me was my '52 reissue Telecaster. I played through something called a Carr Mercury amplifier. I'd never heard of it before, but I liked the sound, so I went with it for most of the basic tracks.
All the overdubs were done in [singer/guitarist] Pat [DiNizio]'s living room in January at his New Jersey home. I would come in at night and play through an amp simulator that Don Dixon had made himself. Pat's mom was sleeping in the next room, so I only heard myself through headphones. Pat used a Robert Johnson Gibson acoustic on the rhythm track, and I used the Telecaster throughout.
I'm proud to say that "Sorry" was included in Little Steven's Underground Garage's Top 10 as the coolest song of the year for 2011!