Discriminating consumers of only the best in rock ‘n’ pop have long revered Dennis Diken as drummer with those rightfully legendary Smithereens. Yet did you know that in between making Jersey beat, Dennis has penned some of my all-time favorite liner notes (The Beach Boys’ Lost and Found collection, for example), hosted some of my favorite radio shows on mighty WFMU-FM, written on and about anything and everything from Otis Blackwell to Allen Funt, and even popped up recently in reverent celebration of Ringo Starr’s 69th birthday within the pages of USA Today ?
Now, having lived as I have in the New York City vicinity for nigh on twenty years, one cannot help but cross frequent musical paths with Dennis and his drums, accompanying Bill Lloyd one moment, Mary Weiss the next. But even all of the above totally failed to prepare me for the track which appeared circa 2001 in answer to my request for him to be part of a Gene Pitney tribute disc I was compiling: A wholly, perfectly roller-rink rendition of “Only Love Can Break A Heart” that featured Dennis on not only percussion, but vocals as well! Who knew?!!