He's Pat Smear and he was born on August 5, 1959, so we could not resist writing a few words about this colorful and special guitarist!
He was born to an African American mother and a Jewish immigrant father from Germany, was educated in a religious school and then attended an alternative high school where he met Darby Crash and both were expelled from school very quickly.
Why is it important? Because in 1976 after they were both expelled from school they formed the band Germs which only at a later stage gained significant recognition as part of the development of punk rock in the US and became one of the most influential bands.
They released one album in 1979 called "GI" which some say is considered the first hard rock punk album but disbanded in 1980 after Crash committed suicide.
Not many know this but Pat appears in the video clip of the song "Raspberry Beret" by the musician Prince !! Look for him sitting there in a white suit on a blue stage with long hair.
After 13 years working on a number of different projects he got a call from Kurt Cobain, at first he did not believe that the band which is at the height of its success needed him, an "aging" guitarist (yet he is 10 years older than Nirvana members). But it was so and Cobain asked him to join the band as an accompanist on their tour.
His first appearance with Nirvana was on Saturday Night Live in September 1993. He also performed with the band in the famous MTV Unplugged appearance. Dave said they really liked Pat's band so Cobain called him. He further said that when Pat joined the band he changed everything, they felt like children again, like family and he gave them back the enjoinment. But we know how this episode ends and Pat once again experiencing a suicide by a member of his band and this time it broke him completely, so much that he decided not to engage with music anymore.
But in 1994 he got a phone call again, and this time it was Dave Grohl on the other side, who asked him to join the band he was forming. Pat could not refuse the charmer and he again agreed and joined the Foo Fighters. This was the beginning of a continuing love story...
In 1997 after the band's second album, he decided to leave due to exhaustion, he was tired of the incessant tour dates, especially since the band that is at the beginning of its journey is trying to perform wherever possible. Of course the departure was not immediate and he found himself six months later still preforming. But despite pleas from Dave, he eventually decided that - enough is enough.
His was replaced by Franz Stahl, which is even documented in the band's performance on the roof of Radio City in New York, with Pat starting the set and on the half of the show saying goodbye, when Franz replacing him and continuing the set until the end.
In 2005, after nearly 4 years of conversations between him and Dave, Pat slowly returned to playing with the Foo's. The matter was very difficult for Chris Shiflet who joined in 1999 as a replacement for Franz.
He said several times that upon Pat's return he was very apprehensive about his place in the band. It was clear to him that with the history Pat had with Nirvana and Dave he had no chance of competing.
He walked around with the feeling that they were going to fire him at any moment for several years...
Since then Pat is a permanent member of the band, so let's wish the guy celebrating his birthday today 'Congratulations !!
Listen to Pat's first and only album with the Germs, enjoy !! Spotify,