-Pat Smear (aka Georg Albert Ruthenberg) is an American musician born in 1959 in Los Angeles, California.
-He was a rhythm guitarist in the rock ‘n’ roll band Nirvana and a founding member and guitarist of the punk band The Germs.
-He currently plays rhythm guitar in the rock ‘n’ roll band Foo Fighters and has recorded six albums with them.
-He is in a long-term relationship with Jena Cardwell and is estimated to have a net worth of over $25 million.
-He enjoys travelling, playing the guitar and is a fan of Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson.

Who is Pat Smear?

American musician Georg Albert Ruthenberg, known better by his professional name Pat Smear, was born in Los Angeles, California USA, on 5 August 1959, meaning that his zodiac sign’s Leo. He’s probably known best for two things: for having been a rhythm guitarist in the rock ‘n’ roll band Nirvana, and a founding member and guitarist of the punk band The Germs. Pat’s today a rhythm guitarist in the rock ‘n’ roll band Foo Fighters, and has recorded six albums with them.

Image source

Education and early life

Pat was raised in Los Angeles by his Jewish German father and African-American mother, but hasn’t shared many details regarding them as he respects their privacy. It’s believed that Pat’s an only child, as he hasn’t mentioned having siblings.

He was six when his parents signed him up for piano lessons, but Pat became more interested in guitar, and made the transition when he was eight; prior to chasing his dreams and becoming a successful musician, he was deeply religious, and joined a commune when he was 13. He went on to attend University High School’s Innovative Program School, but from which both he and the late American punk rock vocalist Darby Crash were expelled for ‘inciting unruly behavior’.

It’s widely believed that Pat hasn’t completed his high school education.

Career as a musician

Pat looked up to musicians Steve Jones, Brian May and Joan Jett while growing up, and his favorite guitarists were John McKay and Belinda Carlisle.

He was 17 when he and Darby Crash founded their band The Germs, together with drummer Dottie Danger and bassist Lorna Doom; Pat didn’t even have his own guitar at that time, but rather borrowed from whomever else had one when they performed. Dottie was replaced by Don Bolles in 1978, and the following year saw The Germs release their debut album “(GI)”, which was produced by American singer and guitarist Joan Jett. Pat was praised for his performance on the guitar, and the band was featured in the 1981 documentary movie “The Decline of Western Civilization”; Darby Crash died from a drug over dose not long before the movie was released, and The Germs thus disbanded.

Pat then went on to play with siblings Kira and Paul Roessier in their band the Twisted Roots, and he also played the guitar for German singer-songwriter Catharina ‘Nina’ Hagen. He released his debut solo album “RuthenSmear” on 4 November 1987, and his second album “So You Fell In Love With A Musician…” in 1992. Pat also had a couple of acting stints in the ‘80s and ‘90s, appearing in TV series “CHiPs”, “M. E.” and “Quincy”, as well as in the movies “Howard the Duck”, “Breakin’” and “Blade Runner”.

It was in 1993 that he was invited by the late American musician and frontman of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain to be their second guitarist during their tour. Pat instantly accepted, even though he initially thought that his friends were pranking him; he played with them in the show “Saturday Night Live” on 25 September, and then toured with them for the following half a year. Kurt took his own life on 5 April 1994, which marked the end of Nirvana.

Nirvana’s drummer Dave Grohl went on to found the band Foo Fighters, and Pat joined him in October 1994; as their first album mostly featured Dave performing, Pat wasn’t on it, but performed for them on their second album “The Colour and the Shape”, released in 1997, and then quit Foo Fighters.

Pat kept away from the media’s attention until 2005, when he began playing occasionally for the Foo Fighters, and eventually became an official member in 2010, and contributed in the release of their seventh album “Wasting Light” in 2011, and eighth album “Sonic Highways” in 2014. The band’s ninth album “Concrete and Gold” was released on 15 September 2017, and was followed by “Medicine at Midnight” on 5 February 2021, after it had been postponed multiple times because of the coronavirus.

Most recently, on 22 March 2022, their member Taylor Hawkins was found dead in a hotel room in Bogota, Colombia; the cause of death hasn’t been revealed, but most likely from a drug overdose, as it’s known that Taylor had 10 substances in his system, including THC, anti-depressants and opioids.

Love life and wife

Pat has managed to keep his private life away from the media’s attention, but the 2011 documentary movie “Foo Fighters: Back and Forth” showed that he was married at that time, and had at least once child. Pat’s today in long-term relationship with Jena Cardwell, and as most of his fans believe that they’ve been together for over two decades, they also believe that Pat and Jena have been married for around 10 years now; this hasn’t been addressed by either of them.

There are rumors circulating the internet, claiming that Pat was in a relationship with American author, actress and musician Pleasant Gehman in the ‘90s, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Pat seems to be in a long-term relationship with Jena Cardwell as of December 2022, and has at least one child (mother’s name remains undisclosed).

Interesting facts and hobbies

Pat used Hagström guitars during more than half of his career, but today only uses Gibson guitars; he made an exception when he performed in the show “MTV Unplugged in New York”, when he used an acoustic guitar made by Buck Owens American.

He doesn’t like social media networks, but fans have generated an Instagram account, and uploaded 36 pictures and videos onto it; the fan page is today followed by close to 4,000 people.

Travelling’s probably one of Pat’s favorite hobbies, and his career has taken him to every continent at least once, with the exception of the Antarctic.

Pat’s a fan of Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson, and some of his favorite movies are “Deadpool”, “Free Guy” and “The Adam Project”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Pat’s age is 63. His eyes and hair are brown, although he usually dyes his hair white; he’s 6ft (1.84m) tall and weighs around 190lbs (87kgs).

Pat’s net worth’s been estimated at over $25 million, as of December 2022.


As Managing Editor at The Biography, I oversee a skilled team to produce insightful biographies of influential figures. My responsibilities include managing the editorial process, conducting detailed research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our content. At The Biography, we aim to deliver in-depth profiles that provide valuable insights into the realms of business, entertainment, and more. Our commitment to meticulous research and dynamic storytelling highlights the significant journeys and successes of inspiring individuals.

1 Comment

  1. Shirah Gantman Reply

    You need to get your facts straight. Jena is not Pat’s wife. She was his long time girlfriend since the Germs days.
    Rebecca Gibbs is Pat’s wife for 2 decades. They are still married and have a daughter Scarlett.

Write A Comment

Pin It
%d bloggers like this: