The Smubbs

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1964)

- Jimmy Braunreuther -- lead guitar

- Mollinelli - drums, percussion

- Michael Segall -- bass, backing vocals

- Richard Segall --  vocals

- George Utter -- rhythm guitar (1964-70)


  line up 2 (1964-67)

NEW - Al Braunreuther -- drums, percussion (replaced Mollinelli) 

- Jimmy Braunreuther -- lead guitar 

- Michael Segall -- bass, backing vocals

- Richard Segall --  vocals

- George Utter -- rhythm guitar


  line up 3 (1967-68)

NEW - Jerry Davis (RIP) -- lead guitar

- Michael Segall -- bass, backing vocals 

- Richard Segall --  vocals

- George Utter -- rhythm guitar

NEW - Vinny Villany -- drums, percussion (replaced Al Braunreuter)


  line up 4 (1968-70)

- Jerry Davis (RIP) -- lead guitar

- Richard Segall --  vocals

NEW - Steven Shene -- bass (replaced Michael Segall)

- George Utter -- rhythm guitar

- Vinny Villany -- drums, percussion





- none known





Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  This Is the End of the Night!

Company: Monument

Catalog: SLP 18112

Year: 1969

Country/State: Lake Ronconkoma, Long Island, New York

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: unopened - still in shrink wrap

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 1420

Price: $40.00



Cost: $66.00


One of Lake Ronconkoma, New York's contributions to mid-1960s rock and roll ...  For a long time I knew little or nothing about this outfit (other than a basic discography and the limited material found on their sole 1969 LP).   Lo and behold band member George Utter was kind enough to take the time to send me some information on the group.


The Smubbs story is an epic saga but I'll give you the basic facts.  We started in 1964 at St. Anthonys, an all boys catholic high school.  The original members were Rick and Michael Segall, a drummer who's last name was Mollinelli, myself and Jimmy and Al Braunreuther.  The "Smubbs" nameplate reflected our last initials,  ( Mollinelli who was quickly replaced by Al.)  We stayed together until the winter 66/67 when the Braunreuthers left and new guitarist Jerry Davis and a new drummer Vinny Villany joined.  In 1968 Michael our bass player had a nervous breakdown and was replaced by Steven Shene.  Rick and I were the only ones who were in the group from beginning to end. Most of the songs on the album were recorded with Rick, myself, Jerry, Vinny, and Steven although "I Remember Sunday" had Mike on bass and backing vocals and Jimmy on guitar.  


The group broke up in 1970.  Rick and his wife Barbara and their son "little Rick" went to Hollywood. Little Rick was on the final season of the "Partridge Family" as the neighbor little Ricky, who came on every other week or so and sang one of his dad's tunes.  They performed together as " Family Portrait".  Steven and his wife Susan and I formed a folk/rock trio called "Day Olde Tradition" and played the Hamptons during the summer of 1971 and then the Adirondacks for a winter before breaking up. He and I still record tunes on our own though he lives in Florida.


You mentioned in your review that if we had one or two more keepers we might have made it. There are a dozen more keepers locked in a vault in Brooklyn and held by our manager at the time with whom we had a nasty separation. Actually there are somewhere around 40 tracks or more in that vault. I recently got together with Rick and started compiling cassette and reel to reel copies of some of those tunes.  I'm thinking of calling the manager and trying to get the 1" multi-tracks to transfer to digital. Rick has had no success with him. 


Chow ,

George Utter

March 2005



Originally signed by ABC Paramount Records, the group debuted with a 1966 single:




'Down On The Corner' b/w 'Don't Come Close' (ABC catalog number 45-10797).  


With a strange, halting, pseudo-Buddy Holly-ish feel, the single went nowhere, effectively ending their business relationship with ABC.  


Two years later the band reappeared with another single on the Spring label (best known for their soul roster):  


- 1968's 'It Can't Be Too Late' b/w 'Her Love' (Spring catalog number SK 703 SS)


Unfortunately the second single  proved as unsuccessful as their debut.  While their sophomore effort didn't sell, it did attract the attention of the larger Monument label, which eventually signed the band to a contract.  


left to right (my guesses): 

Richard Segall - George Utter - Michael Segall - Al Braunreuther - Jimmy Braunreuther


Produced by Bob Gallo, 1969's "The Is the End of the Night!"  was a mixed bag.  With Richard Segall responsible for the penning ten of the eleven songs, musically the set offered up a mix of hard rock, folk-rockers, and more pop-oriented moves.  (Segalll may have written most of the songs, but I'd argue rhythm guitarist George Utter turned in the album highlight with the folk-rocker 'You'll Still Be On My Mind'.)  As lead vocalist Segall had an interesting voice that was crisp and dry, yet quite versatile. Lead guitarist Jerry Davis was the band's secret weapon, turning in a series of tasty fuzz lead guitar solos, as well as nice acoustic guitar touches throughout the album.  The band's stabs at hard rockers like 'Mammas Blues' and 'My Favorite Drinking Cup' were quite good, especially when Davis was given a chance to showcase some of his work (check out 'The Shadows of a Dream') Elsewhere, 'You'll Still Be On My Mind" was a wonderful slice of jangle folk-rock, complete with great harmony vocals that would have made Roger McGuinn proud.  'I Remember Sunday' had an impressive biting edge, while 'White Paper Sail' and the closer 'Running Water' were totally unexpected slices of psychedelia. The latter tune was particular impressive, sounding like something David Crosby, or The Jefferson Airplane might have recorded.  To be honest, the set's much better than most critics would have you to believe.  Having listened to the album dozens of times over the years, I don't think there's a truly  bad tune here, but had they'd come up with one or two more true keepers in the mold of 'My Favorite Drinking Cup', this would have been one of those raved about classics.


"This Is the End of the Night!" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Mommas Blues   (Richard Segall) - 3:23   rating: *** stars

Powered by some blazing Jerry Davis lead guitar, 'Mommas Blues' opened  the album with a conventional slice of hardcore bar band rock. There wasn't anything particularly original here, but they played with energy and sounded like they were having fun.   Bet they sounded awesome in a small club environment.

2.) Children   (Richard Segall) - 2:56   rating: *** stars

'Children' was a pretty ballad showcasing Segall's cool voice, some nice Davis acoustic guitar work, and some surprisingly insightful lyrics. The baby sound effects were a nice touch.    

3.) The Shadows of a Dreams   (Richard Segall) - 2:07   rating: **** stars

Segall's clipped, dry voice was probably an acquired taste, but I've always liked it and to my ears it seldom sounded as good as on this slightly ominous rocker.  Add in some blazing Jerry Davis fuzz guitar and this was one of the album highlights.  

4.) You'll Still Be On My Mind  (George Utter) - 2:22   rating: **** stars

Penned by rhythm guitarist George Utter, 'You'll Still Be On My Mind' was the only non-Segall tune.  A rollicking Byrds-styled folk-rocker, the tune showcased some nice group harmonies and was one of my favorite performances.  It's the tune I frequently find myself humming at unexpected times.

5.) Rosary Anne   (Richard Segall) - 4:16    rating: **** stars

Imagine The Hollies had they been born and raised in Long Island and you'd get a feel for 'Rosary Anne'.  Complete with Graham Nash-styled falsetto harmonies and blatant CSN&Y-styled anti-war lyrics, this one should have made the band major stars.  On one level I  guess you had to admire Monument Records for their willingness to release the tune as a single.   On the other hand you probably didn't need to be clairvoyant to figure out the 45's lyrical content was going to be controversial with radio stations reluctant to play it.  Big surprise when the song's blatant anti-war sentiment effectively killed most airplay.






'Rosary Anne' b/w 'Mr. Open Minded' (Monument catalog number Mn45-1110)   







(side 2)
1.) The Murder of a Child 
  (Richard Segall) - 2:50   rating: *** stars

'The Murder of a Child' laid the social relevance concept on a bit heavy, though the balalaika powered "dance, dance, dance" refrain was nifty.    The unexpected flamenco ending was even better.  

2.) My Favorite Drinking Cup  (Richard Segall) - 2:42   rating: **** stars

'My Favorite Drinking Cup' marked a return to commercial hard-rock.  Interesting to hear Segall's mile-a-minute lyrics (he crammed a lot of words into the song's 2:42 running time.     Elsewhere Davis turned in another superb guitar solo.  

3.) I Remember Sunday  (Richard Segall) - 3:09   rating: *** stars

It started out sounding like it was going to be a sensitive singer/songwriter ballad, but quickly evolved into a pounding rocker with another quality Segall vocal , some nice Mamas and the Papas-styled backing vocals, and enjoyable trippy studio effects.  

4.) White Paper Sail   (Richard Segall) - 2:37   rating: **** stars

'White Paper Sail' was a pretty acoustic ballad colored by some nice Davis slide guitar and some of the album's most interesting and psychedelic studio effects.   Good one.    

5.) The Drive In Movies  (Richard Segall) - 2:19    rating: *** stars

Guess they'd been listening to a bunch of jug bands ...  Yeah, the tune was a touch too cute for the band's own good, but it had a charming melody, showcased their nice harmony work, and the goofy good-time feel ultimately left you smiling.    

6.) The Running Water  (Richard Segall) - 5:20   rating: **** stars

The album's prettiest tune, 'The Running Water' was a dark, slightly lysergic-tinged ballad.  The combination of Segall's droning vocal, Davis' jazzy guitar, Michael Segal's melodic bass, and Vinny Villany measured percussion  gave the tube a very West Coast feel and flavor.  Not hard to imagine The Jefferson Airplane, or David Crosby performing this one.


Gawd only knows how it came to be, but a couple of singles were pulled off the album and released in Japan:


- 1969's 'Murder of a Child' b/w 'Shadow of a Dream' (Monument catalog number UP 146-T)

- 1969's 'Mama's Blues' b/w 'Children' (Monument catalog number UP 174-T)


Two follow-on non-LP singles and they were history:


- 1969's 'Wait Another Heartache' b/w 'White Paper Sail' (Monument catalog number Mn45-1145 )

- 1970's Un-Pollution' (short version) b/w 'Un-Pollution' (long version) (Monument catalog Mn 45-1191)