Monday, March 5, 2007

The Smubbs - This Is the End of the Night!

... But it's the beginning of a great listening experience for you!

Check out this very cool Long Island band - sown and grown in Lake Ronkonkoma in the late 60s.

I can't really give more background on them than the write-up that appears on the BadCat Records website (the home of a friendly seller of classic rock and psych LPs). I am reproducing it here because the owner of that site could take it down if the LP is sold any time soon. Here goes:

One of Lake Ronkonkoma, 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 (Note: The review appears in a separate post on the BadCat site) 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 the 1966 single 'Down On The Corner' b/w 'Don't Come Close' (ABC catalog number 10797). The single went nowhere, effectively ending their business relationship with ABC.

Two years later the band reappeared with another single on the Spring label. Unfortunately, 1968's 'It Can't Be Too Late' b/w 'Her Love' (Spring catalog number SK 703 SS) 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.

Produced by Bob Gallo, 1968's 'Rosary Anne' b/w 'Mr. Open Minded' (Monument catalog number 45-1110) bore an uncanny resemblance to The Hollies (complete with Graham Nash-styled falsetto harmonies and subtle anti-war lyrics) and should have made the band major stars. Needless to say, the 45 bombed, though Monument agreed to finance a supporting album.

Produced by Gallo, 1969's "The Is the End of the Night!" was a mixed bag. Musically the set offered up a mix of hard rock (with several nice fuzz guitar segments (check out 'The Shadows of a Dream') and more pop-oriented moves (the goofy 'The Drive In Movie'). Unfortunately, to my ears the album started out slowly with tracks such as the rocking 'Mommas Blues', 'Children' and 'The Shadows of a Dream' raising the question as to whether anyone in the group could actually handle a tune. Luckily, things improved after that opening trio of tunes. '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' was a totally unexpected slice of psychedelia. To be honest, the set's much better than most critics would have you to believe. By the same token, it's simply too erratic to be anything more than professional. Pity, since if they'd come up with one or two more keepers this would have been one of those raved about classics.


Alright, so are you ready to check out the Smubbs? Here is an LP rip. And along with these files comes the promise that I am going get the ball rolling to find this band, help them get to their tapes, and find a way to get their music out in pristine, digitally remastered quality! Enjoy.

Password: LIgroove

18 comments:

mad4music said...

Hey there! Thanks for sharing this Smubbs LP. It's great! This is the first time I've ever had a chance to hear their music.

If you enjoy the music of the Sixties, check out my series of music podcasts at http://sonicdaydream.blogspot.com/

Cheers!

JoRene said...

Hi My name is Jo Rene Cyphers, I was married to Jerry Davis from the SMUBBS back in 1969, we had one son named Jeremy in 1971. I am so glad they can still be found. Those were the days...I love Rosery Ann, it was baned from the radio I remember, almost as soon as it hit the airways. That song ws all about the Vietnom war I'm sure you know, can't help to wonder if it would be a hit now, ya never know.

TM said...

JoRene! Do you remember me - Toni - babysitting for you when you lived in the apartments in Speonk. I don't think you were married to Jerry yet though, and it was another baby I was babysitting at that time...probably in '68 or so?

I always remember Rosary Ann...I loved that song!

JoRene said...

Hi Toni, It ha been a long time. Yes Rosary Ann was a good one. You can reach me at shawee.4@netzero.com Would like to talk about old times. Jo Rene

JoRene said...

Sorry that was shawnee.4@netzero.com

Doug said...

Buzzy is my name.I used to see them play whenever they came to Sayville. They played at St Lawrence church for the teen club and Sayville High School. Rosary Anne was amazing live. Then at St. Lawrence I bought the album afterwards. Unfortunatly on the album they added piano to Rosary Anne which took the edge off in my view really ruined the song. But I still liked a few of the songs and wore out the album. I was lucky enough to find a new copy about 15 yrs ago and still have it. I wish I had the 45 which if I rember did not include the piano. But now in my 50's who knows and I could be wrong.
But the memory of them playing and dancing with hot girls on the gym floor is still awsome.
PS By the way many of my friends on FB remember them. I didn't bring it up.
Buzzy. Still a fan.

Editor said...

Holy Cow Batboys and girls! My friends and I used to follow and hang out with the Smubbs. So sorry to hear about Michael, I had the big crush on him at the time. he was such a sweet guy.

I have a scrapbook somewhere with stuff from that period. If I find it, I'll come back and let you know if I find anyhting exciting. I was Kris Sandels at the time.

I am looking for some friends from a band that played the Garage in 1969 the lead singer's name was Bobby, he played harmonica, was tall thin, wore always wore a cap on his head...can't remember the name of that band for the life of me. Does this ring a bell with anyone? It was in March and April 1969 - I can only remember Aesopes Fables playing there...
Cheers! Great to find your blog -

Don Tandler said...

"It Can't Be Too Late" actually got top 40 airplay in New York City on WMCA, where it peaked at #31. Wish I could find a copy to play on my station, Pop Gold Radio.

Don Tandler said...

"It Can't Be Too Late" actually got top 40 airplay in New York City on WMCA, where it peaked at #31. Wish I could find a copy to play on my station, Pop Gold Radio.

Blownochio said...

I HAVE ASKED MANY PEOPLE IF THEY EVER HEARD OF THE SMUBBS AND EVERYONE REPLIES....WHO? THE SMUBBS? NEVER HEARD OF THEM, WERE THEY A BAND? THE SNUBBS? WHAT?....ROFL!...THE SMUBBS NEVER MADE IT.....:)

Ray Schiel said...

Bought my Smubbs album in the early 80's as it had made its way to some record shop in Norwalk, CT. Still have it to this day :)

password?? said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlUj78FN7rc&feature=youtu.be
I cleaned up the audio & this is about as good as it gets. Wish there was more of them out there!

Jim Ullian said...

Jim Ullian here....class of '69 Sachem. Saw a post on a friend's FaceBook about Joe Cavela who I had once heard sing Rosary Anne....I grew up in Holtsville and barely remember The Smubbs. Was a member of a folk/rock club at Sachem in the late 60's....the Folk Club did a concert/performance for a PTA possibly at Sagamore Junior High and I played Rosary Anne. The entire performance was recorded and played on Sachem's WSHR....except they cut Rosary Anne.

Scott Blackerby said...

Looks like this was lifted verbatim from the BadCatRecords website. Should at least acknowledge that when "borrowing".

Rockin Librarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rockin Librarian said...

Hi Scott ...
Please note that in the third paragraph above it very clearly states that the material that will follow comes from the BadCat website. A link is even provided to that site.

Being a writer myself, I am always careful to try to include proper credits whenever the source is traceable. Sorry you missed them when you read the post! Thanks for visiting.

Cudjoe Dave said...

Just got a copy of This is The End Of The Night .. from the collection of a Long Island DJ ... Love it! Pull some the guys together .. I have a Music Venue for you to play at!

Kirth Gersen said...

The Smubbs played a "Free Press in the Park" gig on 8 Sept 1968 with Wind in the Willows (inc Debbie Harry) and The Soft White Underbelly (later: Blue Oyster Cult) - if anybody saw this gig, please contact the Hot Rails site with details...

Cheers

Ralph