Michael “Mike” Paul Segall was born in Brooklyn, NY on January 30, 1949 to Richard Segall and Eleanor Carr Segall. On April 7, 2023, Mike passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was preceded in death by his father, Richard, his brother, Christopher, and his daughter, Michelle. He spent his early childhood in Massapequa Park, Long Island. He was the third of seven children – Kathleen, Richard, Michael, Christopher, Dianne, Doug, and James. Mike attended Birch Lane School and then St. Rose of Lima Catholic Elementary School, where he began playing upright bass in the 4th grade.
Between the ages of 10 and 13, Mike and his Irish twin brother, Richard, (15 months older) played intense Little League – Mike the awesome catcher, Rick the no-hit pitcher. They were both home run hitters and would trade baseball cards long past “lights out” hiding their activities under the covers using flashlights. The owner of the local candy store called them “Mike and Ike” after the popular candy.
“Mike & Ike” assembled the Sunday papers (The NY Times, Daily News, Long Island Press, Newsday) every Saturday night while the proprietors fed them at the counter at Sam Y Betty’s Luncheonette. They were both altar boys on Sundays.
When Mike was 13, he worked as a stock boy at Von Kampen’s delicatessen. He was the only employee strong enough to carry the cases of beer up the stairs (he weighed 225 pounds and was already his full adult height of 6’1”). His nickname was “Tiny.” There he first learned to make potato salads, sandwiches, and other foods he would later become known for in his cooking career.
All through High School he was known as “Tiny” Segall, not Mike or Michael. In his first year of high school against opposing Kings Park High School, “Tiny” hit a 500-foot home run.
Then in 1964, the Beatles landed in the US. As so many loving, talented adolescents did, Mike & Ike formed a band they called The SMUBBS (acronym created by the initials of each band member’s last name). Original SMUBBS members include Richard Segall, Mike Segall, Mollinelli, George Utter, Jimmy Braunreuther, and Al Braunreuther.
The SMUBBS were a huge success on Long Island and had a devoted following. The SMUBBS performed at venues such as the Electric Circus, Carnegie Hall, and other notable places from Manhattan to the Hamptons. The SMUBBS opened for the Byrds and won most Battles of the Bands on Long Island. On the first Earth Day Celebration, they performed an original song at Bess Meyerson-Grant’s Showcase, accompanied by American folk singer Pete Seeger. In 1966, when Mike was 16 years old, The SMUBBS signed a record deal with ABC Paramount (later Monument Records). Mike told stories of recording a bassline in the morning in New York City, and hearing it on a radio station later that afternoon. While The SMUBBS remained a local success, Mike was later invited to try out to play bass for Jim Morrison’s band, The Doors, an audition he didn’t show up for because he “forgot.” The SMUBBS record titled “This is the End of the Night” can be found on Spotify and Amazon Music.
In 1974, Michael’s first daughter, Michelle, was born. Mike and his partner, Colette, drove with their baby across the country in an orange VW Super beetle from New York to Arizona. Michael’s first and continual views about Arizona, was “Wow, the sky is huge out here! It’s so much bigger! I love it!” He took a job as a cook at the Salt Cellar in Scottsdale where he quickly heard they were looking for a bass player at Uncle Albert’s in Tempe. It was there that he met David Leahy, Mike Candello, and finally, David Dodt. The group formed at Uncle Albert’s became the long-standing and beloved Lonnegan’s Band.
The Lonnegan’s Band played rock and roll covers to packed houses in Scottsdale at Lonnegan’s Bar. On Beatles Night, the line to get in was around the building. The Lonnegan’s Band, led by David Dodt, released original songs on the Lonnegan’s Band LP in 1980. Mike is credited as the bass player on the record and also wrote “You to Me” on the B side.
Mike continued to play with David Dodt as he started a new band, David Dodt & the Hi Fi’s. This band was another local legend, entertaining Arizonans with rock and roll covers for more than fifty years. The venues who welcomed David Dodt and the Hi Fi’s and later The Dave Dodt Band would be impossible to list.
In 1980, Mike married Mary Ketterer at St. Thomas the Apostle church in Phoenix. They had two children, son Nicholas (1981) and daughter Joanie (1984). During this time, Mike lent his voice to the Orpheus Male Chorus and played upright and electric bass at numerous churches across the valley including St. Maria Goretti, St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Jerome, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Our Lady of Joy, and St. Bernard of Clairvaux. He simultaneously worked as a cook at Oaxaca in Mesa and later Tuggs Seafood Restaurant in Phoenix. He settled at Keegan’s on Camelback, where he cooked for more than thirty years. If you had a burger, a sandwich, or a sugar cookie at Keegan’s, he probably made it for you.
While he appeared to be slowing down, Mike never stopped playing rock and roll. He continued to play with The Dave Dodt Band until Dave’s death in 2021. He also played bass with the Pat Roberts Band and Hacksaw and the Woodchips with Tom Coulson. He spent his “retirement” years still cooking at Keegan’s, playing music, and doting on his grandsons, Rex (8) and Michael “Bear” (6).
Mike was a proud, outspoken member of the 12-step group Alcoholics Anonymous for 28 years, 9 months, and 7 days. He was also a 7-year member of Al-Anon and 3-year member of Overeaters Anonymous.
He was preceded in death by his father, Richard, his brother, Christopher, and his daughter, Michelle.
A funeral service will be held at St. Bernard’s of Clairvaux at 11:00 on Saturday, April 22, with a reception to follow at Keegans on Camelback at 2:30.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Mike’s favorite charity, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos – https://nphusa.org/donate/