the Selective Service / New Breed


Cleveland, 1964-69

L-R: Cookie Castelli, Frank Allega, John Gruden, Jerry Kalish, Barry Kahn

The New Breed started out in 1964 or so. Not long after forming, keyboard player/singer Cookie Castelli had left the band to attend college in Kent and while there played in a band called the Fallen Angels with sax player/singer Frank Allega. Castelli rejoined the New Breed (he was also in the Baskerville Hounds for a short time) and brought Allega with him. The other members were Jerry Kalish (bass), Barry Kahn (drums), and John Gruden (guitar). All the band members were in college (except Gruden who had graduated). Jerry received a draft notice and when he mentioned it to the band, suggested they take "Selective Sevice" for their name. For those who are not US residents, Selective Service was the 'official' name for the US military draft. It was also a bit of an in-joke as the members had consciously decided to stay in college to avoid being drafted (except Gruden who had already been in the Marines).

The band recorded two songs at Cleveland Recording in the spring of '67, "Shake" b/w "Green Onions". The choice of cover songs was pushed by their manager, Ron Goldstein, who was also employed at Cleveland's Main Line record distribution and he got the songs placed on the short-lived Main Line record label (which had some backing from Main Line's parent RCA records). The record was produced by Gordon Neal, a free-lance producer based out of Cincinnati. Neal's forte was soul so he took the recording to New York and had the horns overdubbed. Selective Service was not a soul band, they were big in the college and night clubs like Otto's Grotto, Agora, etc, and played energetic rock-n-roll and soul covers. "Shake" was a huge local hit and the band was really hot for the summer and fall of '67. They intended to release a second 45 called "Here It Comes", a takeoff on the Rolling Stones' "It's Alright", but Main Line was out of the record business and Ron Goldstein took a record industry job out in LA and the record was shelved.

In the fall of '67 Kahn left the band for a medical internship in Philadelphia and Sid Turner from the Grasshoppers replaced him. The loss of Kahn and Goldstein's skills were enough to stall the band's momentum and they played on for a few more months. Sometime in late 1967 or early 1968 the band effectively merged with Bobby Jay and the Castaways, keeping the original Selective Service name. After the shakeout, the personnel included Allega, Castelli, Bob Bruno (sax), Jerry Bruno (drums), Jerry Zimmer (bass), Jim Cauldwell (guitar). This lineup was short lived as Allega left to play blues, and Zimmer departed as well. The band brought in Dave Niksa (from the Subjects) on bass, who had been in the Castaways a couple years earlier. A short time later, Cauldwell left and Skip Roberts, another former member of the Castaways and Subjects, joined as guitarist. Mike Ihde joined on guitar and trumpet. The reconstituted Selective Service continued to play the area nightclubs. The band also played gigs under the names of Captain Crunch and the Crew and the Great American Spirit. These names allowed the band to play some more of the underground and psychedelic sounds that might sound a bit out there to the dancers at the Agora and Plato.

After a year or so the Bruno brothers and the rest of the band decided to retire the Selective Service name. The Brunos hooked up with Richard "Dick Whittington" Greenbaum to form Bruno-Whittington-Bruno, while Cookie, Dave, Skip, and Mike started Zephania Cross.