Creedle emerged in the early '90s from the ashes of burnt-out bands like If Tomorrow, Daddy Long Legs, the Pull Toys, and the Holy Love Snakes, with their debut performance at the original Midtown Casbah locale. In around a half dozen years, the band released three full length albums on Cargo Music/Headhunter Records, along with numerous 7" singles.
The band included Devon E. Levins, aka Devon Goldberg (guitar/vocals), PieBoy, aka Tim Blankenship (bass/vocals), Dr. Gein, aka Dion Thurman (drums), Stretch, aka Robert Walter (keyboards and samples), and Cheme, aka Cochemea Gastelum (saxophone).
In 1996, the bass/drums/guitar/sax lineup released its third and final album, When the Wind Blows -- their jazziest, right down to the LP cover art. At this point, they were down to a quartet. They split for good in 1998.
Members of the band continued on to record and perform with the Greyboy Allstars, the DaoSon For, Morricone Youth, Pretendo, Fluf, Robert Walter's 20th Congress, and Sharon Jones and the Dap Tones.
Saxophonist Cochemea Gastelum, who grew up in Spring Valley, has delved deepest into the jazz world. The 1990 graduate of Monte Vista High School relocated to New York City, where he has been involved in too many recording sessions and live performances to recount here.
As of late 2007, there are fresh YouTube clips of Gastelum playing a November gig in Milan alongside jazz legends Archie Shepp (70) and Oliver Lake (65) in the small ensemble Iswhat?!, anchored by drummer Hamid Drake. Gastelum has played regularly in a couple of hot NY-based retro-soul-plus bands on the Daptone label for over two years -- the Budos Band and the Dap-Kings -- and often on the same bill.
Gastelum also played on two of 2007's most critically acclaimed albums: Version, by Brit ex-pat DJ/producer Mark Ronson, and Back to Black, the Grammy-nominated Amy Winehouse record that has scored high on many year-end lists and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. His all-instrumental solo album Electric Soul of Johnny Arrow came out in 2010, and he has collaborated with Quincy Jones, Brazil’s Bebel Gilberto, and famed sax symbol Archie Shepp.
Guitarist Devon E. Levins, better known as Devon Goldberg, went to college locally and played in Creedle, Rust, and the Holy Love Snakes. He moved to New York in 1998 and founded the band Morricone Youth there the following year. He also plays with Pretendo, alongside Steve Calhoon (Skeleton Key) and another former San Diegan, John Castro (the Rugburns).
Robert Walter went on to the Robert Walter Congress and the Greyboy All Stars, Tim Blankenship plays with locals Pillowhead and Gary Shuffler (Ziggy Shuffledust, etc.), and Dion Thurman drums for another San Diego band, Schmaltz.
A Creedle reunion took place in late 2007. Another partial reunion was staged in January 2009, as part of the Casbah's 20th Anniversary celebration, with guest saxophonist Gabriel Sundy replacing Cochemea Gastelum (touring with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings) and Rob Crow covering keyboards for Robert Walter (touring with the also-reunited Greyboy Allstars).