Artifact of the Month — April 2022

Rare Castiles Poster

Before the E Street Band, the Bruce Springsteen Band, Steel Mill and some lesser-known bands in which Springsteen had performed, there was the Castiles. The Castiles were a Freehold-based rock and roll band that was created by rhythm guitarist and lead-singer George Theiss and included a young Bruce Springsteen on lead-guitar and vocals. They formed in 1965 and played various local coffee houses, parties, social clubs, gyms and other assorted small venues before eventually finding their way to New York City where they played at least thirty shows at the Café Wha? before playing their final show in 1968.

This rare original hand-drawn, hand colored poster for a Castiles gig at the Left Foot Coffee House in Freehold was created by keyboardist Bob Alfano who joined the band in 1966. The psychedelic design and colors are reminiscent of the era in which the Castiles performed. It is the only known poster for this show in existence. It was donated to the Bruce Springsteen Archives by George and Diana Theiss in 2018 when we sat with George to conduct his oral history, just months before he lost his battle with lung cancer.