The Phi-Dels
AKA:  The Breakaways
Salem, Oregon
1961 - 1966


Don Braught ~ Guitar, Drums
Del Handley ~ Lead Guitar
Steve Hill ~ Keyboards
Mike Holtzclaw ~ Saxophone
Tom Landess ~ Bass
Dan Nicholson ~ Saxophone
Steve Westphal ~ Drums

The PhiDels started out in 1961 as a no-name band of two:  Steve Hill  and Del Handley .

In 1962 Tom Landess would become the third member to form a three person core that endured throughout numerous changes until the Spring of 1966.

Also in 1962, Steve Westphal was as added, and contributed its name, The PhiDels. Why the “PhiDels”? Because it had a “college band” sound.

Thus, the original members became Steve Hill on keyboard, Steve Westphal, drums, Tom Landess on bass and Del Handley, guitar.  Other members were brought into the group: Mike Holtzclaw on sax, and, later, Dan Nicholson, also on sax.

In the summer of 1965 Steve Hill, Del Handley and Tom Landess joined to team with Don Braught, an excellent local Salem guitar player and song writer, and a drummer.

A new name was needed for the new band, and it was the Breakaways.  The Breakaways had a more “West Coast”  sound, which was more funky and cohesive and had the backing of Sonny & Cher’s stage manager, Herold Batise (sp?).

Unfortunately, the year 1966 was a turbulent year, with the Viet Nam war, and military service commitments, forced an early end to this very promising band.

Steve Hill, August 2014

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Last Update:  12 August 2011
Credits:  Lars Van Valkenburg, David Zeit, Steve Hill
 Band # 2153<>