Left to right: Dave Crippen, Stephan Mayer, Gary Bernardini, Michael De Georgia and (photo to follow) Mohan Kottapally
Dave Crippen: Started playing electric guitar in the early 60s and holds the record for burning through ten successive "The Ventures" LPs and three cheap Strat knockoffs before switching to Surf music in 1965. Able to play "Surfer Bird" with guitar upside down. In college, played with a heavy Otis Day and the Knights influenced college band, so bad gig promoters usually refused to pay them. Knew only three chords until 1997 when he started actually taking lessons and learned about the other 4763 chords, of which he can now play ten. Started referring to himself as "The Artist Formerly Known as David Crippen" in 1999. Played at open mics with several Pittsburgh bar bands including the Rhythm Adventurers and Cold Shot. Heavily influenced by Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, BB King and paradoxically Eddie Van Halen, even though trying to play Van Halen stuff causes his fingers to seize.
Stephan Mayer: Got hooked on rock-and-roll at the age of eight listening to "Venus" by Shocking Blue and "Ride Captain Ride" by Blues Image as an 8-year-old in 1970. Picked up the bass as a college freshman in 1980 after figuring out that Tina Weymouth was basically hitting an A note over and over in Psycho Killer. Alienated his roommate and all of his neighbors by playing along with Gang of Four and Buzzcocks LPs in his dorm room at maximum volume. Fronted his first college band NERVOUS ENERGY (bass and lead vocals, played R+R covers) who subsequently kicked him out due to artistic differences. No matter because this band really sucked. His second "art-rock" band A DADA BOOM (bass and background vocals) -- fronted by a flamboyant Brit called Russil Tamsen (real name Mark Henry) -- did originals and played the Providence RI club scene. They wore a lot of makeup and dressed up like Flock of Seagulls, but no one really cared that much. Third band TWIST AND SHOUT (lead vocals, horrible name, no?) specialized in speed metal 50's rock and roll covers and was actually successful in playing frat parties and bars. In medical school formed a band called CHOWDERHEAD with three other yuppie professionals (lead vocals) and performed all original material, played clubs in Greenwich Village for free, and cut a vanity CD called "Severed Head." After 13 years of icing the Fender Precision bass in storage and a few years of practice in seedy karaoke bars around the world, The Codes represents Mayer's return to his rock-and-roll roots.
Gary Bernardini: Cut his teeth on folk music in the 70's and has been playing guitar since age 13. Initially took lessons from a local rocker in San Antonio, Texas and learned basic rock and blues scales (first full song learned was all the guitar parts to Layla). Best musical purchase - finding a 1969 Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty" fretless wonder guitar in a pawn shop in San Antonio and paying only $275 for it!! Plays mandolin, acoustic and electric guitars, sings, and released his first CD in December 2005* composing 6 out of the 8 songs. Despite early folk music listening, loves to crank it up and play rock and blues. Considers the Beatles, James Taylor, the Stones, and Badfinger as musical influences.
*"Anticipating Paradise" By Gary Bernardini (2005)
Michael De Georgia: Started playing the drums at age eight years. Heavily influenced by the Partridge Family drummer Christopher Partridge. After discovering the guy wasn't even playing (Hey...wait a minute), he threw away his Partridge Family lunchbox and discovered the Beatles. In Canton, Ohio he studied under percussion legend Phil Zampino. Later in high school, he was mainly into jazz while in college he played in a few rock garage bands (who shall remain nameless). The percussionists who influenced him during this period were Stewart Copeland (The Police) and, of course, Steve Gadd (session drummer to the stars!). All percussionists have also been influenced by Neil Peart (Rush) and Keith Moon (The Who). In the last five years, he has been influenced mainly by the master of "Extreme Interdependence" Marco Minnemann. In college, he also learned to play the acoustic/classical guitar. He performed locally around campus mainly Simon & Garfunkle, James Taylor, and Beatles' songs along with his own material. Drums then sat dormant until about seven years ago when he pulled them out of storage. Since then, he has sat in with the Michael Stanley Band and the Beatle Tribute band, 1964.
Mohan Kottapally is Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurocritical Care at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.Ê He also serves as Associate Director for the UM Department of Neurology Residency Program.Ê His current research focus is towards traumatic brain injury, concussion and high speed motorsport-related injuries.Ê He has authored textbook chapters, scientific articles and educational lectures for medical students, residents, and the medical community. To keep busy outside of the medical field, music has been a driving factor in his life.Ê He has enjoyed performing in venues ranging from garages to music festivals, and is excited to be able to rock out now with The CODES.