Photo: Dahveed Buchanan

The Story so far...

Sometime during the summer of 2021, through the vision of Monsieur Brendan Cawley, the band know as Cody Lee's Last Detail, came together in the glorious city of Chicago.  Featuring the talents of aforementioned Brendan on Fender Bass, Caleb Ramos revealing the mysteries of the guitar, Larry, "ain't no beat, I can't beat" Beers on the drums, and songwriter Cody Lee on guitar & lead vocals.  It was a match made in heaven.  Bringing together the disparate influences of the last 60 years of music, a true ability to listen to each other when they play, and a behind human, desire to bring forth Cody's songs(as well as, young Messrs. Cawley & Ramos), this is the the band the Illinois Music Monthly just wrote "The Chicago band to watch in 2021/2022.    Please check Instagram & The Book Of Face for the band's live schedule.

Cody Lee Bio – 2020/2021 

Chapter 1 

Cody Lee’s music life began as so many of his generation with those historic Beatle/British Invasion bands appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Goodbye to his parents’ vision of Harvard law and hello to his life’s great adventure.  He departed from his hometown of New York City’s Manhattan for Goddard College in Vermont. He dropped out of hippy-central to live in England playing bass with the late, legendary Peter Green.  While there, he became a roadie for Osibisa with fellow Green acolyte Snowy White.  After that, it was back to Vermont for another semester before the next opportunity to drop out presented itself in the form of the equally legendary, Mississippi Fred McDowell. 

Quite an education playing bass on essentially one chord wonders all night.  

Cody skipped Vermont and moved on to Boston, Massachusetts, co-founding Johanna Wild with early glam pioneers Jon Butcher & Jeff Linscott.  3 years later, Cody enrolled in Berklee College of Music.  However, it became clear that Higher Ed was not to be and he quit, joining a funk band and adjunct gospel group from Boston’s Roxbury neighbourhood.  

Chapter 2 

Cody moved back to New York City and settled down on the Lower East Side.  He answered an ad in the Village Voice for a band with a major label deal looking for a bassist. Passing the audition, Cody found himself in one of the original CBGB punk outfits, the Dictators, with all its legendary characters: Top Ten, Handsome Dick, Ross The Boss and Adny.  However, after a year of hard living, and only one show, he  joined what would become his first band love, Falcon Eddy.  Falcon Eddy played all the famous boite noires of New York’s music life: Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’s, Hurrahs, Private’s, Great Gildersleeve’s (and other joints lost to the sands of time.) Falcon Eddy toured with the Kinks, Meatloaf, and Rush, among others.  But after 6 years of bad management deals, failed demos, broken hearts, bad timing, and just plain ol’ bad luck, Falcon Eddy realized it was time to give up the ghost. 

Cody co-founded Secret Chiefs.  It consisted of front man Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks, rhythm section Lee Crystal & Gary Ryan fresh off their stint with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, and 2nd guitarist, Michael Roy, from Tom Dickie & the Desires. After a summer tour of Scandinavian festivals, Mr. Monroe and the band split. Renamed Crash Conference, the band persevered for about another year, but the bone-crushing poverty of the rock life was too much and Crash Conference imploded. 

After years in the desperate life of a struggling rock’n’roll musician in a rapidly yuppifying Manhattan, including several particularly bizarre, jarring interviews with record executives, Cody decided to try the straight life (kinda).  

Chapter 3 

Cody and his wife moved to Champaign, Illinois, a college town with a strong music history (Hum, REO Speedwagon, Poster Children,  Champaign, Ludacris, Brother Jack McDuff, Braid, Alison Kraus, etc.) and opened the nationally acclaimed Periscope Records, a taste-making record shop.  After a year, Cody’s wife gave him an ultimatum; “get your ass in a band or I’m going to have to kill you.”  Being a good partner and a sensible human being, he heeded her words. Cody joined the band that would become the Delta Kings.  The DK’s became a hugely popular Midwestern roadhouse outfit.  By the time they ended,  17+ years later, the Delta Kings had played over 2,000 shows and released 4 CD’s & 1 EP.  

Along the way, Cody also formed the rootsy Cody & The Gateway Drugs, an all acoustic outfit with upright bass, cajon and a harmony singer.  They released one LP call “Songs For The New Depression, mixed & mastered by Fred Breitberg.  C&TGD’s played out throughout Champaign County, Illinois  as well as Chicago.  

Chapter 4 

Cody has said his natural habitat is steel, concrete, glass &  asphalt.  Playing in Chicago reminded him of that. So, he &  wife moved up to Chicago.  The first time it rained and he smelled the scent of rain on the sidewalk, he knew he was home.  

Quickly, Cody built up a series of semi-regular gigs at Simon’s, Lizard’s Liquid Lounge, Uncommon Ground and other assorted, random places.  There was even a show at the historic 12 Bar Club on London’s Denmark Street.  

Returning to the States, Cody’s last tour  was with the late, sorely missed Irishman,  Gavin Mee.  During that time, he recorded an all acoustic record, “Songs For Damaged Hearts”, with aforementioned Freddie, engineering and co-producing. {track name} reached #17 on  Chicago’s premier cool radio station, CHIRP Radio/107.1. 

“The Love Songs Of Dario Cohen” which Fred Breitberg engineered and co-produced came next, followed by  “To Live ­­­& Die In Kankakee”, a quick infusion of rock’n’roll guitars.  Again, the tracks placed  on CHIRP Radio breaking the top 30 again. 

Chapter 5 

Through all this, Cody pursued the licensing of his music for film, video & TV. He has relationships with Tinderbox Music, Fervor, Outbound Music, Broadjam & Taxi.  He has recently signed deals with NASCAR, Kardashians, and The Discovery Channel. Universal Music, placed one of his tracks on a Michael Monroe’s greatest hits LP. 

As the entire world fell under the moving truck that we call COVID-19, Cody reconnected with Nashville musician Kurt Eger. The cool result is WOODPECKER CRISIS (Periscope  #006).  35 minutes, 9 songs, guitars, energy, edge, songs telling gritty truths.  

Chapter 6 

Still to be written…