|This article does not cite any sources. (September 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Kodeksi was a cover band from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia that existed from 1965 until 1971. It is most notable as one of the predecessors to Bijelo dugme, the most commercially successful band ever to come out of SFR Yugoslavia. Many of the future Bijelo dugme members came up through Kodeksi.
During its final few months, the band was known as Mića, Goran and Zoran.
Kodeksi were formed in 1965 by Edo Bogeljić as a hobby cover band. The group also featured Ismeta Dervoz on backing vocals and Luciano Paganotto on drums. Not too long after formation, Bogeljić invited Željko Bebek to join as singer and rhythm guitarist. Simultaneous to high school studies, Kodeksi members spent the rest of the decade covering tunes they heard on Radio Luxembourg and playing local dance parties. In the process they built up somewhat of a local youth following.
As the band had problems filling the bass player spot all throughout this period, Bebek recommended 18-year-old Goran Bregović after seeing him play with another local cover band Beštije in 1969. Realizing Kodeksi were more established on the scene than his Beštije, Goran immediately jumped at the opportunity.
The band's musical activity began to assume a more serious form immediately after Bregović's arrival.
In the summer of 1969, Kodeksi secured a season-long gig in Dubrovnik's Splendid bar, but just before they were set to depart for Adriatic coast Ismeta Dervoz left the band choosing to devote her full attention to university studies. Their Dubrovnik repertoire was aimed at tourists and consisted mostly of pop covers, folk standards, and easy-listening tunes.
Though it clearly didn't inspire much in terms of creativity, Dubrovnik stay proved useful as they got spotted by Italian club owner Renato Pacifico who offered a two-month gig in his Naples club. Infused with new energy, the band went back home to hone a new progressive rock set (along the lines of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, etc.), and to obtain the necessary paperwork.
Kodeksi (Bogeljić on lead guitar, Bebek on vocals and rhythm guitar, Bregović on bass, and Paganotto on drums) left for Italy in early 1970. However, it soon became apparent that the Italian club owner was deeply disappointed with their new musical shift. He wanted them to play kazachok and other similar Eastern European folkish stuff from their Dubrovnik repertoire, and the band unwillingly agreed.
Just before the first two-month stint ended, Kodeksi's founder and main decision-maker Edo Bogeljić quit and went back to Sarajevo, which is when Bregović assumed the lead guitar role for the first time. Local Italian musician was brought in to play the bass, but after he quit too, Bebek called up old friend Zoran Redžić. Redžić in turn brought along Milić Vukašinović as replacement on drums for Paganotto who also quit in the meantime.
At that time, Kodeksi were enjoying a fairly successful run on the club & bar circuit throughout southern Italy, playing a commercial repertoire and building up a fairly devoted following. Vukašinović's arrival was particularly significant in this regard as he brought new musical influences along the lines of what Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were doing at the time. Additionally, he convinced the rest of the band on incorporating the new sound into their set. Within two weeks of his arrival, Kodeksi were fired from all the places they were playing.
With no gigs and very little savings, the foursome of Bebek, Bregović, Redžić and Vukašinović stayed on the island of Capri. They found gigs extremely hard to come by with the new sound, but eventually got a low-paying one on Ischia island. As the summer season of 1970 drew to a close that gig ended as well, and they relocated back to Naples where they struggled to make ends meet.
This is when the band began to disregard Bebek musically. First, they made him stop playing the rhythm guitar reasoning that it's not fashionable any longer. Bebek also had trouble adapting to the new material vocally. He'd sing the intro on most songs and then step back as the other three members improvised for the remainder of songs. After being a key band member only months earlier, Bebek was seeing his role gradually reduced. It was more than he was willing to take and in the fall of 1970 he left Kodeksi to return to Sarajevo.Edi and Željko invited two new musician as members; bass guitarist Tuce Dražen ex Pro Arte, and Ljubo Pavlovic ex Romeo i Julia as a drummer.It was fresh and fast comeback on the stage in Sarajevo playing in Dom Mladih Skenderija and touring inside the country,and Vrsar summer gig 1971.At the end of the year Željko joined the Army as obligation,and band stop to work.Goran decided to wait Željko from Army and slowly start make brand new band Jutro.
For their part, Vukašinović, Bregović, and Redžić continued soldiering on under the new name Mića, Goran and Zoran, playing everything from clubs to weddings in the Naples area. Eventually they returned to Sarajevo in the spring of 1971 when Goran's mother and Zoran's brother Fadil came to Italy to bring them back. Upon returning, the trio continued playing and gigging around Sarajevo, however not for long as in late summer 1971 Vukašinović decided that he'd move to London.