MENTAL HEALTH is a band with roots deeply imbedded in the bluesy rock`n
roll sounds of the 60`s and 70`s. Formed in the 1980`s, MENTAL HEALTH
has undergone some member changes over the years, culminating in their
current line up of founder, vocalist/guitarist Richard Madwid, bassist Tony
DeCamillo, drummer Scott Roland and keyboard player John Francese. MENTAL
HEALTH has played to audiences all over Connecticut and New York, with a
musical focus influenced by everyone from the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Rolling
Stones , Eric Clapton,Tom Petty, Bob Dylan….. many more.
* Opened up for America, the Beach Boys, Dave Mason, and Jonathan Edwards…
* Participated in free concert fundraising efforts in Aids Prevention with Cyndi
Lauper and Arlo Guthrie…
* Fairfield After Dark - "Mental Health is like Tom Petty meeting the Rolling
Visit us on Facebook! (Mental Health Band)
RICHARD MADWID aka "Little Ricky" or "Cowboy Rick" wanted to be President
of the United States, but then heard Elvis Presley and changed his mind. At
the age of 11 years, Madwid joined the local Little League team, but was cut
after one week! It was then that he decided to pick up the guitar, practice all
summer, and emerge a rock 'n' roll devotee by September of that year.
Influenced by the Rolling Stones, eric Clapton, Elivis Presley and Chuck Berry,
his mother presented him early on with a stuffed animal - a black sheep!....
(symbolism??)...and has never looked back. Madwid founded MENTAL HEALTH
in the early 1980's and has helped the band to gain a solid following all over
Connecticut. As the songwriter of the band, MENTAL HEALTH has released a
CD entitled "Long Long Time", a collection of songs from "Little Ricky's" college
years with a sharp rock 'n' roll edge.
JOHN FRANCESE aka "Johnny Keys" started playing the trumpet at the age of
seven and became hooked on Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. John and his
then band "The Tijuana Cubs" won the Mt. Vernon, NY Talent Showcase in
1968 by playing a well constructed version of "Brasilia". Each week his music
lesson was overseen by his music instructor who accompanied John on a Story
and Clark Organ. It wasn't too long that John was paying more attention to his
instructor then to his trumpet charts. John found himself going to church just
to hear the organ selections!! John has been playing in rock bands and wedding
bands since the early 70's. When John joined MENTAL HEALTH, he had just
finished playing a stint with "RayBand" (a popular wedding circuit band). "Most
of the band was computer controlled....I felt like I was faking it most of the
time" said John. "It was a great opportunity to get my hands dirty again with
MENTAL HEALTH". On Sunday February 9, 1964, John's outlook on playing
and performing became a goal when The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan for the
first time...this is one of the most memorable nights of his life!
THE BASS PLAYER:
TONY DeCAMILLO aka "The Big D" also started his music acreer playing
trumpet and E-horn in the high school band. How do you get from Trumpet to
Bass? After high school, he did some time in the U.S. Army, and when he got
out, bought "an egg-slicer of a twelve-string guitar with a warped neck". The
head of the guitar fell off while he was trying to tighten it up and straighten
the neck...so...he got a bass instead! Tony has been with MENTAL HEALTH
for a number of years, adding a bass line that's been influenced by an amalgam
of bands...any blues...Delta Blues, English Blues - Hot Tuna, The Grateful
Dead and early Fleetwood Mac.
SCOTT ROLAND aka "Uncle Fuzzy" loves the drums! No reason for it...just a
love for banging on things from the age of 14 on. He loves to hear the music
and tones of a song, to see where it's going. One of the original members of
MENTAL HEALTH, he and vocalist Madwid have been playing together since
high school. Scott took a 10 year hiatus from his drums (to raise his six
children perhaps??), then hooked up with Madwid once again...picking up where
they left off. The solid beat he provides MENTAL HEALTH is influenced by
musicians including Buddy Rich, Mitch Mitchell and Keith Moon.