Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Demics - 1979 - Talk's Cheap 12''

Demics - 1979 - Talk's Cheap 12''
It's 1977. London, Canada is a town of 200,000 located in the farm belt of Southwestern Ontario; 120 miles west of Toronto. 120 miles east of Detroit.
Meanwhile, New York City's CBGB's scene and London England's punk explosion set off musical and cultural shock waves so powerful that they are felt even in a remote secondary market.The punk rock aesthetic makes it possible for bands to form and audiences to gather seemingly overnight. THE DEMICS are the first of many bands to form in London, and they have a crazed audience right from the strat. In the fall of 1977 Eddie & The Hot Rods play for three nights at London's premiere rock club. At the same time, the downtown London loft scene, inhabited by artist, printers, eccentrics and drain-pipe jeans began to crop up amid the prevailing flairs and long hair. The members of the Demics first meet in this milieu.The band begins rehearsing with Keith Whittaker on vocals, Rob Brent on guitar, Iain Atkinson on bass and Nick Perry on drums. Keith was from Manchester, England and Iain was from Cambridge, while Rob and Nick were natives of London, Ontario. Keith already had the name for the band, a Manchester slang insult meaning "loser" "dork" or "wanker". THE DEMICS speedily assembled a repertoire of covers and originals. A short six weeks later they have their first public appearence at a "private" loft party for 250 people at their rehearsal space on December 23, 1977. In the true street-level punk fashion, the band was launched outside of the established meusic-biz structures of the time, including licensed clubs, agents and managers.The band rehearsed for a month with Marcy Saddy(later of Toronto's B-Girls) on drums, until drummer Jim Weatherstone joined, completing the line-up. Jimhad played professionally in country and western bands as a teenager and was theonly experienced musician in he band. After a second public performance at a loft party in January 1978, The Demics played their first gig in February 1978 at the legendary Blue Boot/Cedar Lounge. Over the next two years The Demics played at least one weekend a month to packed audiences of downtown artsy-types, punk rockers, factory workers and students. A few audience members formed their ownbands and were soon playing opening sets(NFG, Regulators etc). Toronto bands and fans also found their way to the Cedar Lounge as a punk-rock circuit of seedy downtown bars began to form in London, Hamilton and Toronto. As the local newspaper put it in the headline of a story on The Demics in May 1978, "New wave band floods hotel's coffers, sells tide of beer".The Demics met The Viletones a few times socially in Toronto, and 'Tones guitarist Freddie Pompeii got The Demics their first Toronto gig, opening for The Viletones at the Horseshoe Tavern. The summer of 1978 also inclued opening spots for The Dead Boys and Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers at the Horseshoe.
In late 1978 The Demics recorded a five-song EP entitled "Talk's cheap" for newly-formed indie label Ready Records. The vinyl EP(released in early 1979) went throught a number of pressings and is now a collecor'sitem. One song from the EP, "New York City" a slower-tempo but still punk-rocking song, immediatly received airplay on alternative and college FM radio(including pioneer-ing "New music" station CFNY in Toronto) and became the band's signature song. By early 1979 all of the band members had moved to Toronto. Thought constant live playing the band added new original songs and covers ranging from rockabilly to 60's garage psychedelia to punk building a repertoire of short, fast, loud, punked-out pop songs about boredom, anger and frustration, all laced with Keith's sarcastic wit. High energy music by and for the pissed off.
The original band played their fatrewell performances in London and Torontoin December of 1979. The band re-formed with new guitarist Steve Koch in early 1980, and went on to record an over-produced and poorly received self-titled album. This version of the band packed it in 1981. The "Talk's cheap" EP continued to sell trought the mid-1980's, and "New York City" continued to receive airplay. Chris Spedding recorded the song on his 1992 CD "Cafe days" with backing vocals by Keith. In March of 1996 Chart Magazine, the voice of college and alternative radio in Canada, voted "New York City" the best Canadian single of all time, placing ahead of the heavyweights like Neil Young and the Guess Who.
source The Mod Pop Punk Archives (link)


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