Volume 91, Issue 22

Friday, October 3, 1997

Sock it to the loo


London shows respect for local punk legends

Justin Klein
Gazette Staff

This Friday, starting at 2 p.m. at The Embassy Hotel, Nick Perry is hosting a tribute to the fabulous Demics. The band was formed in the fall of 1977 and it played "rebellious" music – which today is known as skater punk music.

Great success followed in 1979, when their first hit found it's way onto every university radio station from Toronto to London. This London-based group, comprised of Nick Perry, Ian Atcheson, Rob Brent, Steve Koch, Jimmy Weatherstone and Keith Wittacker, composed a style of music which appealed to the younger generation.

In the late '70s and early '80s, their music differed from the standard form and paved the way for a kind of genre which fit in between hard punk and rock 'n' roll.

They found their way onto the stage of the Horseshoe, in Toronto, and onto the stage of Larry's Hideaway, a place that featured many future stars back in its time. After touring the United States for a month, the Demics faced their deciding moment – to go international or stay in Canada.

The band decided not to travel to Germany, where they were offered an opportunity to introduce their music, because the airfare was too expensive. Shortly after they refused to go world-wide, the band started to deteriorate.

In the spring of 1981, the band known so well as the Demics, broke up for good. Complications arose when the interests of the band members leaned towards getting an education and pursuing their careers.

The band members stuck to their goals and have not played since that day. Today, Atcheson owns his own computer business, Brent is a professor at McMaster, Koch is a fill-in guitarist and Weatherstone plays with a band known as 'Handsome Ned.'

The tragedy which surrounds the band is the death of their lead singer Wittacker. Wittacker's life came to a tragic end recently, after a painful battle with cancer, which evidently took his life at the age of 44.

Tonight at The Embassy, a tribute to a group which has affected many lives will take place. The schedule includes 13 bands playing their favourite songs from the Demics. Special guest appearances will be made by the Osterbergs, a very influential punk band and by The Existentialist, a band in which Nick Perry is the drummer.

The goal of this night is to raise enough money to press CDs that will include the night's performance. The CDs will go on sale in December and the proceeds will be donated to the Cancer Research Foundation, as a tribute to the late Keith Wittaker.

The tickets are $5 and can be bought at the door. The Embassy is located on Dundas St. between Adelaide and Rectory. The show starts at 7 p.m. and ends sometime after 2 p.m. If you were a fan of the Demics or want to see a great tribute to some of the founders of punk music, come out for a show you won't soon forget.

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997