Hello Degrassi!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 26, 2008 03:14pm | Post a Comment
I've been commissioned to write a blog about one of my favorite Canadian bands. As someone who spent a year and a half in rural Iowa with no friends and a satellite dish, I spent many Mountain Dew-fueled hours watching Much Music with the VCR remote in hand hoping to tape videos by the likes of the Dream Warriors, Zumpano, Leonard Cohen, Trans-X, Lime, Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly, or Eric's Trip whilst adroitly changing the channel within microseconds of a Bootsauce song's opening notes.

But there was one band who, I don't think, ever got any airtime on Much and will not likely ever be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. That band is ...  Zit Remedy. They formed in 1985 and only recorded one song, "Everybody Wants Something," which they sold for 2 dollars (Canadian) which, echoing Peter Saville's costly New Order packaging for "Blue Monday," cost less than the blank tapes they were recorded on. There's a Zit Remedy website that does a good job of providing the biographical information for the seminal band. I will say that a bit of the information is wrong, or out of date. Anyone who keeps up with Degrassi knows that after Craig Manning's dad died, he formed a band Downtown Sasquatch with Spinner, Jimmy and Marco which practiced in... legendary Zit Remedy frontman Joey Jeremiah's garage. And he performed his song "What I Know" at the Degrassi Battle of the Bands as a sort of apology to Ashley Kerwin. So, obviously there's a lot of musical talent coming out of Degrassi. In fact, there's a wikipedia entry devoted to them.

Of course, even though Zit Remedy is defunct, they have a fan site on myspace complete with loads of comments about where to get amazing bud, ringtones and crap like that. It jokingly describes their sound as "emo/screamo" but the Zits, to me, sound more in line with all those 80's bands from Dunedin.

The other problem with the website is that the audio files don't seem to work, which is unfortunate. Luckily for me, I downloaded their hit and burned it to CD a few years ago when we had a mix CD exchange club behind the scenes at Amoeba which we called "CD Club." My mix was criticized for having "too much mezzanine spice" (the mezzanine here at the Hollywood store being where we used to keep the soundtracks) because of my passion for quasi-fictional bands (it also included James Marshall's dreamy, creepy hit "Just You" from Twin Peaks. Luckily, we live in the age of YouTube. In looking for Zit Remedy I found ice-beer swilling Canucks singing and covering it along with the video recorded after they changed their name to "The Zits."

In 1989, at College Les Pins in Castries, France, a couple of schoolmates and I formed a band called the Zitt Butts. Our sound was a blend of the Dead Milkmen and Eazy-E. Thankfully, we never recorded anything and I believe mice ate my lyrics sheet a couple of years later when I was living in Iowa, swilling soda and watching Much Music. Suffice to say, we were no Zit Remedy.

Here's a live performance. It used to be on Youtube, if I recall correctly. Now it's harder to come by, which is ironic given the anti-corporate spirit embodied in the song lyrics.

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Degrassi High (1), Degrassi Junior High (1), Zit Remedy (1), Canada (15), 1980s (52), The Zits (1)