E.M.P., Deadly Force,1983

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When this record came out I was 17 Years old and if I had come across it then, I wouldn`t have liked it. Too serious, not funny, not aggressive and not crazy enough for my teenage taste back then . 25 Years later  I like it for many reasons. Feminist political synth-pop from Cillie Rentmeister a.k.a E.M.P. (End of Man-made Power). “Deadly Force” is about Nuclear Weapons Depots in Germany and “Tanne-Tot-Samba” is about the dying Pine forests.

E.M.P., Deadly Force,1983

E.M.P, Tanne-Tot-Samba, 1983

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LERRYN & DADAZUZU, Der Gummiknüppelsong, 1971

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This is rounding up the political theme for now. Another Pläne records ( Nr.8 in the Peng-Series) and i have no idea why this has not been re-released yet. It´s one of my favorite German political songs ever!

This song manages so many things in one: it´s poetic, sarcastic, psychoanalytical, anti-police, anti-capital and SEXIST! Well, that`s probably the reason why it has not been re-released. Whenever i play it, when i DJ, it`s an absolute showstopper. I mean, people stop dancing. Not because they don`t like the music, but because they are disturbed. In a bar or club most people miss the intro to the song: “This song is the Rubber-stick-song dedicated to the Frankfurt Chief of Police Arich PeniTZ”-(“Das ist der Gummiknüppelsong, gewidmet dem Frankfurter Polizistenführer Arich PeniTZ”) and only hear the chorus that sounds like: “I’m the the rubber-stick PENIS!”-(“Ich bin der Gummiknüppel-PENIS”) and “the electrical rubber-stick PENIS!” and “with the hard rubber-stick PENIS!!!”. So there is a lot of PENIS in there. But, you see, it`s only for a good political cause…

Actually the lyrics are much more intelligent, than what you hear on the first listen. At first it`s a song against police violence. But by linking the rubber-stick ( truncheon, baton, the billy club that the cops use to beat up people) to the penis, it also brands it as a symbol of male dominance and capitalistic power. Actually the song is full of sexual metaphors. Of course, apart from being a very political song, it`s also a pretty funky, progressive, Krautrockin`song!

Lines like: “All of the authority of the state comes from the penis” and “All terror comes from the willie” still make this song stand out today. Finally the song suggests that the cops should put their frustrations aside and their “sticks” to a better use. Ironically it ends with the lines: “If we, the millions of people, were ever to be united, we would beat the tuxedo-wearing mob with that stick”

Lerryn, who wrote that song, was a folksinger and recorded at least one full-lenght LP for Pläne records. I saw a documentary on German television once, where he was playing that song, just him and his guitar. So i suppose the “Gummiknüppelsong” and the A-Side “Lehrlinksmachtgebeat” are rock- versions of his acoustic folk songs. The band was certainly very competent and i wish there were more than these two rockin`Lerryn songs. Somebody told me Lerryn is in political administration now. I would certainly like to know more…

The drawing on the cover was done by Arno Ploog, a stalwart cartoonist of Pardon Magazine, the foremost German satire magazine of the 60s and 70s.

LERRYN & DADAZUZU, Der Gummiknüppelsong, 1971

(Ein kleiner, von mir auf deutsch geschriebener, Artikel erschien am 24. September 2009 in der Jungle World. Zu finden ist er hier.)