Don't Mince Matter
No One Knows
Guten Morgen. I first learned of the Berlin-bred, Düsseldorf-based band, The Lords, from a 1980s era Ugly Things article about the Germanic Hep-cats. I was a little taken aback by the pictures of them in silly outfits and dorky Prince Valiant haircuts. But publisher Mike Stax raved about their work. Or at least, that's how I recall it. Then I happened to run across this German pressed Columbia Records single in a record store on K Street in Sacramento, CA. WTF?!?!! How did it get there? I picked it up for about $2 and fell in love. Now I understood why Stax had his lederhosen in a bunch. It's fabulous. In a quirky cold war era West German way. The single was recorded at the Electrola Studios on August 3rd, 1966 in the town of Köln (aka Cologne) at 149 Maarweg Street. The band at the time was Ulli Günther on vocals, Bernd Zamulo on bass, Leo Leitz on guitar, Rainer Petry on guitar, and Max Donath on drums. I get excited just typing those names. Just imagine how excited I am to hear the record.
Don't Mince Matter is the A-Side and it is fabulous. The number was written by lead guitarist and the blond heart-throb of North-Rhine Westphalia, Leo Leitz. Brilliant. Such a unique sound - from the guitar running through the swirling Leslie Speaker to the thick as sauerbraten accent. To the highly compressed high hat pounding away to the unique Burns Bass roto-string sound. But, "Don't Mince Matter"? What the hell does that mean? What do any of these lyrics mean? Can anyone make out these lyrics? It's like they cut out a bunch of words from the Webster's English Dictionary, put them into a green felt alpine hat, shook it up, laid all the words down in random order and made a non-sensical song out of the words they found.
And if the joke is goodNo One Knows gets the Flip-Side of the single. Maybe the title of the song was a rejoinder to the quizzical lyrics of the A-Side. Could be! The number was written by some cats names Geitz and Michael. It still has the kick ass instrumentation - replete with their rented Leslie Speaker system -- but the lyrics make a little more sense. It's damn near as good as the A-Side. Enjoy both. Also enjoy the video below of them doing the traditional British folk song Greensleeves and the American blues song by John Lee Hooker, Boom Boom (irony, anyone?).
but I can smile and would
Well I can dream of flying
must be that me this time
If you can be my girl
I wonder, what, what you mean girl
Tell me, my girl
Tell me, my girl
Baby crack a joke, but don't mince matter (x3)
Baby crack a joke, but I'm not sure.