Lexicon Devil

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Lexicon Devil
EP by Germs
Released May 1978
Recorded 1978
Genre Punk rock
Length 5:48
Language English
Label Slash
Producer Geza X
Germs chronology
Lexicon Devil
Back cover

Lexicon Devil is a three-song EP and the second release by the American punk rock band Germs.


Germs were already gaining notoriety ever since the release of their first single, "Forming", and their early live performances. However, their increasing success was not without some roadblocks. They did not have a permanent drummer at the time, Donna Rhia having long left the band. X drummer DJ Bonebrake filled in at a few gigs, but Weirdos drummer Nicky Beat ended up being the band's first semi-permanent drummer (The Weirdos were still a going concern at the time). Also, Pat Smear owned a Rickenbacker electric guitar at the time, but did not own an amplifier.

The band's second single came about when Slash Magazine made an offer to Germs to release a record on their newly formed label. The group agreed.


Smear's non-ownership of an amplifier at the time actually led to the unique guitar sound on the record. Producer/engineer/musician Geza X was supposed to lend Smear an amp for the session, but had forgotten; instead Smear strung together some effect pedals and plugged directly into the studio's mixing board.

A few days before the session, drummer Don Bolles came down to Los Angeles from Phoenix, Arizona to audition for the group. He got the job, but it was too late for him to learn the songs in time to go into the studio. Instead, Nicky Beat kept the drum seat warm for the session. Bolles still participated in the session, however, helping chant "Non deus, non deus, non deus" and clapped his hands along with the rest of the band on "No God".


Lexicon Devil was released in 1978 on 7-inch vinyl disc format by Slash Records.[nb 1] It was available stricly through mail-order.

The EP is long out of print in its original form, but later appeared as part of the posthumous 12" EP What We Do Is Secret and on the CD anthology (MIA): The Complete Anthology.

The version of "Lexicon Devil"[1][2] released on this EP is featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto V, whereas the fast version of this song, released on (GI), is featured in the video game Tony Hawk's Underground 2.

Cover art[edit]

The cover art of Lexicon Devil is notorious for its contentious imagery.[3]

The front cover shows a picture of Adolf Hitler, whereas the back cover reproduces an Arthur Szyk's political cartoon from 1942,[4] portraying Hermann Göring, the Grim Reaper, Benito Mussolini and Hirohito, featured as alter egos of Darby Crash, Lorna Doom, Drummer (Nicky Beat) and Pat Smear, respectively.

The original cover design palette is black on a red background, but were also released versions on goldenrod, pink and yellow backgrounds.


The song "Circle One" is where Darby Crash's stage name originated; originally, he had taken the stage name Bobby Pyn.

Nicky Beat told the authors of Germs' biography Lexicon Devil that he had stolen the opening drum beat on "Circle One" from the Allman Brothers' song "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed".

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Darby Crash and Pat Smear

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Lexicon Devil[1][2]"   2:06
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "Circle One"   1:48
2. "No God"   1:54
Total length:



  1. ^ Slash #SCAM 101


  1. ^ a b Deming, Mark. ""Lexicon Devil" Review by Mark Deming". allmusic.com. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Lexicon Devil", lyrics. allmusic.com. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  3. ^ Lexicon Devil, cover art. discogs.com. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  4. ^ Arthur Szyk, Il Duce . . . (1942).
    "Arthur Szyk (1894 - 1951)". americanartarchives.com. Retrieved May 25, 2015.

External links[edit]