Das Damen

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Das Damen
OriginNew York City, New York, USA
GenresAlternative rock
Years active1984–1991
LabelsEcstatic Peace!, SST, Twin/Tone, City Slang, Sub Pop
Associated actsCell, Arthur Lee (Love), Roy Loney (Flamin' Groovies), Otis Ball
Past membersJim Walters
Alex Totino
Phil Leopold von Trapp
Lyle Hysen
David Motamed

Das Damen was an alternative rock band from New York City, United States, formed in 1984. The band released several albums before splitting up in 1991. The band's name is fake German and allegedly translates to "the ladies" (the correct German form would be Die Damen).


The band was formed in the 1984 by Jim Walters (vocals, guitar), Alex Totino (guitar, vocals), Phil Leopold von Trapp (bass guitar, vocals), and Lyle Hysen (drums). Totino and Hysen were previously in the New York Hardcore punk band, The Misguided. They released their eponymous debut album on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace! label in 1986.[1] They subsequently signed to SST Records and released Jupiter Eye in 1987, which has been described as "quasi-hardcore that touched on MC5-like garage psychedelia".[1] A third album, Triskaidekaphobe, followed. It featured a guest appearance by ex-MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer.

The Marshmellow Conspiracy EP (1988) was withdrawn when it was discovered that the track "Song for Michael Jackson to $ell" was in fact an uncredited version of The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour". It was later reissued without the track. Two of the three remaining songs were from the previous LP, one in a new version featuring Kramer.[2]

The band's next release was the 1989 album Mousetrap, on the Twin/Tone label. Von Trapp left to be replaced by David Motamed. The band then moved on to City Slang for the live album Entertaining Friends, recorded at CBGB, and their final release was the High Anxiety mini-set in July 1991, co-released by City Slang and Sub Pop.[1]

Motamed later joined Cell.[1]

Musical style[edit]

Ira Robbins of Trouser Press described the band's debut as "six badly mixed long songs that are noisy but fun".[2] They mixed alternative rock with metal, psychedelic rock, and acid rock.[3]



  • Das Damen (1986), Ecstatic Peace
  • Jupiter Eye (1987), SST
  • Triskaidekaphobe (1988), SST
  • Mousetrap (1989), Twin/Tone
  • Entertaining Friends (live) (1990), City Slang
  • High Anxiety mini (1991), City Slang/Sub Pop

Singles, EPs[edit]

  • Marshmellow Conspiracy EP (1988), SSTCategory:SST Records artists
  • "Noon Daylight" (1989), What Goes On / Twin/Tone (UK Indie No. 12)[4]
  • "Sad Mile" / "Making Time" (1989), Sub Pop - Sub Pop Singles Club release


  1. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 876
  2. ^ a b Robbins, Ira "Das Damen", Trouser Press, retrieved 9 January 2018
  3. ^ Huey, Steve "Das Damen Biography", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation, retrieved 9 January 2010
  4. ^ Lazell, Barry (1998) Indie Hits 1980-1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4, p. 59