Lieutenant Murnau

Lieutenant Murnau was invented as the name of a “ghost musical group” by the Italian neoist artist Vittore Baroni. It was started in 1980 and ended in 1984. The image the group used came from a photograph of film director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau while serving as a lieutenant in the German army. This photograph was taken and reproduced on to posters, leaflets, fanzines, badges and all other memorabilia of pop mythology to create an interest in something that did not exist.

Lt. Murnau managed to produce various records and cassettes without Baroni playing a single note, simply releasing mixages of recorded music. The "Meet Lieutenant Murnau" tape, for example, was a deliberate confusion of The Beatles and The Residents records. He also used soundtracks of F.W. Murnau's films and music provided by other groups in hommage to Murnau. To mess up things even more, he had some of these tapes and records released in different countries by different people.

Lt. Murnau also appeared on stage, masked, mixing different records and crucifying a Beatles LP. Hundreds of life-size Lt. Murnau-cardboard masks were printed which people could wear. Anybody could make Lt. Murnau music and become Lt. Murnau, and a few people did it. The whole project was focussed on a very limited idea, that of underground music, and did not have the broader implications of the Monty Cantsin or Luther Blissett multiple user name philosophy.


No. 8 Lieutenant Murnau - Meet Lieutenant Murnau album art Lieutenant Murnau Meet Lieutenant Murnau(Cass, Album, C60) VEC Audio Edition No. 8 Netherlands 1980 Sell This Version
Lieutenant Murnau - It Should Be Used Only Once – Tabu album art Lieutenant Murnau & M.B.* Lieutenant Murnau & M.B.* - It Should Be Used Only Once – Tabu (Album) Flowmotion UK 1981 Sell This Version
Lieutenant Murnau - Techno-Logy album art M.B.* ~ Lt.Murnau* M.B.* ~ Lt.Murnau* - Techno-Logy (Album) Litanic Germany 1982 Sell This Version
Lieutenant Murnau - Ut Fona Res album art Lieutenant Murnau | Oxidized Man Lieutenant Murnau | Oxidized Man - Ut Fona Res (Album) Sound Recycling Terminal Italy 1982 Sell This Version
none Lt. Murnau* Inse(c)t Music(CD, Album, Ant) Not On Label (Lieutenant Murnau Self-released) none Italy 2006 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

none Lieutenant Murnau - Undead In Pietrasanta album art Lieutenant Murnau Undead In Pietrasanta(CDr, Mini, CD-ROM, Ltd) Near The Edge Editions none Italy 2016 Sell This Version
none Lieutenant Murnau - 100% album art Mind Invaders / Lt. Murnau* Mind Invaders / Lt. Murnau* - 100%(2x7", EP, Single, Box) Near The Edge Editions none Italy Unknown Sell This Version


RMWE026 Lieutenant Murnau - Meeteem album art Lieutenant Murnau Meeteem(File, MP3, 256) Radical Matters RMWE026 Italy 2007