Thursday, January 6, 2011

He came from Outer Space, to save the Human Race

Looks like an alien, yet sings like a diva - Klaus Nomi was one of the 1980s' most profoundly bizarre characters. He was a cult figure in the New Wave underground scene, a genuine counter tenor who sang pop music like opera and brought opera to club audiences and made them like it. Nomi was known for his bizarrely theatrical live performances, heavy make-up, unusual costumes, and a highly stylized signature hairdo. His songs were equally unusual, ranging from synthesizer-laden interpretations of classical music opera to covers of 1960s pop standards like Chubby Checker's "The Twist" and Lou Christie's "Lightnin' Strikes". He was one of David Bowie's backing singers during a 1979 performance on Saturday Night Live too, with Bowie sporting a Nomi influenced outfit so as not to be outdone by the performer *Oops I stand corrected! Bowie came up with that outfit first and Nomi adopted it for his stage show, making his own version of it!*. I will admit, Nomi wore it better! On the verge of international fame as a singer, he became instead one of the first gay artists to die of AIDS.  It such a shame that he died right before the explosion of MTV because his look and theatrics were made for video!

Even though he is gone, his influence is still apparent even today. Nomi's visual aesthetic has influenced women's fashion designers as Givenchy and Paco Rabanne, as well as men's fashions with designers such as Gareth Pugh and Bruno Pieters for Hugo Boss. In 2009, Jean Paul Gaultier's Spring 2009 couture was influenced by Nomi and a recording of the Nomi Song was used in the runway show.

Below are some of Nomi's incredible performances - His voice will blow you away - Nomi was a one-of-a-kind performer:


Lemmy Caution said...

I'm not familiar with this Klaus. The only Klaus I'm familiar with is Kinski. Going to have to watch these videos and see what THIS Klaus is all about.

SUZY8-TRACK said...

For years I've seen photos of this guy, but had no idea who he was. It wasn't until I saw a documentary about his life several years ago that I became familiar with his music. When he reaches those high notes, it just blows me away.