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Klaus Nomi

Updated on March 5, 2009

Some of you might not have heard of the wondrous countertenor Klaus Nomi (born Klaus Sperber, in Germany) but I implore you to find out more about him.

He might arguably be one of the best showmen that the world has ever seen, among such male contemporaries as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. Along with being an incredible entertainer, like many others before his time, he passed way too soon.

I'm thinking about him right now after having watched his eerily beautiful version of Purcell's aria 'The Cold Song'. I just think that the whole world should know who Klaus Nomi is/was. Klaus might have been before his time, but his musical legacy will live on forever and his influence will carry on for many generations.

From Wikipedia:

Nomi was known for his bizarrely theatrical live performances, heavy make-up, unusual costumes, and a highly stylized signature hairdo which flaunted a receding hairline. 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 "Lightning Strikes". He is perhaps best remembered by the general public as being one of David Bowie's backing singers during a 1979 performance on Saturday Night Live.

The first video below was performed 6 months before he succumbed to AIDS. He was one of the first celebrities to succumb to the disease when it was still known as the "gay cancer". RIP.

This is such a beautiful piece of music that gives me the chills, and it's sad to know that he was so ill. He would have been 65 on January 24th...

Here is the trailer for Andrew Horn's 2004 documentary about him called The Nomi Song, which brought him to the attention of a lot more of the general public.

His cover of Lou Christie's "Lightning Strikes" is fairly well-known and his trademark outfit and stage persona are readily apparent and will continually be emulated as more people see it on YouTube and beyond.

Your contributions are not forgotten. I miss your decadence, creativity and true showmanship. You were quite the trailblazer and those traits are severely lacking in modern entertainment nowadays, in my humble opinion.  Run don't walk to pick up your copy of The Cold Song by Andrew Horn.  You can also stream it on demand with Netflix, if you are so inclined.

This is such a beautiful piece of music that gives me the chills, and it's sad to know that he was so ill during this performance and would pass away only a few months later. He would have been 65 on January 24th...

Klaus Video #1

The Nomi Song trailer

Klaus Video #2

Last but not least, here is an interview with him on French TV. Rest in peace, dear Klaus.  Your angelic voice and truly unique style will often be replicated, but will never be surpassed.

Klaus Nomi interview


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