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Klaus Nomi biography (bio):
Klaus Nomi was a German countertenor noted for remarkable vocal performances and an unusual, elfin stage persona. Nomi is remembered for 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 classic opera to covers of 1960s pop standards like Chubby Checker's "The Twist" and Lou Christie's "Lightnin' Strikes".

Personal life:
Nomi was born Klaus Sperber in Immenstadt, Germany. His birthday is commonly observed as January 24, 1944. In his youth, he worked as an usher at the Deutsche Oper in West Berlin Berlin ca. 1970, where he would sing on stage in front of the fire curtain after the shows for the other ushers and maintenance crew. Around that time he also sang operatic arias at a Berlin gay club called Kleist Casino.

Nomi moved from Germany to New York City in the mid-1970s. He began his involvement with the art scene based in the East Village. According to Horn's documentary film, Nomi took singing lessons and supported himself working as a pastry chef.

Nomi, died on August 6, 1983 in New York City, one of the first celebrities to die of an illness complicated by AIDS. His ashes were scattered over New York City.

Career:
While he appeared in a satirical camp production of Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold with Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theater Company in 1972, Klaus Nomi first came to the attention of New York City's art scene in 1978 with his performance in "New Wave Vaudeville", a four-night event MC'd by artist David McDermott. Klaus sang the aria Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix ("My heart opens to your voice") from Camille Saint-Sans' 1877 opera Samson et Dalila, dressed in skin tight space suit with a clear plastic cape. His performance ended with a chaotic crash of strobe lights, smoke bombs, and loud electronic sound effects with Klaus backing away into the smoke. To quote Joey Arias, who was at the performance, "I still get goose pimples when I think about it... It was like he was from a different planet and his parents were calling him home. When the smoke cleared, he was gone." The reaction was so overwhelmingly positive that he was invited to perform at clubs all over New York City.

He assembled a group of then up-and-coming artists around him which at times included Joey Arias, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, John McLaughlin (who also used the pseudonym "Johnny Sex") and Kenny Scharf.

David Bowie had been hearing about Nomi's performances in NYC and after meeting him and Joey Arias at the Mudd Club one night, he hired them as performers and back-up singers for his appearance on Saturday Night Live which aired on December 15, 1979.

Nomi also collaborated with producer Man Parrish.

The 1981 rock documentary film, Urgh! A Music War features Nomi's live performance of Total Eclipse.

Influence and cultural significance:
Filmmakers like Andrew Horn and writers like Jim Fouratt consider Nomi an important part of the 1980s East Village scene, which was a hotbed of development for punk rock, music, the visual arts, and the avant-garde. Although Nomi's work had not yet met with national commercial success at the time of his death, he garnered a cult following, mainly in New York and in France.

Andrew Horn's 2004 feature documentary about Nomi's life The Nomi Song released on Palm Pictures helped spur renewed interest in the singer, including an art exhibit in San Francisco at the New Langton gallery.

Nomi's influence can also be measured by references and homages to him in the work of later artists.

British pop icon Morrissey used the song "Wayward Sisters"* as an introduction prior to appearing on stage to begin a concert for his Kill Uncle tour. He used the song "After the Fall" for the same purpose during his 2007 American tour. Morrissey included Nomi's song "Death" in his compilation of influential songs titled "Under the Influence".

Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth wrote a "Hommage Klaus Nomi" for countertenor and chamber ensemble.

A fictionalised version of Klaus Nomi appears in a two-part episode of animated comedy/adventure series The Venture Bros. In "Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part I)," he appears as one of David Bowie's bodyguard henchmen (alongside an animated Iggy Pop, another Bowie collaborator). "Klaus" attacks his opponents with ultra-high-pitched singing and the over-sized bow tie of his famous costume, spun and ejected as a battering weapon. In "Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part II)," "Klaus" seems to have been killed after betraying Bowie in order to become a henchman of a villain known as The Phantom Limb.

Nomi's flamboyant cover of Lesley Gore's 1964 hit "You Don't Own Me" with a thick German accent is sometimes featured on The Rush Limbaugh Show as the Gay Update Theme. This was done after Gore's original was for a time adopted as the Feminist Update. Nomi does not change the gender (e.g. "Don't say I can't play with other boys").
Klaus Nomi : 220px-Knomi
Klaus Nomi : 220px-Knomi
By User: redeyepics
1 Votes, 5/5
Klaus Nomi : teenklaus2
Klaus Nomi : teenklaus2
By User: redeyepics
3 Votes, 4.66/5
Klaus Nomi : nomijapan2
Klaus Nomi : nomijapan2
By User: xTrinity
2 Votes, 5/5


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