To paraphrase — and plagarize — Hunter S Thompson, New York City in the late 1970’s must have been a very special time and place to be a part of. . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world.
I wasn’t in NYC in the late 1970’s as I was unfortunately but a mere snippet of a child (sorry), but if you were a performance artist or a fledgling musician or simply an oddity trying to find your way in the world, it must have been marvelous in a way. Klaus Sperber came from Germany to get a hold of that spirit and created this character that was part spaceman, chanteuse, and Maria Callas all wrapped up in an oversize plastic tuxedo. This documentary by Andrew Horn is loving eulogy of Klaus Nomi and is a great view into an artistic world that wasn’t yet filled with millions of idiots with a webcam. Today, it’s unlikely we would have found a Klaus Nomi in the vast internets wasteland. Most people know Klaus from his appearance with David Bowie on SNL:
Klaus is the singer in black, and I’m not sure who the fellow in red is. David Bowie unfortunately never collaborated with Klaus Nomi again. However, Klaus has a voice that transcends anything that David can do:
Klaus was a wonderful talent who died far too young in 1983, one of the first celebrities to die of complications of AIDS. I ache for talent like his in these days of twerking morons that are creations of big business.