Style: Klaus Nomi
Klaus Nomi – Nee Klaus Sperber (January 24, 1944 – August 6, 1983), Ah, the 80’s. You have to hear Klaus as well as see him to appreciate the full effect of his art. Klaus sang every single song in the mile-high voice of a female opera singer and he was good – though certainly an acquired taste to be taken in small doses. The first story floated was that David Bowie discovered him in a broken down Berlin cabaret performing his act and brought him to NY. Truth is Klaus came all on his own from Berlin and worked as a pastry chef and acted and sang in avant garde theater around NY’s East Village. He formed his own band in ’78 and performed at NY hotspots, Danceteria, Max’s Kansas City and Hurrah (the places to be seen in the late 70’s and early 80’s). It was around this time that Bowie came into the picture, hiring Klaus and boyfriend/scenester Joey Arias to perform w/ him on Saturday Night Live singing backup on Boys Keep Swinging and TVC15. Klaus’s fame never really went past the NY East Village scene and he died in 1983, one of the first celebrities to die of AIDS. His influence though has hung on in bits and pieces. He can be seen w/ Bowie and Iggy Pop in the animated Venture Brothers series, Jean-Paul Gautier designed a line inspired by him and Big Fat Rush Limbaugh used his version of Lesley Gores’ You Don’t Own Me as the theme to his Gay Update segment on his shitty radio show.