The Nomi Song – a Klaus Nomi documentary
Documentary – The Nomi Song
Released in 2004, The Nomi Song is a documentary about Klaus Nomi, a new-wave singing sensation who blazed across New York’s early ’80s art scene and even achieved some level of fame before dying of AIDS (he was one of the first prominent artists to succumb to what was then being called “the gay cancer”.)
Nomi, aka Klaus Sperber, was known for singing arias and dressing as a space alien; in reality he was a doting nephew to his German aunt and an artist who paid his collaborators in home-made pies. Perhaps the pinnacle of his success was appearing as one of David Bowie‘s back-up somethings on Saturday Night Live in 1979, although he was later feted in Paris around the time of his second album (Simple Man, 1982).
I was reminded of Nomi thanks to the julesinthesky blog, and shortly after came across the DVD of The Nomi Song at the library. My own personal memories of Nomi aren’t much – I’m sure CBC played him on late-night radio on Brave New Waves, and I have a Nomi song on a double-album live comp, Urgh! A Music War, in a box of my records in a storage locker.
But, with interviews with friends and collaborators not to mention some fantastic footage of Nomi performing, The Nomi Song is a fitting and illuminating tribute to a bizarre, one-of-a-kind talent who was taken from us too soon.