26 Facts About Klaus Nomi


Klaus Sperber, known professionally as Klaus Nomi, was a German countertenor noted for his wide vocal range and an unusual, otherworldly stage persona.


Klaus Nomi was known for his bizarre and visionary theatrical live performances, heavy make-up, unusual costumes, and a highly stylized signature hairdo that flaunted a receding hairline.


Klaus Nomi's songs were equally unusual, ranging from synthesizer-laden interpretations of classical opera to covers of 1960s pop standards like Chubby Checker's "The Twist" and Lou Christie's "Lightnin' Strikes".


Klaus Nomi was one of David Bowie's backup singers for a 1979 performance on Saturday Night Live.


Klaus Nomi was born Klaus Sperber in Immenstadt, Bavaria, Germany on January 24,1944.


Klaus Nomi sang opera arias at the Berlin gay discotheque Kleist Casino.


Klaus Nomi did some off-Broadway theater work and moonlighted as a pastry chef.

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In 1977, Klaus Nomi appeared in a satirical camp production of Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold at Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theater Company as the Rheinmaidens and the Wood Bird.


Klaus Nomi came to the attention of the East Village art scene in 1978 with his performance in "New Wave Vaudeville", a four-night event MC'd by artist David McDermott.


At the New Wave Vaudeville show Klaus Nomi met Kristian Hoffman, songwriter for the Mumps.


Hoffman helped Klaus Nomi choose his pop covers, including the Lou Christie song "Lightnin' Strikes".


Disagreements with the management Klaus Nomi engaged led to a dissolution of this band, and Klaus Nomi continued without them.


Klaus Nomi was briefly involved with Jean-Michel Basquiat, then known for his graffiti art as SAMO.


Klaus Nomi was so impressed with the plastic quasi-tuxedo suit that Bowie wore during "The Man Who Sold the World" that he commissioned one for himself.


Klaus Nomi wore the suit on the cover of his self-titled album, as well as during a number of his music videos.


Klaus Nomi wore his variant of the outfit, in monochromatic black-and-white with spandex and makeup to match, until the last few months of his life.


Klaus Nomi played a supporting role as a Nazi official in Anders Grafstrom's 1980 underground film The Long Island Four.


Klaus Nomi released his second album, Simple Man, in November 1982.


Klaus Nomi collaborated with producer Man Parrish, appearing on Parrish's 1982 album Man Parrish as a backup vocalist on the track "Six Simple Synthesizers".


The collar helped cover the outbreaks of Kaposi's sarcoma on his neck, one of the numerous AIDS-related diseases Klaus Nomi developed toward the end of his life.


Klaus Nomi died at the Sloan Kettering Hospital Center in New York City on August 6,1983, as a result of complications from AIDS.


Klaus Nomi was one of the earliest known figures from the arts community to die from the illness.


Filmmakers such as Andrew Horn and writers such as Jim Fouratt consider Klaus 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.


New music pieces inspired by Klaus Nomi were commissioned by the gallery for a variety of European musicians, including Ernesto Tomasini.


Klaus Nomi makes an appearance in Derf Backderf's graphic novel Punk Rock and Trailer Parks, released in 2008.

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Klaus Nomi is one of the Sovereign's bodyguards in the Adult Swim series The Venture Bros.