Klaus Sperber aka Klaus Nomi
(1944 - 1983)
"I might as well look as alien as possible because it reinforces a point I am making. My whole thing is that I approach everything as an absolute outsider. It’s the only way I can break so many rules. Remember, my background is totally strange - German classical opera. So I was uncertain about coming from that to rock. It was just as shocking for me to sing opera in a falsetto soprano in Germany. It was another rule I was breaking. You just didn’t do that. And I am helped by the fact that pop and rock, which you would think has no rules at all, is really just as conservative as classical music. So what I do is doubly shocking. The difference is that punk audiences admire that I can shock them. Nothing is sacred to me. Who is making the rules anyhow?"
- Klaus Nomi
Klaus Sperber (January 24, 1944 - August 6, 1983), better known as Klaus Nomi, was a German countertenor noted for his wide vocal range and an unusual, otherworldly stage persona.
Nomi was known for his 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 classical music opera to covers of 1960s pop standards like Chubby Checker's "The Twist" and Lou Christie's "Lightnin' Strikes". He is perhaps best remembered by the general public as being one of David Bowie's backing singers during a 1979 performance on Saturday Night Live.
Nomi was one of the first celebrities to contract AIDS. He died in 1983 at the age of 39 as a result of complications from the disease.