“And there he was… this little strange man from Berlin…”
Debuting to critical fanfare back in 2004, I was recently thinking of (and was pleased to find) The Nomi Song streaming on YouTube. Through archival footage and interviews with various East Village luminaries (Ann Magnuson and Kenny Scharf among them), this documentary tells the story of Klaus Nomi‘s meteoric rise to late-70s artworld superstardom. Nomi released a batch of brilliant (and now frustratingly difficult to find) records that crossed traditional classical music with new wave, and went on to collaborate with iconic NYC artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Nomi died from AIDS-related complications at the age of 39. His ashes are said to have been scattered over New York City, thirty years ago this August. If you’ve got even a passing interest in way left-of-center NYC cultural studies (No Wave Cinema, guerrilla theater, Andy Warhol, loft jazz… that kinda thang), The Nomi Song is a 90 minute investment you’ll not soon forget.