Klaus Nomi article - Soho News From the Soho News, circa 1979


photographs by Julie Jacobs
interrogation by Maureen McLaughlin and John Beal

Who is Klaus Nomi? A creature of any state, sex or sensibility you choose. The astral plane where Mrs. Miller and Jobriath embrace. A pale, shimmering genius - or a complete fathead. The real Eight Wonder of the World - or a tragic slip in Mother Nature's busy assembly line. A painted bird, singing sweetly in soaring flight - or a mildly amusing bizarro propped up by good musicians (including at his few recent live performances, Kristin Hoffman and Joe Katz) Read on, dear reader, and judge for yourself! The Editors

"When I decided to wear make-up, it was very difficult because for a male person, wearing make-up is a very strange thing to do in the eyes of the masses.... Actually, it began when I was a child in Germany. I had a good time going to the opera at night as an extra onstage, and I enjoyed doing make-up there because I could do it without being bothered. I've always felt very much related to the theater and music, yet I never found a way to do operatatic material seriously."

"Some people think I'm not human. That's why I can't eat, can't have sex, I can't burp, I can't do anything really."

"My mother visited me two years ago, when my image was very similar to today's image. She was so shocked. I had black fingernails and black lipstick, and she said "You look like the Devil - I can't believe it." I said 'Mother, I AM the Devil!' That was enough for her."

"I always loved rock n' roll, actually. For me, the biggest name in rock n' roll was when I was twelve: Elvis Presley. I bought an EP, King Creole. I hid it in the basement to make sure, but my mother found it. She went to the record store where I bought it and exchanged it for Maria Callas operatic arias. Well I was very agreeable to that too. So I got into that, but every time I bought a rock n' roll record, at the same time I bought a classical record. That was the point of my confusion because I like each as well as the other. So I was constantly freaking out."

"I want to be in a lot of movies, and I'm working on a film myself. It's a long term project. I want to take my time, because I want to make it real good. I have the basic idea for a film in my head - Salome. I want to play the title role.

"I saw Maria Callas once, and I always had a vision to met her. In Germany, there is a custom on New Year's Eve. You melt a certain metal over a candlelight, and when it becomes liquid you pour it into cold water. Something very bizarre comes out of it. The idea is that you take it and judge for yourself what it could possibly mean to you. This shape looked like two people facing each other, and of course it was Maria and I. Well, three months later it was announced that she was to come ot the small town where I lived to give a concert. It was perfect - of coure I wa there. And of course, I jumped onto the stage and was facing her as close as I thought I would be. I caught a glimpse of her eye, and it was like a fire burning in me. I almost fainted. The next day, I went to see a vocal teacher and started to sing professionally, and every time I am succesful in anything, in honor to her I play one of her records."

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