After 40 years of his death, an eccentric artist, Klaus Nomi, re-visited.

With that unconventional looks of which first sight gives you an unforgettable and poignant impression, Klaus Nomi also created a great sensation at the beginning of the ’80s, among the highly responsive people of Japan. For instance, Nomi made such appearances as a model for the promotional activities of a certain music shop. By his physical image like an alien or android, whose gender was unknown, Nomi had already established his / her iconic presence in Japan around that time before his music was known. Born in Germany in 1944, grew up in West Berlin, and then moved to NY, he started his career in the underground music scene there. He also appeared on the legendary underground TV program TV Party. An opportunity came across to him when he appeared in a TV program as a member of the back chorus for the studio live show of David Bowie’s Actually, he is older than Bowie who hired him. It was finally in 1981, the early ’80s when an album of his own was released and it was a European records company. Japan’s release was further delayed and the domestic version was finally released in 1984. In that sense, we could say that “Cold Song” by his interpretation of an aria from Henry Purcell’s opera “King Arthur” on his first album, which was picked up for the album of Snake Man Show, gave an opportunity for Japanese listeners to listen to his music almost without time delay. Among his contemporaries in Japan, we can hear his influence in Omuraisu (= Omelet Rice) of Kenji Endo’s EP.

We could illustrate Nomi’s expression to project his unique identity over fashion and his music mixed with Opera and Rock in its background as updating the concept of Bowie in his gram rock age to electronic pop music. I think I can identify this feature in such artists as Lady Gaga, who is influenced by Bowie. And just before he was about to surface as an icon of the new age, he died of a complication caused by AIDS at 39 years old on August 6th of 1983. In the year 2003, 20 years after his death, the film Nomi Song was on screen. The film which exposed Nomi’s unrevealed solitude, however, stoke a chord with many people as a result.

And in the year 2023, 40 years after his death, audio resources from the past including Japan’s premiere CD realization, to give retrospectives of this radical pop star who appeared too early, will be released. I think this release would be a very good opportunity to reevaluate the artist, whom we can not deny we have put under a bizarre impression to this day.