July 24, 2008

"Total Eclipse"

Nomi - sporting the latest in Elizabethan Era fashion

At the height of the New Wave, circa 1982, a group of friends and I gathered at somebody's house one Friday night to watch Urgh! A Music War. This was just as renting Beta and VHS tapes was becoming possible, so one planned weeks ahead of time to watch something on TV, because if you missed it, you missed it! Who knew it would all be on YouTube one day?! I thought it might have been shown on a cable channel (or maybe MTV), but it sounds like the old USA Network is where we most likely saw it (based on the Wikipedia entry). We talked about it at school the entire week before, all of us psyched to see "live" performances from The Police, as well as DEVO. I was also secretly anticipating seeing The Go-Go's, as I had the hots for Belinda Carlisle.

Truth is, we hadn't really heard of any of the other bands. So we had our minds blown and eyes opened by The Cramps (we had never seen anything so raw or crude, other than maybe footage on the news of the Sex Pistols a few years earlier), but mostly, the bizarre performer known as Klaus Nomi. We couldn't believe he was for real. We would spend the next six months or so trying to outdo each other with our Klaus Nomi imitations (singing this song in our very best, falsetto voices):

6 comments:

Madeline said...

You can read my story about Klaus Nomi here...

http://www.geocities.com/kahniverous/klausnomi.html

All the best,

Madeline

Chris said...

Awesome. Thanks for the link, Madeline!

gilligan said...

I vaguely remember this Erg or Ugh music war thing (we must have been watching it at the same time) and seem to recall the "Mexican Radio" guys, Wall of Voodoo, on there as well.

Anyway, the memory of this Nomi guy apparently had been repressed all these years and you brought him back (I'm not sure if that's a good thing). I read the excellent story by madeline and was sad to read Nomi passed away in 1983.

Great post as usual!

Chris said...

gilligan-

Thanks dude! I appreciate it.

Wouldn't that be wild if we had been watching it at the same time? Our generation can claim that type of shared cultural experience. It's a lot harder for that to happen today with all the different forms of entertainment available.

Heh, I think Nomi has been repressed in me, too(!). I don't remember what dislodged him, exactly.

Matt said...

great film for sure!
im still hoping some how the issues get worked out and an official dvd comes out
we have unearthed a couple of members from the band invisible sex
on my discussion group.
You are more than welcome to join
if you want

Chris said...

matt-

I'd imagine dealing with all the copyrights and ownership issues needed to compile such a DVD is enough to squelch such a thing, but maybe not. I hope someone can do it, too!

So members of Invisible Sex have become visible you say? I will check it out. Thank you for the invite.