RETRO: Bowie and Nomi sell it on SNL

Posted August 31st, 2007 by Logan Young · 3 Comments

Over the years, Lorne Michaels’s little-show-that-could (always-be-funnier) has given us plenty of moments musicaux to talk about while the collection plates make their rounds the next morning at church. From The Replacements’ drunken, f-bomb laden rendition of “Bastards of Young,” to Fear’s Halloween free-for-all, to DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill lightin’ up the ganja during “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That,” there’s never been a dearth of stoopid behavior to keep us entertained. (Here’s looking at you Father Sinéad O’Connor.) But for every Ashlee Simpson meltdown gigue or Olivia Newton-John double indamnity, there’s been at least a few nuggets of sheer awesomeness. Live from New York, here’s one from December 14, 1979:

In case you’re wondering – and aren’t necessarily up to date on the Joan Crawford drag scene – that’s Joey Arias in the red jumpsuit apparatus. And while I miss the guiro scratches from Bowie’s studio recording, his and Klaus’s soaring coloratura octaves near the end are mighty fine replacements. Say what you want about Bowie nowadays, but he’s always had his thin white finger on the pulse of what’s new and happening. The fact that The Man Who Sold The World is sandwiched in between Space Oddity and Hunky Dory makes Klaus Nomi the perfect shoe-in for this post-Ziggy retread. If only we could see Charlie Sheen’s reaction.

Tags: video

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eric Greenwood // Aug 31, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    classic.

  • 2 bigcitysheep // Aug 31, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Great performance, great post…

  • 3 Logan Young // Sep 1, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    i love the part there – right at the beginning – where bowie almost misses his entrance.