Monday, February 08, 2010

When David Bowie played Saturday Night Live

David Bowie & Klaus Nomi - TVC15 & Boys Keep Swinging [1978]
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People are always complaining that SNL just isn't funny anymore. Whaaaatever. While the days of "The Bass-O-Matic" and Roseanne Rosanna Dana are long gone, I still find at least one thing that makes me laugh whenever I watch new episodes.

What bums me out is the glaring lack of quality in terms of musical guests over the past, oh, ten years or so. I don't know what happened. Back in the day, SNL was at the cutting-edge of music. UK imports like Elvis Costello and the Specials made big American debuts on the show.

But one of the best SNL musical guests of all-time is easily David Bowie. In December of 1979, Bowie showed up with the inimitable Klaus Nomi in tow, and they proceeded to shut that mother down with all kinds of sonic insanity. First, he rips through one of my favorite songs by him ever, "TVC 15." The part where they do "Boys Keep Swinging" with Bowie as a puppet is just about the coolest thing ever shown on national American TV.

5 comments:

James said...

Absolutely one of the best - and most surreal - SNL performances, ever! Thanks for posting!

It should be noted the 2nd guest with Bowie (on the right) is another notable NYC performance artist/drag star,
Joey Arias - who is actually now working on a new Klaus Nomi documentary.

Madeline said...

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

http://madelinex.blogspot.com/2008/09/klaus-nomi-riding-new-wav.html

Madeline

Madeline said...

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

http://madelinex.blogspot.com/2008/09/klaus-nomi-riding-new-wav.html

Madeline

Scott said...

@James: Thanks for the ID on Joey Arias. I've paged through enough back issues of Details and Interview to know that name!

@Madeline: Thanks for the link to yr piece. Good stuff!

Scott said...

@Medline: OK, wow. I am blown away. I can't believe you were IN THE BLDG for Bowie on SNL. I have no words...