I've been listening to lots of Nina Hagen lately, which is most-likely a true sign of insanity (in a good way). For those who haven't yet had their minds-blown by her multi-octave voice, Technicolor fashion sense, and uniquely theatrical stage presence, feast your avant-garde-starved eyes upon this video for her song African Reggae...my all-time fave Nina tune.
Her music is a cosmic blend of dub, punk, funk, opera, psychedelia, and New Wave surrealism (with a little yodelling thrown in for good measure). she sings in both German and English, and has been consistently writing groundbreaking tunes since forming her first band, Automobil, in 1974. Nina has recorded over 20 albums, but my favorite is NunSexMonkRock, which I can only describe as "hallucinogenic, inter-planetary disco". I've always had a hunch that the Red Hot Chili Peppers' payed homage to this brilliant album with the title of their 1991 LP, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, which would make sense, being that Nina and Anthony Kiedis were an item from 1984-1985.
(Above,, by row) The self-described "Queen of Punk" in 1980, baby-faced Hagen in 1978, pre-Madonna in the '80s with a green bow, Lene fellow New Wave vocalist Lene Lovich, from her 1985 Japanese tour book, still from the 1999 film Punk + Glory, Nina from her Zarah single, a severe look for her 1985 Japanese tour, and a gamine Nina in the mid-'70s
Unlike other performers who hit it big internationally in the '80s, and haven't progressed as artists since, she is constantly creating new, mind-expanding material, inspired by her zen spiritual philosophies, peaceful political stances, and animal rights activism. Not to mention, her shows are still just as crazy as they ever were, and she's still stunning, with bone structure from a galaxy far, far away.
(Above, L to R) Nina rocking colored vinyl as a hat, Nina at an airport in 1984 with her daughter Cosma Shiva (I wonder if they'd let a metallic tinsel wig through security today), and Nina in fabulously frou-frou '80s glam. (Below) when I first saw this collage as a little girl, from the inner sleeve of her Ekstasy LP, I became truly creatively inspired, and began making collages of my own. Thank you Nina! XO's & Manic Panic "Pink Flamingo" hair dye kisses!