Nina Hagen was born in the former East Berlin Hagen began as an actress alongside her mother, actress Eva-Maria Hagen. Hagen was in several bands and was offered a record deal from CBS Records and formed Nina Hagen Band and their album was released in 1978. It was a critical and commercial success selling over 250,000 copies.
In 1982, Hagen signed a new contract with CBS and released her debut solo album NunSexMonkRock, which followed with two more albums: Fearless (1983) and Nina Hagen in Ekstasy (1985), before her contract with CBS expired.
This post was came about through a discussion brought up by club promoter and producer, Daniel Nardicio, who was shocked to learn that Hagen was a little-known figure today,
“How could so many young people not know who Nina Hagen is?
When I was younger, I was obsessed with Nina, and luckily got many chances to work with her. It was challenging, but fuck is she talented.
This is going to be seen as a read, and its not, but a few years back Nina’s manager sent me a copy of her coffee table book of pictures of Nina’s career called Thats Why The Lady is a Punk. Perusing it, i was astonished to see how many pictures of Nina from the 70’s were basically lifted and put on Madonna in the 80’s… (Johnny Dynell has a similar story about Bananarama lead singer)
I understand that that’s basically how things work, but always wished Nina had gotten more recognition for being such a unique persona who was so talented and creative.”
“She was and is a trailblazer!! –actress/ performance artist, Ann Magnuson
“In junior high I took German and one day the teacher asked us to bring two favorite Germanic things to class. I brought a poster of Nastassja Kinski and my well worn copy of Nunsexmonkrock. She asked me to play a bit which I excitedly did. I was immediately thrown out of class! Still my favorite album of all time.
As far as her style, she was unique of course and lots of people mimicked her. Back then though, everything was uncharted territory and people tended to take from one another rather freely as a way to unify as one big underground tribe” –designer to the stars, Michael Schmidt
Her New York, New York is practically an 80s anthem, an ode to the disco/nightclub/ scene of the era.
No disrespect but I had to also post this gem. In 1984, the aforementioned Ann Magnuson collaborated with Tom Rubnitz to produce the classic video parody, Made for TV. (It was shown last year at MoMA’s Mudd Club exhibit.)
Here’s a clip from it of Scream Queen (with zero singing) by Lina Hagendazovich, a combination of Nina Hagen and 70s/80s era goth pop star, Lene Lovich.