Alex Blaze

Queer music Friday - Liberace

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 07, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: liberace, queer music

A biopic movie will be coming out on Liberace with Michael Douglas opposite Matt Damon. Even though Liberace never came out, I thought I'd put him up here playing on his rhinestone piano:

His father was a pianist and he learned to play the instrument at an early age. Some more video of him on piano is after the jump.

Here he is playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata:

And here he is playing something a little more modern, some boogie woogie. I think that rock & roll outlived that craze though:

And here's a video of Liberace playing while Muhammed Ali recited a poem.

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ShipofFools | January 7, 2011 6:11 PM

DiCaprio? Last time I checked it was Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. I'd prefer DiCaprio-

He laughed all the way to the bank. As the story goes he became Elton John's hero.

You missed this one

gregorybrown | January 8, 2011 8:32 AM

I thought he "cried all the way to the bank" after a British court declared he had been defamed by a newspaper whose reporter described Liberace as "fruity". He was, officially, straight...

No, actually that bit about crying all the way to the bank was one of his signature lines going back to his early career. As I recall very late in his life he was on some talk show like Letterman and that topic was brought up. He laughed and said something like ..these days I don't go to the bank, I bought it.

80's pop teen queen Debbie Gibson owns that piano now. She said on Celebrity Ghost Stories that it's haunted by the ghost of Liberace.

Can see how you would be confused - the other high profile film about closeted gay men is 'J. Edgar' to star DiCaprio. Director is Clint Eastwood from a screenplay by Dustin Lance Black and begins production next month. Armie Hammer (who played he Winklevoss twins in 'The Social Network') co-stars as Clyde Tolson, Hoover's assistant, closest friend, and rumoured lover. Dame Judi Dench will play Hoover's mother.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 8, 2011 11:46 PM

Forget Liberace. He played for the wrong set - jewel bedecked, blue hair, and martinis.

Johnny Mathis sang for us during the dark ages before stonewall. I was about 14 or 15 when I heard this song - - and boom!

Suddenly I knew exactly what he was talking about and who and what I was. It scared me to death for a week or two until I realized how easy it was to meet strangers and how many of us there were.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 9, 2011 3:59 AM

Liberace was about "schmultz and showmanship" and did bring appreciation of music forward. That said, he lacked the technical ability of Van Cliburn, but had the television personality that "played well" to his chosen audience. In Liberace's time frame no performer was "out" and although closeted he did a great deal financing musical scholarships and charitable appearance. The long dead blue haired ladies loved him and brought their grandchildren who knew what they were really seeing.

The trouble was once you have gone "over the top" you have to better yourself again and again which led to the excesses of his later years in performance. Why not? He was the highest paid performer in the world in his own time. Looking at these old pieces now seems outlandish, but the old kinescopes of his black and white television beginnings were of a man in ordinary evening clothes playing an "ordinary Steinway" if there is such a thing. His pieces are so far out of date because he has been gone so long.

He has been dead 23 years, he should be remembered, for what he left behind was important to those who loved his "showmanship." After all, his alternative would have been to have been the old, fat, queer, bald piano teacher in West Allis Wisconsin.

A shirtless Matt-adore...
poolside by moonlight...
twirling a red silk shirt...around...
his motorcycle helmet-for-bull...
doung a flamenco
Liberace playing Malaguena !!!