Thursday, January 07, 2010

Make the Best of the Situation

The late entertainer Liberace (pronounced "Libber-rot-chee," for those of you too young to remember him) was a flamboyant piano player. (That's him on the right, next to a young Elvis.)

Something of an understatement, flamboyant. He had bling that would make the top rap stars say muthafucka! in awe -- one diamond ring shaped like a piano that was almost as large as a real piano ...

My grandmother used to watch him on the little black-and-white television back when I was a lad -- she loved him -- and that's where I first saw him. At that point, he was still wearing a tuxedo and had nothing more outrageous about him than a candelabra and some snappy patter. He later went so far over the top as to become the very model of in-your-face outrageous -- dress, demeanor, lifestyle.

Gayer than a stadium full of caballeros ...

In his youth, he was a pretty good classical piano player, but he opted to go for the glitter. It made him rich and famous, though he used to catch crap from the purists because he chose style over substance. Asked about whether it bothered him that the critics hated him, he is reputed to have said "I cry all the way to the bank."

(He didn't come up with the expression -- there is a report of a wealthy boxing manager in the mid-forties whose fighter lost, but the gate was such that he offered the same sentiment. But it was Liberace's version that is remembered. Along with the codicil: “Remember that bank I cried all the way to? I bought it.”

I was on another site and somebody was busting James Cameron's balls for Avatar, and that thought popped into my head.

Living well is the best revenge ...

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