Ah, yes, the good old days, when men were men, even men like Liberace. This is a patchy, half-hearted attempt by pulp hack Leo Guild to paint one of the campest individuals ever to pound a gilt piano as a rootin' tootin' real feller, a ladies' man, a genuine 100% testosterone-fuelled pussy-hound.
(Alternate title: "The Bumper Book of Beards".)
Just look at that cover. Miss Coraleen Jurian - according to one internet source the former Queen of the Grand National Livestock Expo, and another a "sexy cowgirl" - really looks like she is enjoying his embrace, doesn't she? Or maybe it says "I wonder where he buys his foundation".
The keyboardist extraordinaire, who lives with his mother and designed her room in a "luscious combination of dusty pink and gray", has allegedly been engaged three times, but is as yet unmarried. Not ready to settle down. then?
"I guess I am not unlike the sailor", Liberace said with a saucy wink, "with a girl in every port".
In fact a close reading reveals that the true "Loves" of Liberace are his mother, interior decorating, cooking, questionable fashion, music, and his fans.
Despite his repeated assertions of interest in the fair sex, the question of the star's manliness or otherwise has been raised by some, and Guild tackles it most directly:
Liberace is the perfect specimen of a well-groomed gentleman, he doesn't chew tobacco or drive a truck; but he is as hairy as Rosselini, and who has ever questioned his masculinity? He can move a piano by himself, he chops wood for exercise; and he has always, since he was a very small child, liked to be clean.
Do we live today in more enlightened times? Perhaps. At least flamboyant pianists are allowed to be gay, now. Maybe in another 50 years or so, footballers and military personnel will be out of the closet, too. And maybe at last nobody will care very much what anyone does in private, if such a concept still exists.
For a more unkind, if ultimately misfiring, view of Liberace, check out Liberace v. Cassandra.
Scribbled by Alfred Armstrong 4 years 11 months ago