googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Behind the Candelabra

Behind the Candelabra

 My wife and I watched HBO's original biopic Behind the Candelabra, the "untold" story of Liberace. Noticed how I mentioned "my wife" and I watched it and not that I sat alone eating popcorn in my pajamas and watched it. I just want to make that clear.

Back in the early days of my Newwave band Womanizer, our bass player's mother worked as a waitress at a coffee shop and one of her customers was "in the music business". She asked if we could play him our demo tape and he said we could meet with him down at the coffee shop. It turned out he was in business with Liberace and offered to present our tapes to Liberace's record label. This was a generous offer and I asked who Liberace's record company was, RCA, Capitol, Decca? No, it turned out he meant Liberace's own label. We couldn't see our rock band being signed to Liberace's personal record company and politely passed on his generous offer. If we had been a Glam band or maybe Disco it might have been a better fit.

Back to the biopic... Michael Douglas did what might be described as a fabulous job as Liberace. Liberace was one of my grandmother's favorites, along with Lawrence Welk, and she used to watch his weekly TV show religiously so I am reasonably familiar with Liberace.

What was good about the film Behind the Candelabra was that serves as an introduction of Liberace to a generation who probably has little or no idea who or what he was. His style of instrumental piano music isn't classical and certainly not rock or jazz and definitely out of style but his personal style is instantly recognizable to anyone who is familiar with Little Richard, Barry Manilow or Elton John. 

Behind the Candelabra puts the story of Liberace in the context of his sex life which was never anything more than a rumor until the 80s when he died from AIDS but has always been a big part of his persona. Again, it bears repeating that Michael Douglas did a terrific job as Liberace and Matt Damon did a good job as his boyfriend and biographer (on whose book the movie was based) but after seeing Michael Douglas' portrayal of Liberace I now think I understand why Kathrine Zeta Jones went into rehab.

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