PARANORMAL X 

 

 

LIBERACE

Wladziu Valentino Liberace was born on the 16th of May 1919 in West Allis, Wisconsin. Coming from a classical musical background, it never sat well with his father that he played the more popular tunes, but Liberace appeared to be adept at whatever he put himself to once those elegant fingers touched the piano keys.

He was grandiose and eccentric and that maybe what adhered his audiences to him. He soon added the candelabra to his piano that was to become his trademark.

Selling out to audiences wherever he went, Liberace didn’t forget his beginnings. Though he could play the piano by ear at the age of four, he attended Wisconsin College of Music under a scholarship, and for those less fortunate he set up the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts and later opened The Liberace Museum to help fund the non-profit foundation.

Perhaps today Liberace may not appear so flamboyant and his most guarded secret, that of being homosexual, would not be such an important issue. Above the glitter of his clothes and jewellery shone his musical talent that has not been surpassed. On the 2nd of November 1986 he made a final appearance at the Radio City Music Hall in New York and died in February the following year at his home in Palm Springs.

In death the proceedings were just as flamboyant as the man himself. Tents were erected to hide the body from view as it was brought from the house. The death certificate contributed emphysema with no cause and so the body was recalled for an autopsy to be performed, even though Liberace had been embalmed. The death certificate was altered and AIDS added as a cause of death, stunning the world just as Rock Hudson had two years previously.


Lee as he was known by family and friends, purchased a house in Palm Springs and stamped his own personality upon it in the form of a piano-shaped swimming pool. This is where he lived, socialised and died so it would not be surprising to find him returning to his old home. He also owned a piano that had once belonged to Chopin, who was also flamboyant for his day, and Lee believed that the master composer often helped when he played it.

Many of Lee’s possessions, a rare car, jewellery and clothing are on display at the Liberace Museum, and beside that is the Italian restaurant Carluccio’s Trivioli Gardens. Owned by Liberace, it is here in his own elegant style that he designed the place as it is today. And it is here that Lee is thought to haunt as staff and patrons have experienced many strange things. The doors to the ladies toilets have been known to lock and unlock themselves along with the electricity suffering power surges. On one occasion the electricity cut out and would not come back on until it was realised that it was Liberace’s birthday. On wishing the entertainer many happy returns the electricity was restored.

Paranormal X 2009

 
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