King of Bling

15 09 2010

Pack your bag and book a bus ticket ’cause the Liberace museum in Las Vegas is closing soon.

In these tough times, it would do you good to see Liberace’s red, white and blue hotpants suit and his sparkly pianos. And don’t think you can wait until you get your year-end bonus for this pilgrimage, because the 200 pound rhinestone lined mink cape and flashy jewelry will be mothballed after October 17.

Wladziu Valentino Liberace was born and raised in Wisconsin, and started playing the piano at the age of 4. During his career he played Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and received six gold records. And, of course, there was the bling. Liberace died in 1986, leaving 18 grand pianos, several cars, countless costumes and heaps of flashy jewelry for the museum.

And speaking of costumes, he nearly died in 1963 when dry cleaning fumes from his costumes caused uremic poisoning. He was apparently a good Catholic boy and claimed to have been saved by a white nun who appeared to him while he was in a coma. The experience didn’t seem to dampen his enthusiasm for elaborate costumes, but maybe he wore them dirty after that.

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