How do you explain Twitter to your grandmother? Or more specifically, how will I explain Twitter to my grandmother?
I want to tell my 98-year-old grandma that I got a tweet from the Liberace Museum. She was a big fan of the flamboyant pianist and would occasionally travel with a group of like-minded ladies to see Liberace perform at Radio City Music Hall. A few years after Liberace died, I gave my grandmother a boxed set of Liberace shows (on VHS) for Christmas. Another year I gave her a souvenir Christmas ornament that I ordered online from the Liberace Museum’s gift shop. Grandma had visited the museum on her trip to Vegas and regretted not getting a souvenir at the time.
Like most people, I remember Liberace more for his campy style than his masterful musicianship. I first saw him playing the dual parts of Chandel and Harry, a pair of twin villains on “Batman.” I think of him for his piano-shaped pool and his outrageous costumes.
I’ll have to explain to Grandma that my son and I were watching “Saturday Night Live” and the Billboard Music Awards last weekend. During Lady Gaga’s performance on SNL, Frank Jr. wondered if future generations will find her costumes as laughable as current generations find Liberace’s. I turned his comment into a tweet and got an “LOL” back from the Liberace Museum.
The next night during the Billboard Music Awards, Liberace became a trending topic on Twitter. People were comparing the late legend to Cee Lo Green who sang while playing a piano that levitated and did a slow flip in mid-air. Cee Lo’s costume perfectly hid the restraints that kept him in his seat while the piano was upside down. Cee Lo’s performance reminded me more of Elton John than of Liberace. I thought the same thing during his show-stealing number at the Grammy Awards.
The Liberace Museum sent me a tweet suggesting that Cee Lo’s new music video would make the connection more apparent. I looked online for Cee Lo’s most recent video, which showed a series of bright neon lights in New York. I had the wrong video. On Friday, the Liberace Museum tweeted me again, this time with the link to Cee Lo’s new video and the information that Green had borrowed some of Liberace’s stuff for the shoot.