There was an article on Liberace in this morning’s Sunday NYTimes, and it reminded me of a prank in 1954, when I spent the summer at my friend Buster’s house in Denver. There was a Liberace concert at Red Rocks out door amphitheater. Buster and I went early and climbed up to a ledge on the western cliff above the stage, where we were partially hidden. I took my banjo.
Liberace came out and before playing, was talking about a critic in the Denver Post who’d said something unfavorable about him. I starting played “Ain’t She Sweet” on my banjo. He stopped talking, the crowd was hushed, and he looked up and said, “Well, I guess she brought along her banjo.” Everyone laughed and I shut up. Respect for such quick wit.