“Me and my shadow / Strolling down the avenue / Me and my shadow / Not a soul to tell our troubles to” – Rose, Dreyer, Jolson
It was easy to escape the influence of my forebears – a couple potions and a naked rendezvous or two with devilish types and I was as good as new. Harold Lloyd, Jr. (1931 – 1971) had a bit more difficult time. As the son of Harold Lloyd, one of cinematic comedy’s early kings, Lloyd struggled to make his way in show business…and life.
Still, the troubled man landed roles in a couple cult classics. He sensitively (if slightly exaggeratedly) paints a portrait of a kind yet conflicted youth in The Flaming Urge (1953), the story of an obsessed fire chaser who is accused of a series of arsons in a small town. He is probably best remembered, though, for his energy filled take on the extremely horny Don in the fun teen drive-in horror Frankenstein’s Daughter (1958).
Lloyd Jr. also pursued a singing career, releasing one album. His smooth delivery and easy tones work well with this version of Go Back to Him. Meanwhile, astute Hollywood followers may note this selection with some sense of irony as Lloyd Jr.’s homosexuality was a fairly well known secret in a time when such matters were less socially acceptable.
Unfortunately, this brave yet sensitive soul died from complications from a stroke, perhaps caused by his alcoholism, at age 40, long before reaching his full potential. Here’s hoping that posterity will, eventually, be kinder to him than he was to himself.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!