Jeff Busby Passes Away

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
User avatar
Kevin Connolly
Posts: 2431
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Kevin Connolly » February 18th, 2014, 12:44 am

Please visit my website.
http://houdinihimself.com/
I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

User avatar
Q. Kumber
Posts: 1424
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Q. Kumber » February 18th, 2014, 7:27 am

Jeff was a highly controversial character in magic but I always enjoyed his writings and publications.

There was a story that he once put T.A. Waters out of his car on the way to a magic convention, because he took umbrage as Waters didn't list Busby as one of the top card magicians.

Is that true?

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23865
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 18th, 2014, 10:11 am

He still owes me money.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Jim Sisti
Posts: 78
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New England

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Jim Sisti » February 18th, 2014, 11:58 am

Is there any truth to the rumor that Bob Farmer will be speaking at the memorial service?

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Roger M. » February 18th, 2014, 1:05 pm

I own two Busby "products", The Man Who Was Erdnase, and The Secret of the Palmettos.

Both absolutely brilliant, and although I don't agree with everything contained within both volumes, representative of some of the very finest research and writing in my library.

As is appropriate to wish upon all those who've "crossed the bar"...

R.I.P.

Kipp Sherry
Posts: 1
Joined: February 18th, 2014, 1:46 pm
Favorite Magician: Doug Henning

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Kipp Sherry » February 18th, 2014, 1:49 pm

A fellow Idahoan.
Rest In Peace Jeff.

Hypnokomedy
Posts: 3
Joined: February 18th, 2014, 2:51 pm
Favorite Magician: David Berglas

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Hypnokomedy » February 18th, 2014, 3:01 pm

I met Jeff at the Magic Cellar in San Francisco in 75 when I lived in the Bay Area where I grew up. Then several visits to his home in Oakland where his entire stock of books fit on a shelf/desk in the front living room. Interesting fellow (!)

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23865
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 18th, 2014, 5:27 pm

He was interesting as long as he didn't owe you money.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Jim Sisti
Posts: 78
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New England

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Jim Sisti » February 18th, 2014, 6:12 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:He was interesting as long as he didn't owe you money.


That would be a pretty short list, then...

Joe Mckay
Posts: 1205
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 6:56 am
Favorite Magician: Lubor Fiedler
Location: Durham, England

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Joe Mckay » February 18th, 2014, 7:14 pm

I was a big fan of his writings. And nobody in magic could write better advertising copy.

Really interesting guy. Coming across his writings on card magic was the most important early influence in my education in card magic. Back then I used to love reading up on the history and controversies over credits between the likes of Fulves, Busby, Marlo, Kaufman, Racherbaumer and Lorayne. It was a really interesting way of becoming educated in the history of card magic.

Still - shame he messed up his business by taking customers money and not delivering on promises.

'The Secretss of The Palmettos' is my favourite book from him. But I enjoyed his magazines, reviews and advertising copy just as much. He was a very knowledgable person and that was an early inspiration for me.

R.I.P

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23865
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 18th, 2014, 7:28 pm

He wrote very good at writing advertising copy, and that's one of the reasons he owes a lot of us money.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
Q. Kumber
Posts: 1424
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Q. Kumber » February 19th, 2014, 5:04 am

Q. Kumber wrote:

There was a story that he once put T.A. Waters out of his car on the way to a magic convention, because he took umbrage as Waters didn't list Busby as one of the top card magicians.

Is that true?


Anyone?

Max Maven
Posts: 423
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Hollywood, CA
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Max Maven » February 19th, 2014, 5:10 am


There was a story that he once put T.A. Waters out of his car on the way to a magic convention, because he took umbrage as Waters didn't list Busby as one of the top card magicians.

Is that true?



It was in the 1980s. Jeff was driving Thomas back from attending a lecture in San Francisco to Oakland (where they both lived).

Jeff kicked him out of the car halfway across the Bay Bridge.

User avatar
Q. Kumber
Posts: 1424
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Q. Kumber » February 19th, 2014, 7:49 am

Thank you Max.

It is such a good story that you hope it is true and that it is not true.

Jon Racherbaumer
Posts: 843
Joined: January 22nd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Orleans

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » February 19th, 2014, 1:10 pm

JEFF BUSBY’S DEPARTURE

Schadenfreude becomes an unsatisfying exercise as a person nears his own death. Extinction seems to take the starch out of many things. What’s the phrase—“Revenge is a dish best served cold”?

I never met Jeff Busby in person. We never interacted vis-à-vis in any manner. Nor did we ever exchange a civil word in private. We were colleagues in name only. We were not friends or allies. He solely existed in the texts, books, articles, and rants that he cranked out for many years. In other words, for me, he existed only in PRINT. Consequently, I strictly related and REACTED to what he wrote…and in that regard, I frequently found myself profoundly at odds with his assertions, opinions, and ideas. We were (to be blunt) hard-core agonists and petulant foes.

Nevertheless, putting ALL of THAT STUFF aside (which was a whole lot of STUFF), Busby was a feisty part of the same game of providing and promulgating Information (including facts and factoids, disinformation and misinformation). I paid attention to his productions. I noted his rants and screeds. I reacted to his hatchet swiping. I bought his stuff. I was among those stung by the Braue Notes mess. He was a qualified contrarian and a polarizing, vexing, annoying opponent.

All along, though, I realized that this objectionable role he played only partially represented who he might have been as a whole person. I also realized (as I once wrote anent some of Busby’s behavior in print) that “politics, in magic, is low-brow sport. Sometimes it reaches Machiavellian heights when you move closer to the epicenters of Inner Circles. But, for the most part, it often becomes a fatuously crude game that ends badly. When we play, we are splattered and spotted by the same mud.”

Now that Busby is gone, it seems hollow to say, “Farewell to all that!” When any “player” (including an enemy) exits the “arena,” the state-of-play changes. Sometimes the air clears. Sometimes the vibe seems more serene and hospitable. Sometimes it somehow seems diminished.

The Jury is still out.
Perhaps the Jury perpetually remains “out”?

All Evidence remains manifestly invested in the words written and left behind by players (writers). The extent and value of these legacies will be decided, if ever, by future generations of judges. The rest, alas, feels like dust…inexorably settling…

Onward…

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23865
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 19th, 2014, 2:01 pm

Yeah, the dust is still settling on the pile of $30,000 that he owes all of us since 1987. He lived as a crook, and died as a crook.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Hypnokomedy
Posts: 3
Joined: February 18th, 2014, 2:51 pm
Favorite Magician: David Berglas

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Hypnokomedy » February 19th, 2014, 4:46 pm

Back in the mid to late 70's I met Jeff, as I said at the Magic Cellar. He was unique, to be sure. My friend Ron Brinegar was my mentor in card magic- I was just a teen. He had just published his first book with Micky Hades, nothing overtly spectacular but a good 'just above beginner level' book. Ron was friends with Larry Jennings. At the Cellar, Jeff started in on Ron (who wasn't there) so I walked away. Later, at one of Dai Vernon's Farewell Lectures in Sacrament, I asked Dai about a Steven's shuffle technique in Epilogue- the Professor took me into a corner and gave me a one-on-one lesson. I was thrilled. This did irritate Jeff. Later Ron took me to Larry's hotel room where several had gathered and asked Larry to show me a couple of things they had just talked about- because "Chris, my friend, is crazy about your card magic, and I've been teaching him." Jeff stepped in and told Larry in no uncertain terms, "Stop Larry, don't do it." Larry just blew him off. I'm glad he did. Larry hunkered down over the bed as his close up mat, did open travelers, invisible palm and a host of other things.
Jeff's behavior in no way diminishes me because he didn't rip me off, and I'm comfortable to have met Dai Vernon, Larry Jennings, and of course my friend Ron, but I'm saddened for those whom he took advantage of.

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6766
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 19th, 2014, 5:52 pm

leojerome wrote:I don't think this how a gentleman should conduct himself.
Even if he stole a million dollars, it doesn't give you the right to dance on his grave.


I have been monitoring this thread in my “moderator” capacity for what should be obvious reasons. While I have seen a lot of truth, I have seen no “dancing on his grave.” That would be tasteless things like, “I’m glad the [etc.] is dead ... He got what he deserved” and the like. There has been none of that.

But death is in no way a form of ablution. Only in life could he have cleansed himself of the wrongs of which he was, without any doubt, guilty. Bringing them up here is not only well within the “rights” of those doing so, it is also wholly appropriate. Pretending Jeff Busby was something he was not just for the sake of propriety is not.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4502
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Bill Mullins » February 19th, 2014, 8:49 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote: Bringing [his wrongs] up here is not only well within the “rights” of those doing so, it is also wholly appropriate. Pretending Jeff Busby was something he was not just for the sake of propriety is not.


You don't have to pretend JB was something he was not to recognize that he had family that loved him and overlooked his flaws, and that they are no doubt hurting. Some of them may run across this thread. It would bother me if the only thing Vicki Grismer Busby ever saw with my name on it was a shot I'd taken at her husband on the week of his death.

Ever since the Forum went online, it has been accepted practice to talk about JB's wrongs. It will, no doubt, continue to happen for as long as the forum is active. It wouldn't hurt anyone to ignore for a few days the Braue Notebooks, his practices on ebay with respect to Paul Fox items, etc., especially in this particular thread. There'll be plenty of time for that later.

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Roger M. » February 19th, 2014, 9:02 pm

Busby is dead now, perhaps it is remedial to try to find at least one positive thing to say about the guy, and if one can't find one positive thing (which is absolutely fine) - perhaps letting Busby rest in peace and saying nothing at all might be the way to go.

Saying one nice thing about a somebody who's passed doesn't at all remediate their reputation.

As well, if one can't find something positive to note here, it's just plain civilized to let this thread pass you by without hitting "Submit".

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 7690
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 19th, 2014, 9:12 pm

The guy could write great ad copy.

I'm glad he published his "into the fourth dimension" card routine.

Having a hedgehog for a pet is cool.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

prodigy
Posts: 92
Joined: April 20th, 2008, 8:40 am

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby prodigy » February 19th, 2014, 10:50 pm

I enjoyed reading Epoptica.

Ted M
Posts: 904
Joined: January 24th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dani DaOrtiz
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Ted M » February 20th, 2014, 12:09 am

Busby's business practices made for lively, colorful reading in the "Bull" column of Richard's Almanac.

Was that positive enough for your quaint cultural tradition of turning a blind eye to -- and even seeking to silence -- the still-living people who were (and still remain) wronged?

PickaCard
Posts: 332
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby PickaCard » February 20th, 2014, 6:33 am

How much was a subscription to the notebooks?

Why did he never publish the other half? Maybe he did not have them?

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Roger M. » February 20th, 2014, 10:21 am

Ted M wrote:
Was that positive enough for your quaint cultural tradition of turning a blind eye to -- and even seeking to silence -- the still-living people who were (and still remain) wronged?


Some would posit that there may be karma attached to speaking ill of the dead.

Post as you see fit to post.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23865
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 20th, 2014, 11:33 am

I don't believe in Karma of any kind.

By 1987, when I was a columnist in Genii, Busby had collected well over $30 grand from suckers who subsribed to the Braue Notebooks, Epoptica, and Arcane. I subscribed to all three and never received a single issue of Epoptica and Arcane after that. He managed to squeak out one or two more issues of the Braue Notebooks only after pressure was applied in print in several occasions.

Bill Larsen fired me for what I wrote about Busby, because Busby's buddy Dave Hardy, a lawyer, threatened to sue Bill. Dave Hardy did this all the time on Busby's behalf, but they never sued a single person. However they intimidated a lot of people who were right in their complaints.

It's not common knowledge that Busby likely STOLE the original Braue Notebooks from Loyd Jones. He missed a few, and those ended up in the collection of Byron Walker.

It's not common knowledge that on one of Busby's visits to Fawcett Ross he stole all of his correspondance with Charlie Miller.

So, the guy wasn't just a bad businessman who was overly ambitious and became overwhelmed by projects despite good intentions. He was a crook. His wife knows he was a crook: he managed to estrange Vicki Grismer from her father Ray.

His lunatic rantings via email libelled many people, myself among them.

Those are the facts. If you want to say he was a nice guy in spite of that, that's your business.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
mrgoat
Posts: 4257
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby mrgoat » February 20th, 2014, 12:03 pm

Roger M. wrote:
Some would posit that there may be karma attached to speaking ill of the dead.


Only people that also believed in fairies and father christmas.

richmarotta
Posts: 3
Joined: November 11th, 2013, 2:17 pm
Favorite Magician: Rich Marotta

Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby richmarotta » February 20th, 2014, 12:32 pm

Richard,

Could you be a little clearer about how you feel about Jeff Busby? By the way, I have an extra pair of Capezio shoes in your size.

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Roger M. » February 20th, 2014, 1:06 pm

OK, certainly speak ill of the dead if you so choose.

Honestly, I'm just posting as a casual reader while drinking my morning coffee, I really couldn't give a crap what you think of Busby, or how you choose to speak of him after his death.

User avatar
mrgoat
Posts: 4257
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brighton, UK
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby mrgoat » February 20th, 2014, 2:34 pm

Roger M. wrote:OK, certainly speak ill of the dead if you so choose.


How gracious of you! Telling the owner of this forum you grant him permission to post how he wishes about someone that stole thens of thousands of bucks from him!

User avatar
Brad Jeffers
Posts: 831
Joined: April 11th, 2008, 5:52 pm
Location: Savannah, GA

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Brad Jeffers » February 20th, 2014, 3:49 pm

How gracious of you! Telling the owner of this forum you grant him permission to post how he wishes about someone that stole thens of thousands of bucks from him!


As I understand it, what Busby "stole" from the owner of this forum, was the cost of a years subscription to Epoptica, a years subscription to Arcane, and $140 for the 7 undelivered issues of The Braue Notebooks.

This does not represent tens of thousands of dollars. The figure is about $200.

I suppose it is a matter of principle, rather than money, which elicits the vitriolic response whenever the name of Jeff Busby is brought up.

Unfortunately, this vitriol is also evident in the Magicpedia article on Jeff Busby.

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6766
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 20th, 2014, 3:55 pm

Another issue with the late Mr. Busby: his questionable claim that he owned the Paul Fox "brand" and how he, numerous times, stopped rightful owners from selling their personal property via eBay.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23865
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 20th, 2014, 4:05 pm

Busby never paid Paul Fox's family the money he owed them for the rights to use the Paul Fox name and produce his products. Fox's family spent years trying to recover all the materials he "borrowed."

Brad, my comments refer not just to the money he stole from me, but the money he stole from ALL the people who subscribed to The Braue Notebooks (which I'll remind you again that he stole from Lloyd Jones and had no right to publish in the first place), plus the money from all those who subscribed to Epoptica and Arcane.

Busby never made a good faith effort to publish anything in the last 25 years, and spent almost half his life writing crazy things about people in libelous emails sent out in mass mailings on the internet.

If customers had sent me money, even if I was struck blind and lost of the use of my hands, I would find some way to honor my obligation to them. Including the use of voice recognition software so that I could continue to write without having to type. I would need the help of friends, of course, but if people had paid me, they would have received either a refund or the product.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Bob Farmer
Posts: 2110
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Short card above selection.

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Bob Farmer » February 20th, 2014, 4:31 pm

Busby was brilliant but self-destructive.

His ordering instructions were so complicated, you needed NSA to decode them.

He never had any rights to publish the Braue Notebooks, took several hundred dollars from several hundred people and never repaid a cent. I spoke with Braue's daughter, the executor of his estate: she'd never heard of Busby and was outraged about what he was doing (this was long after he had ceased publication). I do have a copy of the entire Braue Notebooks, but I didn't get it from Busby.

During an interrogation in a lawsuit he started, his business pratices were questioned. The lawyer produced my receipt for the Braue Notebooks and put it in front of Busby, asking, "Do you know Bob Farmer?"

Apparently, Busby jumped out of his chair and yelled, "He's insane!"

Let me return the compliment: if Busby wasn't insane, he sure was nuts.

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Roger M. » February 20th, 2014, 4:58 pm

mrgoat wrote:
Roger M. wrote:OK, certainly speak ill of the dead if you so choose.


How gracious of you! Telling the owner of this forum you grant him permission to post how he wishes about someone that stole thens of thousands of bucks from him!


It's very sweet of you to focus on me personally, but I'll really have to let you and your feeble attempts at trolling find somebody else to "get sweet on".

I've no interest in your self-serving efforts to further ingratiate yourself with Richard, as I've got no beef with Richard, Dustin, or the Genii Forum whatsoever, and understand fully that Richard is rightfully still pissed off at being ripped off by Busby.

If you really want to get into it with me Goat, I'm up for it.
But for the fact that I've never addressed you personally in life, or in this forum, I can only presume that you've developed an "online crush" on me, and simply don't know how to make your secret wishes come true other than to blab away in efforts to get me to respond.

Later dear!

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 23865
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 20th, 2014, 5:06 pm

Goat and Roger, please cease commenting on each others' posts. Now. Thank you.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

John McDonald
Posts: 380
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Chester, UK

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby John McDonald » February 21st, 2014, 5:20 am

Seems the only thing that doesn't die is your reputation. Rest in peace Jeff.
Best John

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 7690
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 21st, 2014, 8:40 am

Card Warp is doing fine. No hank, no tape but the basic effect lives on.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4502
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Bill Mullins » February 21st, 2014, 9:35 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Card Warp is doing fine. No hank, no tape but the basic effect lives on.

Card Warp is Roy Walton's effect, not Busby's, is it not?

User avatar
Joe Pecore
Posts: 1909
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Paul Harris
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Jeff Busby Passes Away

Postby Joe Pecore » February 21st, 2014, 9:49 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
Jonathan Townsend wrote:Card Warp is doing fine. No hank, no tape but the basic effect lives on.

Card Warp is Roy Walton's effect, not Busby's, is it not?

I believe Card Warp was an outgrowth of Jeff Busby's "Into the Fourth Dimension... and Beyond."
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.


Return to “Buzz”