When Houdini escaped Britain.

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MaxNY
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When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby MaxNY » July 28th, 2017, 9:28 pm


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Richard Kaufman
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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 28th, 2017, 10:31 pm

Haven't we seen all those photos a million times already?
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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby performer » July 28th, 2017, 10:48 pm

ANOTHER book about Houdini! There must have been more biographies written about him than any other magician in history. I still like the William Lindsey Gresham one the best. Murray (who actually coined the word "escapology----or at least claimed he did) once complained to me, "All these people write about Houdini and none of them ever knew him"

Murray had seen Houdini perform when he was ten years old. He told me, "I wasn't very impressed" He never did like Houdini. The only other person I met who actually knew Houdini was John Mulholland who complained. that Harry was defrauding or at least mismanaging the funds of the SAM. I heard him assert with some indignation that he was the only one who dared speak up about it.

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 29th, 2017, 3:33 pm

It's an updated reprint that was first published in 2011. John Cox's Wild About Harry blog discusses Tait's book:

http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/search?q=derek+tait

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby JohnCox » July 30th, 2017, 6:51 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Haven't we seen all those photos a million times already?


There's actually one in there I've never seen (HH looking down at his legions), and the shot of Houdini ship side with members of the AWS (Associated Wizards of the South) is a brand new one. Sold on eBay a while back. I guess it was Derek who won it!

I'm really looking forward this book. We're in a time of specialized Houdini books, and Derek's great passion in Houdini in Britain. As Leo says, this is an expanded version of his self-published book from 2011.

It's out today in the UK, but it looks like Amazon doesn't yet have it in stock: http://amzn.to/2wc4qs3. U.S. release is November 2.
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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 31st, 2017, 6:23 pm

PERFORMER WROTE: "John Mulholland...complained. that Harry was defrauding or at least mismanaging the funds of the SAM."

If true, it would be an exquisite irony considering how much time and effort Houdini invested in exposing fraudulent mediums.

I wonder if he was ever able to get some "hush money" from any of them, after he got the goods on them?

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby performer » July 31st, 2017, 8:00 pm

To this day I have no idea what he was referring to. I think that at one point Houdini was President of the SAM although I may be wrong. It may have been something to do with that. I heard Mulholland say it with my own ears. I found him a mite unpleasant and condescending. It was at the Magic Circle and he came to visit. A 15 year old magician had performed on the stage and was daft enough to ask Mulholland what he thought of the performance presumably looking for constructive criticism. Mulholland simply stared at him saying "how old are you?" The kid said "15". The Great Man looked down on him from his imposing height (I remember he was very tall) and snorted, "I was a professional magician when I was 15" as if to say the kid was crap.

I was quite turned off by that.

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 31st, 2017, 8:04 pm

Mulholland was in fact a notorious snob.
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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 31st, 2017, 9:36 pm

Maybe he was jealous of Harry, and possibly perpetrated his own little fraud...

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 31st, 2017, 10:01 pm

performer wrote:To this day I have no idea what he was referring to. I think that at one point Houdini was President of the SAM although I may be wrong.


Yes, he was President of the SAM from 1917 to 1926.

Don't know why Mulholland would say that about Houdini.

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 31st, 2017, 10:25 pm

Because Mulholland was jealous?

Because he heard unsubstantiated rumors?

Because he was a snob who didn't like pushy little Jews?

Take your pick.
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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby performer » July 31st, 2017, 10:40 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
performer wrote:To this day I have no idea what he was referring to. I think that at one point Houdini was President of the SAM although I may be wrong.


Yes, he was President of the SAM from 1917 to 1926.

Don't know why Mulholland would say that about Houdini.


I don't know why he said it either. I just know he said it. His exact words (as far as I can recall) were, "Houdini was mishandling the funds of the SAM. I was the only one who had the nerve to speak up about it"

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby performer » July 31st, 2017, 10:53 pm

While I am gossiping about famous dead magicians I do have a little anecdote concerning Dante. I was selling svengali decks at some exhibition in Cardiff some decades ago and there was a grey haired old man watching me. When I finished he informed me that he used to be Dante's stage manager. He told me all sorts of stories about Dante. At one point he asked me a question, "Do you know why Dante's hair went white overnight?" I replied no and he proceeded to tell me. "His son died in a motor bike accident and as a result his hair went white overnight! " Mind you, I did read another account of why his hair went white overnight but I prefer the motor bike one.

Best of all he told me how Dante was highly irritated with that old rogue Murray who allegedly came it to see Dante's show every night to see what material he could steal! Knowing Murray I can quite believe it! Many years after this incident I actually got to know Murray quite well and he would often speak fondly of Dante. He seemed to miss him a lot and one day he told me he had dreamt the night before that he was drinking with Dante just like the old days. I think they both liked to partake of the devil's buttermilk.

But to bring the topic back to Houdini, Murray told me how much he disliked Houdini and he would snort at the very mention of his name. He told me that Houdini would have awkward members of the audience taken out the back door of the theatre and beaten up in the alley!

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 31st, 2017, 11:15 pm

performer wrote:But to bring the topic back to Houdini, Murray told me how much he disliked Houdini and he would snort at the very mention of his name. He told me that Houdini would have awkward members of the audience taken out the back door of the theatre and beaten up in the alley! I suppose that WOULD make him a "pushy little Jew!"


This may have been the story told by Will Goldston where HH had an unruly audience member removed and roughed up outside. Afterwards in his dressing room he told Goldston: "All in a day's work, Will."

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 1st, 2017, 2:50 am

Performer Wrote: "He [Murray] told me that Houdini would have awkward members of the audience taken out the back door of the theatre and beaten up in the alley!"

For some reason, that reminds me of the time Frank Sinatra saved my life in the parking lot at Caesar's Palace...
He told his bodyguards: "Alright, that's enough."

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby Brad Jeffers » August 1st, 2017, 5:28 am

Tait also has another interesting book coming out in 2018 ...
The Great Illusionists

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Re: When Houdini escaped Britain.

Postby performer » August 1st, 2017, 12:13 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
performer wrote:But to bring the topic back to Houdini, Murray told me how much he disliked Houdini and he would snort at the very mention of his name. He told me that Houdini would have awkward members of the audience taken out the back door of the theatre and beaten up in the alley! I suppose that WOULD make him a "pushy little Jew!"


This may have been the story told by Will Goldston where HH had an unruly audience member removed and roughed up outside. Afterwards in his dressing room he told Goldston: "All in a day's work, Will."


Quite possibly. I know that Murray was quite friendly with Will Goldston.


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