Jennings 67

Discuss your favorite books, authors, and tricks from Kaufman and Company.
Ted M
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Ted M » November 26th, 2012, 5:53 pm

If you're ordering back issues for book recommendations, you might also consider Jan 2001, which contains "A Millennium of Magic Literature," a 13-page article by Jamy Ian Swiss which provides an overview of the (mostly english-language) conjuring literature since 1584...

[Or just subscribe, and have the whole searchable archive available...]

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Rick Ruhl » November 26th, 2012, 11:12 pm

And this thread turns 11 years old

Bill Mullins
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Bill Mullins » November 26th, 2012, 11:41 pm

Ted M wrote:If you're ordering back issues for book recommendations, you might also consider . . .
the June 2002 issue, in which David Regal, in his "Speaking Volumes" column queries 40 magicians for overlooked tricks. The discussion usually included the books the tricks were found in.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Pete McCabe » November 27th, 2012, 1:28 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:It's very odd when these ancient, five-year-old threads get reactivated because someone digs them out and makes a new post.


Richard, has it gotten any less odd in the last 7 years?

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 27th, 2012, 10:54 am

I actually, upon further reflection, think there's great value in reviving old "conversations" and continuing them.
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Pete McCabe » November 27th, 2012, 4:39 pm

Goodme too. I'll check back in another 7 years.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby lakewoodcards » November 28th, 2012, 9:35 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Ted M wrote:If you're ordering back issues for book recommendations, you might also consider . . .
the June 2002 issue, in which David Regal, in his "Speaking Volumes" column queries 40 magicians for overlooked tricks. The discussion usually included the books the tricks were found in.


Have it, and it's wonderful. There should be more articles like this one - I come back to it time and again.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby El Mystico » July 7th, 2017, 12:51 pm

It seems to me that the issue of the parenthood of the Open Travellers is now well settled:
When it was first published in Expert Card Mysteries (1975), it says; 'If it were not for...Mike Skinner's suggestion of the cover up steal of the first ace...Jennings states that he would never have come up with this beautiful effect.'

In Michael Skinner's 'Classic Sampler' Jennings says he first met Skinner in the first week of July 1967.

The Cervon Castle Notebooks show that Cervon recorded his 4 Ace Effect on 22 August 1966. This includes the tent vanish, and the spread of the double.

(Although, before all of these, are Miesel's Invincible, and Marlo's impractical Open Travellers.)

Apart from Jennings' (and hence Kaufman's) bluster, are we settled?

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Ryan Matney » July 7th, 2017, 3:07 pm

Apart from Jennings' (and hence Kaufman's) bluster, are we settled?


Not exactly. Jennings created MANY versions of this effect. Several of the routines he developed leading up the handling that was influenced by Skinner are published in Jennings '67. These were certainly prior to meeting Skinner.

It would appear that Larry had the idea first, showed Vernon his routine as it developed, and Vernon gave the idea to Cervon as a problem.

You can't trust the Castle Notebooks entirely either. Cervon recorded several Jennings items in there with no credit.
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 7th, 2017, 4:53 pm

Cervon changed dates and names of things in the Notebooks. The originals clearly show erasures and things written over them.
Cervon's "Aerodynamic Aces" is EXACTLY Bill Miesel's trick with the addition of the invisible palm theme, the tent vanish, and the rub a dub vanish. These are all things that Jennings showed to Vernon. Vernon later gave Cervon a problem to work out, and suggested using the invisible palm theme, the tent vanish, and the rub a dub vanish.

This is an absolutely clear case of Cervon taking Bill Miesel's trick "Invincible" (without credit) and melding ideas which had been given to him by Vernon --who did not tell Cervon that these were Jennings' idea--and creating a series of handlings.

Cervon never invented any classic plots, and he was far more a student of Marlo's than Vernon. Jennings was a student of Vernon's and invented many classic plots. There is nothing in any of Cervon's published material that suggest he was capable of creating the plot of "Invisible Palm Aces." This has nothing to do with "Jennings' bluster," which I consider highly offensive phrase.
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby El Mystico » July 8th, 2017, 3:56 am

Thanks for these replies. They raise a few questions.

Richard says Cervon changed dates in the notebooks. That's a pretty serious charge! And quite a character attack. What's the evidence? And why would he do it, when he didn't show the notebooks around?

Richard says Cervon never invented any classic plots; what is the relevance here? Richard says Aerodynamic Aces was just a handling of the Miesel trick? (And Jennings was just trying to reconstruct the Marlo trick).

Ryan points out that several versions of Jennings' handlings are in Jennings 67. The write up doesn't make it clear; were these write ups from notes Jennings made at the time? Or were they from Jennings' recollections 30 years later?

Richard says Cervon was far more a student of Marlo than Vernon; not sure of the relevance of that here, but if it were true, why did Cervon move to Hollywood and not to Chicago? My understanding is that he studied the works of both men.

If the trick completely belongs to Jennings, and Vernon gave enough tips to Cervon for Cervon to inadvertently recreate it, why did Vernon never correct Cervon about the trick's origins?

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby erdnasephile » July 8th, 2017, 7:59 am

This is just a peripheral question: Jennings and Cervon were both friends and rivals for Vernon's approval. However, they were also both adults. Surely, they both must've realized they were being played against each other by Vernon. If so, why didn't they just stop letting it happen after the first time that occurred?

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Tom Frame » July 8th, 2017, 9:23 am

Erdnasephile,

Their realization that they were being played against each other by Vernon was a thought. It was intellectual.

Their rivalry for Vernon's approval was emotional.

Most of the time, our emotions have a more powerful influence on our behaviors than our thoughts.
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 8th, 2017, 12:05 pm

Jennings and Cervon started as the best of friends: Cervon slept on Larry's couch for six months when he first went to LA (at Jennings' suggestion). Vernon was Jennings' father figure--their emotional connection was very deep.

Vernon could not stand Cervon when he first came to LA. The "Castle" notebooks were Jennings' idea. Because Vernon wouldn't tip to Cervon, and because Larry found it difficult to write, LJ would come home and dictate the information to Cervon. When Jennings saw the first notebook and saw that many of the tricks were not attributed to anyone, he told Cervon to put the credits in. He did, though Cervon later erased and changed the initials on a bunch of the tricks. Cervon refused to give Larry copies of the notebooks for decades. Even though he had started taking notes in the 1960s, I was already working on a book with Jennings in the early 1980s before Larry finally got copies of the early volumes of the Castle Notebooks.

Cervon was extremely jealous of Jennings' ideas and creations, as well as his close relationship with Vernon. I have a micro-cassette where Jennings and Bill Bowers are talking to Vernon, and LJ asks Vernon who was the first person to show him the "Invisible Palm Aces." Vernon says that it was Jennings.

I know from first-hand experience that Cervon was a cold person, blood like ice, and also a liar. He gave me material to publish in Richard's Almanac and later falsely claimed that he gave it to me for private reading only. He was not considered a student of Vernon, and often made derogatory remarks about Vernon when the Professsor was out of earshot. He handled cards like Marlo, and learned all of Marlo's material and had a large correspondence with him. It has been long suspected that Cervon was Marlo's spy on the west coast, sending material to Marlo that he had seen so Marlo could publish it. Bill Simon is suspected of being Marlo's spy on the east coast, forwarding Jacob Daley's riffle shuffle work to Marlo, who then published it in his Riffle Shuffle Trilogy.

The fiction created by L&L's publication of "The Vernon Chronicles" came from Bruce Cervon befriending Louis Falanaga, investing in L&L (originally Larry and Louis) and forcing Jennings out of the partnership. Then Cervon stepped in.

While a number of the people who knew all of this are deceased, there are still some who are alive. Jennings had many friends and was a wonderful sweet guy (when he wasn't drunk). Bruce Cervon had very few friends, didn't really like magicians, was extremely selfish. I can state all of this from firsthand observation and experience.

This does not, by the way, mean that Cervon was not a creative magician and a talented performer. He was, but he was also a nasty egotistical guy and a liar.
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby El Mystico » July 8th, 2017, 2:53 pm

Wow;so Cervon changed the dates in his personal notebooks, and now he was Marlo's spy!
Since you aren't bothering with any evidence, why not also suggest he drank the blood of babies?

I asked: What was the evidence for Cervon changing the dates; your reply is pure bluster (yes, I don't like the word either, but it is bluster).
What is the evidence for him changing dates in the Notebooks? (Particularly in relation to this effect)
What is the evidence for him being Marlo's spy? You say there is correspondence between him and Marlo; so - are there photocopies showing him at his spying work?
Or this as 'factual' as you reporting about Diaconis 'disembowling' Revelations? As Persi wrote in my copy 'I actually didn't cut anything out; indeed I put some stuff in.' This was completely born out by Revelation. (Does this make Richard a liar?)

Richard, you didn't like Cervon; fine. You choose to believe Jennings over Cervon; fine. If all goes to plan, in the near future, you'll all be able to see DVDs of Bruce explaining some great material; you'll be able to judge for yourselves if he was 'a cold person, blood like ice' and 'didn't really like magicians.'

Richard's attempts to assassinate Bruce's character aside, and coming back to the Open Travellers; The Pallbearers Review Volume 1 September (1966) has Fulves pose as a problem an effect clearly related to this effect. Cervon says he believes this was what prompted his conversation with Vernon. As far as I can tell, the Jennings' account pretends this Fulves suggestion never happened: it doesn't rate a mention in Jennings '67, despite the relevance of its timing. Instead we are to believe that, by coincidence, ten years after its publication, Jennings was trying to reconstruct Marlo's Real Gone Aces for no apparent reason.

For what it is worth; I think this is a further example of, as Jennings put it, 'He [Vernon] would give both of us a problem to work out'.

I also, personally, prefer the Jennings version.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 8th, 2017, 7:02 pm

I know these things first hand, or second hand from direct sources. You don't have that knowledge: you weren't there. But you have a lot to say on the subject. Keep it to yourself.
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby El Mystico » July 10th, 2017, 1:58 pm

If you check what I've written I have very few opinions on the subject - apart from expressing a preference for the Jennings' handling.
I do have questions, which no one is answering.
Here is another; if Vernon couldn't stand Cervon, and had a great relationship with Jennings, and would only tip stuff to Jennings; why did Vernon tell Cervon about Jennings' Ace trick?
And if the answer is 'because he had drunk too much'; doesn't alcohol tend to exaggerate your emotions? Wouldn't an intoxicated Vernon hate Cervon even more?

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 10th, 2017, 11:16 pm

Because Vernon was a bit of a sadist, and he treated those who loved him the most the worst.

But Vernon was also polite, and eventually accepted Cervon at the table. He would pit Jennings and Cervon against one another. He ruined their friendship, and ruined magic history in the process.

He would pose a thing which was shown to him by Person A to Person B with the challenge to solve it. In this case, an assembly with only four Aces, using the plot of an invisible palm, the tent vanish, and the rub a dub move. Cervon had admitted everything I've just stated.

Bruce Cervon then took those ideas and grafted them onto Bill Miesel's routine "Invincible" without any credit to Miesel, and published it as "Aerodynamic Aces" (after Alton Sharpe had already published Jennings' routine in one of his books).
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby El Mystico » July 15th, 2017, 1:02 pm

I'm sorry; another question!

You say; 'Cervon was extremely jealous of Jennings' ideas and creations, as well as his close relationship with Vernon.'

What is your statement based on?

I appreciate your help; I'm keen to get credits right.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 15th, 2017, 5:38 pm

Personal observations by myself and others.
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 15th, 2017, 7:09 pm

Richard Wrote: "This does not, by the way, mean that Cervon was not a creative magician and a talented performer. He was, but he was also a nasty egotistical guy and a liar."

I have no reason to doubt any observations Richard has made, especially since they were firsthand. I believe he is calling them as he saw them and telling it like it is. I was very surprised when I watched several videos of Bruce performing - it struck me as if it was all about him, and, in many cases putting down spectators, in order to bring himself up - not warm and engaging, but all about him and his inflated ego. If you watch the reactions of the spectators, they almost seem stressed, as opposed to relaxed and enjoying themselves.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Brad Henderson » July 15th, 2017, 10:29 pm

this may be a small drop in the bucket but i feel like it should be said

the first time i ever worked the castle i arrived early to find bruce and jim patton having a chat at the owl bar. He introduced himself, we spoke a bit, and then he took me all the way through the castle and walked me through all the little things i would need to know while working there - who to order the food from, where to eat,
what to do if i needed anything.

i had heard lots of unkind things about bruce before that day, but on that day we was a welcome friend who helped me out a lot. we had several chats that week. he was very open and gracious.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Terry » July 16th, 2017, 8:55 am

Agreed Brad.

The only time I met Bruce was at the 1992 Salt Lake City IBM Convention and he was very generous to me. I asked him what he thought the best magic book published was. Without hesitation he said, "The Royal Road to Card Magic. It has things in it that would get past most of the guys at the Castle. I would recommend it before any book, even my own."

I liked him and I liked Larry Jennings the 2 times I met him in Vegas. Larry sent me copies of his book and wrote very nice inscriptions in both. They were both very kind to a nobody like myself.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby erdnasephile » July 16th, 2017, 10:09 am

I think what this illustrates is that we're all multifaceted and the facets we display are affected by things like age, time, situation, disease, and whom the observer happens to be. None of us are 100% Knight or Knave.

I wish I had met Mr. Cervon. When he put out word that he'd like it if people would write to him during the last weeks of his life, I started putting pen to paper, but he was gone just a few days after I came across that request.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 16th, 2017, 12:40 pm

erdnasephile wrote:I think what this illustrates is that we're all multifaceted and the facets we display are affected by things like age, time, situation, disease, and whom the observer happens to be. None of us are 100% Knight or Knave.

I wish I had met Mr. Cervon. When he put out word that he'd like it if people would write to him during the last weeks of his life, I started putting pen to paper, but he was gone just a few days after I came across that request.


That is really sad what happened to him. I feel kind of bad now having posted a negative comment about him. I do agree that we should try to look for the good in people...

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby El Mystico » July 17th, 2017, 12:54 pm

I've spent many hours working with videos that Bruce made in the last ten years of his life.
He comes across as an intelligent, talented guy, keen to share the details of his ideas; and keen to to give credit to others where warranted. He also had a great self-depreciating sense of humour.
Also - despite assertions on this forum - Vernon was his unashamed hero.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 17th, 2017, 1:54 pm

I'm glad to hear that Bruce mellowed in the last decade of his life.
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Russ » July 17th, 2017, 7:56 pm

Richard and fellow magi,
I have written in the past regarding my late friend Bill Miesel. I so appreciate those that mention his name. I miss the guy a lot. I will say that he was so humble. He never mentioned this to me regarding any routine or effect that was taken from him. Still, if this was the case, I am glad it is brought into the light. His only compliant from the Jennings 67 book was the cover. He said " why the hell did Richard hyphenate his name"? Again, this was a mere Bill Miesel moment but he loved the book very much. I said, ' what's wrong with it, it looks cool. " He said, " you don't hyphenate a name on a book if you don't hyphenate it normally. " If this was his only complaint, which it was, then this historian approved of this book. He was no [censored] and knew magic history like no other. Hell, you showed him a move that you just ' came up with ' and he would say things like; ' that was first published in 1924 by so and so and you were shot down just like that! His memory was amazing. He watched sports on T. .V . the rest of his times were reading magic. He knew his history, trust me. Before he died, he gave the personal notebooks of his good friend Neil Elias. What a joy to hold these. I have no idea what to do with them as I am now 53 years old and know that despite what my friend asked of me, I should past magic history along...

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby performer » July 17th, 2017, 10:30 pm

My opinion of Bruce Cervon has just gone up dramatically now that I have read he thought the best book on magic was the Royal Road to Card Magic! I must say I get a bit uncomfortable about saying rude things about dead people although I don't mind a bit if they are alive. It is not so much the feelings of the deceased because of course they no longer have any. However, it is the feelings of their loved ones, their relatives and close friends that come across threads like this. It does bother me a trifle I have to confess, even if I do happen to be a cruel bastard.

Now by sheer coincidence I have been reading a seven page interview of Bruce Cervon lately. It is in a book called "Enlightened Magicians" by Michael Jeffreys. The book seems to have been published in 1990 if that gives any relevance to my assessment. Cervon openly admits that when he was younger his performing style was too aggressive and it seems that he had tempered it a bit to be more acceptable.

He sounded perfectly reasonable in the interview and I confess that I took great delight when he implied that companies preferred to hire boring performers for their trade show booths. Perhaps it fits the corporate image better! Oddly enough I have observed that myself. Still, I suppose I had better move on..........

He mentioned Vernon quite a bit in the latter part of the interview and it was obvious that the man was his hero. He spoke about him with what I can only call great affection and admiration. His love for Vernon just came shining through and you could see he meant every word of it.

I really must exert myself now to search out videos of Cervon to see what his performing style was really like since I have never witnessed it. I have seen Jennings work and despite my sanctimonious views about never saying ill of the dead I have to say that the chap was a wonderful cure for insomnia. He would probably have been great for a trade show...........

Still, I am sure his material and creativity were wonderful as was his technique. And his chop cup routine was absolutely brilliant despite the reservations expressed by Don Alan about it. And of course it was not his fault that he was a bit boring. After all most card magicians are!

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Terry » July 20th, 2017, 2:42 pm

Mark,

I can testify that Larry was a great performer in person. I was fortunate to meet him at Joe Steven's convention at the Tropicana (1989?). He had some of the largest hands I've seen and a very low key performing style.

With certain exceptions, video has a way to dull the viewers senses, at least for me.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby performer » July 20th, 2017, 8:12 pm

Terry wrote:Mark,

I can testify that Larry was a great performer in person. I was fortunate to meet him at Joe Steven's convention at the Tropicana (1989?). He had some of the largest hands I've seen and a very low key performing style.

With certain exceptions, video has a way to dull the viewers senses, at least for me.


Was he performing for magicians or for laymen?

Oh, and I just realised something. When you say he had the "largest hands" do you mean "rounds of applause" or the actual physical size of his hands? I may possibly have misunderstood you.

Anyway here is a video I have seen of him. I suppose he is OK. Perhaps I am just too jaded after watching decades of card tricks and other magic. I just can't get enthusiastic about just anybody any more. Either they talk too much or they put me to sleep for other reasons. For some reason I have very little enthusiasm for watching people do magic unless they are quite extraordinary. I am most certainly NOT interested in the tricks and never have been. The personality of the performer has to intrigue me and only a tiny, tiny, tiny few of them do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIOWUdw-B9E

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 20th, 2017, 9:08 pm

Like so many good magicians, Jennings was someone you really need to see in person. But the Paris tapes are the best he made.
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby performer » July 20th, 2017, 11:48 pm

And this is Bruce Cervon. He talks too much on this video and I got bored with him too!

http://www.magicana.com/video/bruce-cer ... card-magic

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Jack Shalom » July 21st, 2017, 11:05 am

I liked some of his Monte moves.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby performer » July 21st, 2017, 12:51 pm

Yes, but he babbled too much between moves. I kept thinking "Get on with the bloody trick!" This is a major fault of American magicians for some reason. They equate unnecessary chattering with "presentation" when it is anything but. You should only talk when something is happening. All this preamble to "frame the effect" is actually "framing the boredom". One of the very worst faults I see in people (and I see it all the time) is when before the trick starts the performer yaps and yaps and yaps and yaps and the trick doesn't start for about a minute or so. Sometimes even two minutes or so. I have seen well known names in magic do this and it is a common fault. You need to get people's attention IMMEDIATELY and cut out all the blabber and over-presentation. And never let the chatter overshadow the magic as so many people do.

Sure, I know you have to do some talking and I certainly do myself. However, there must always be action happening while you are talking. There should be talk AND action. Too many people have too much talk and not enough action.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Terry » July 21st, 2017, 3:05 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Like so many good magicians, Jennings was someone you really need to see in person. But the Paris tapes are the best he made.


Agreed.

I did like the DVD of Larry at Louis' house too.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Terry » July 21st, 2017, 3:09 pm

performer wrote:Was he performing for magicians or for laymen?

Oh, and I just realised something. When you say he had the "largest hands" do you mean "rounds of applause" or the actual physical size of his hands? I may possibly have misunderstood you.


Larry was performing for a group of us at the Tropicana late one night.

His hands reminded me of catcher's mitts. They were large enough to make a regular Bike deck look like bridge sized cards.

On the 'Thoughts on Cards' DVDs, Larry is shown performing in the Close Up Room at the Castle, but he was in poor health.

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby erdnasephile » July 21st, 2017, 3:59 pm

Terry wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:Like so many good magicians, Jennings was someone you really need to see in person. But the Paris tapes are the best he made.


Agreed.

I did like the DVD of Larry at Louis' house too.


That is a fun DVD to watch as well--very instructive as well.

If I might offer a respectful question about Mr. Lewis' salient point: I concur that lots of magicians talk too much and bore people; however, if Larry Jennings had decided to start performing with a high energy, rapid patter style, wouldn't that have been really unnatural for him?

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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 21st, 2017, 5:06 pm

Jennings had a warm conversational performance style. Not Mark's style, but certainly a valid one.

Larry is not really performing in the tape/DVD shot in Louis Falanga's home. There are no spectators as I recall, and Larry (as most performers do) really fed off the energy coming from spectators. The tape was made just for Louis, and a damn good thing they did it.
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Bill Mullins
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
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Re: Jennings 67

Postby Bill Mullins » July 21st, 2017, 5:18 pm

Terry wrote:I did like the DVD of Larry at Louis' house too.

Which video is this? (What is the title?)


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