Scotty York and Fred Kaps

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Philippe Noël » 12/17/01 11:12 AM

Do you know how those two guys met?
I have read they were close friends.
Do you have any suggestion as how to learn more about Fred Kaps, his life, his magic, his friends(Vernon, Skinner, York...)...

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Postby Guest » 12/17/01 02:57 PM

Dear Philippe,
ask Bob Driebeek from Holland, who was a close friend of Fred Kaps. If You want to have his address, send me a personal e-mail. As far as I know, Bob is no user of the internet!
Greeetings from Germany
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/17/01 10:50 PM

Having had a lot to do with Fred Kaps, I can tell you those that knew him best were Bob Driebeek and Dick Koornwinder. The latter has Fred's notebooks and has a project, with Mike Caveney, to publish the material.

Fred lived in Utrecht, Holland, and Koornwinder worked out lots of magical ideas with and for Fred.

Kaps' real name was Abraham Bongers.
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Postby Sean Macfarlane » 12/18/01 11:49 PM

I would love to see Fred Kaps in action, does anyone know where to get a copy of of a tape that has Fred Kaps in it.
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/19/01 12:26 AM

Kaps was on BBC's "Parkinson Show" (doing a trick I devised for him--the ring on brandy glass--the original) and NHK in Tokyo featured Kaps a few times. Yoshi Tamura at Tenyo would know how to get those tapes.

He was taped privately doing close up at Phillipe Fialho's home in Nice, France and is on some lecture tapes from Japan as well.

You might ask on EG as there are some Dutch tape collectors that will swap that check in there from time to time.
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Postby Guest » 12/23/01 02:08 PM

Did he not also appear on Bill Bixby's Wonderful World of Magic which was a lot of footage from FISM competitions?

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Postby Guest » 12/23/01 11:12 PM

I have a video I recorded off the air in 1976 - on 3/4" videotape!- of a Burger Chef Family Special on the FISM Competition. The part I have has a German Illusionist (Panzero), Richard Ross diong his FISM winning routine with rings and watches, a very young Ricky Jay doing comedy card magic, and Fred Kaps doing a short routine (vanishing cane, candles, coins, and the famous loooong salt pour). I study this sequence as a course in stage presence and misdirection. I'd like to trade clips if anyone has some Kaps material they would share!
--Asrah
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 01/03/02 04:33 PM

Was this the special hosted by Bill Bixby? I seem to remember this as having aired around Thanksgiving Day, during the time that Bixby was doing "The Magician" series. And wasn't Shimada and also Tom and Sherri, a part of this? It's hard to trust my memory back that far! It's amazing that a great magic "special", such as this is never rebroadcast, while a lot of recent junk is churned out and then shown over and over again.
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Postby Guest » 01/03/02 06:36 PM

This special was hosted by David Niven - as apparently, was the FISM awards presentation ceremony. I'm not sure who else was in it, as I was only able to save the last half hour. I'm not sure when it originally ran, other than it being in 1976... It was syndicated, so it was seen at different times actoss the country. One of the local station promos is touting the premiere of a new show... "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman!" Also...it's a trip to see Ricky Jay doing prop comedy during his card routine! --Asrah
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/03/02 08:01 PM

That particular FISM (Paris) was covered by a Hollywood production company. Ricky Jay and I roomed together and I helped get some of the stuff together for his set. He worked for David Niven (who lived in Cap Ferrat, France).

They shot tons of footage.

They got into a huge argument backstage during the big show that Jay Marshall (who also shared the same room with Ricky and I) was MCing... they argued as to who was doing backstage tech and opening the curtain, etc.

Poor Jay would intro an act, the curtain wouldn't open and Jay was stuck out there not able to speak French. The audience literally boood Jay... not knowing what the problem was.

I left my seat and ran backstage to see if I could help. No chance... but I did tell Jay "Do the Glove, do the glove."

He finally did, won the audience and all was good.

Anyway the production company screwed around and lost almost $100,000 by not changing the US money to Francs, as the value dived the week they were there.

Ricky wanted to buy a deck of Bicycle cards from a French dealer and the price was around $10 or so.... Ricky complained and the guys said, "But zisss is France!"

OK, rooming with Ricky Jay and Jay Marshall... and our laundry comes back, all mixed (none ours) but all with Initials "J" on them... none fit Ricky or Jay, but they fit me... hahah free stuff.

Meanwhile, the production company failed to sell their special and film sat for awhile.

I forget who bought all the unedited stuff, but I recall it was a series of shows with Bixby hosting.

This sparked his interest in magic and he became a bit involved.

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Postby Guest » 01/03/02 10:51 PM

Thank you, Pete, for the anecdotes and insight! War stories like that are great to hear! The only thing is, you have to go through the war to get 'em! --Asrah
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/03/02 11:42 PM

yer welkum

like the time Mike Caldwell came into a coffee shop (at a Milwaukee convention a zillion months ago) and a waitress had just spilled a plate of spaghetti...

Caldwell, of the famed FLIP, saw this and as he approached our table (Jay Marshall and others) he did his famous FLIP... talk about a waitress freaking out!

heheheheh :D :D :D
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