Have you met any great characters in magic???

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

Postby Tabman » 06/25/05 01:56 PM

The Soapy Smith discussion lately got me thinking about some of the great characters I have met running around in the world of magic for the past 30 something years. A couple of the great contemporary characters I've met are Bob Sheets and Howie Schwarzman. Bob I only was around once or twice but I still remember his great personality. Howie Schwarzman too. I always come away from being with Howie thinking, "That Howie is quite a character!"

-=tabman
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Pete Biro » 06/25/05 03:36 PM

One of the "Great Characters" I have come to know and love... is... TABMAN.
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Glenn Godsey » 06/25/05 05:56 PM

"Senator" Clark Crandall...
Glenn Godsey
 
Posts: 56
Joined: 03/22/08 02:09 AM

Postby Robert Allen » 06/25/05 06:24 PM

Marvin Burger, aka. Buma.
Robert Allen
 
Posts: 616
Joined: 03/18/08 11:53 AM

Postby Tabman » 06/25/05 06:30 PM

That's very cool! Thanks Pete. It's great to be friends with a living legend like you!!! I hope you don't mind me saying that?? You know my family feels the same too.

Speaking of legends. That Sen Crandall, yeah man, you bet!!! He was a character worth meeting, you're lucky. I only got to read about him especially when he moved out to be at the Castle. I bought his dice stacking booklet from him by mail from a mention by him in Genii.

Al Cohen, Paul Diamond, Karrell Fox and the others, all bigger than life. Years back, Al Cohen carried a few of my handmade items at his shop. I've always been proud that he liked my work enough to carry it. His occasional column in Genii is at the top of my must read list when it appears.

"Yes sir, Mr. Cohen!!"

Buma. Crandall. Cohen. You guys are talking legends here.

-=tabman
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Kevin Connolly » 06/25/05 08:45 PM

I'll add Duke Stern, Mike Caldwell, Al Flosso, Larry Weeks and Jay Marshall.
Please visit my website.
http://houdinihimself.com/
I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.
User avatar
Kevin Connolly
 
Posts: 2393
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: New Jersey

Postby Terrence » 06/25/05 08:54 PM

Joe Cosari, Francis Carlyle, Joe Berg

and recently (for me):

"Doc" Eason, and Jon Armstrong

IMVHO! :)
Terrence
 
Posts: 203
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Van Nuys, CA

Postby Guest » 06/25/05 09:58 PM

I agree certainly about The Senator. He stayed with me for many months before his wife retired and they got an apartment down the hall.

But don't forget Kuda Bux. A real character and a fine gentleman. And Dr Jaks is worthy of memory.

I could go on and name many others who made my life a pleasure. It is a shame to leave them out. One magician who gets little mention but was one of the finest people and certainly one of the greatest entertainers -- Al Goshman.
Guest
 

Postby Tabman » 06/25/05 10:08 PM

Duke Stern definately kept Atlanta on the magic map. He was certainly bigger than life. Frances Carlyle is not a name you hear much any more either.

Tonga, that was decent of you to put Senator Crandall up all those months.

-=tabman
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Guest » 06/26/05 03:59 AM

Originally posted by tonga:
One magician who gets little mention but was one of the finest people and certainly one of the greatest entertainers -- Al Goshman.
Somehow it is a bit strange..

I had the pleasure to meet IRL, Fred Kaps, Dai Vernon, Tony Slydini, David Williamson and a lot of other OUTSTANDING performers, far too many to mention, some of them in private, some of them *just* by watching and attending one of their performances/lectures, but still IRL.

Not to forget Daryl, Michael Ammar, Tommy Wonder aso. aso and again, all of them IRL..

BUT, still the one making the biggest impression is and was Albert Goshman .

It might be difficult to explain, *why* he made such a big impact, but I guess it was because of the incredible entertainment value his act had, as well as the outstanding use of 'indetectable' misdirection applied at the correct moment..all summing up to be fooled completely..

I really -remember this goes many years back- followed him around show after show, IIRC 4 to 5 shows, and never catched him a single time loading his salt or pepparshaker..and that after I had studied 'misdirection' as such for many years..

Unfortunatelty he is gone now, but his performance still lives in the memory..

Another GREAT performer who's work did really touch me more then most of the mentioned ppl above (even if Fred Kaps, f.ex. is amongst them) is Dave Williamson .

The reason for this too is the outstanding entertainment he provides, but then, as a very close *next*, the outstanding elegance he does present in every single move he does..

He certainly should get added to the *characters* mentioned in this thread for a lot of reasons known to anybody ever having seen him working..

Apart from the above mentioned gentlemen, who I all have seen performing *live*, there are a lot of others that could be added to the list..

Ppl. like Doc Eason, not to forget J.C. Wagner, Bob Sheets, Hebba Habba Al, and many many more, but none of them I was happy enough to se IRL performing..
I well recall though a lot of the others mentioned above, like f.ex. Paul Diamond and many many more, like Frank Garcia, both also experienced in IRL-performances.

There are many, far too many, to get mentioned..but don't forget to recognize Dave Williamson as a real character and to add him to the list :)
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 06/26/05 07:58 AM

Originally posted by Werner G Seitz
BUT, still the one making the biggest impression is and was Albert Goshman .

It might be difficult to explain, *why* he made such a big impact, but I guess it
was because of the incredible entertainment value his act
had, as well as the outstanding use of 'indetectable' misdirection applied at the
correct moment..all summing up to be fooled completely..
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One possible explanaton is that of all the magicians I have known he was the most self critical. After EVERY performance he analyzed in detail his complete performance. I know because for years he would come out of the close-up room and use me as a listening post as he verbally went over each and every thing he had done. He wasn't looking for my advice or counsel merely an ear into which he could pour his musings and ideas. At the Castle we had a setup whereby from the membrs library one could watch the close up show. It was also possible to tape the shows from there. As far as I know Al was the ONLY performer to use this feature to find ways of improving his act.

Others had their routines down pat and didn't dream of changing them. An extreme case was Johnny Platt. When I was doing the photography for Platt's book on cups and balls there was one shot that I wanted to do over. I showed the picture to Johnny and he said, "When do I do that?" He had to start the routine at the top and work down to that point. It was all completely without thought and by habit. It was a great routine and highly entertaining but his approach wasmarkedly diferent from that of Goshman who regarded each performance as an opportunity to learn a better way. [
Guest
 

Postby Tabman » 06/26/05 09:10 AM

Originally posted by tonga: At the Castle we had a setup whereby from the members library one could watch the close up show.
Thanks for sharing your memories. It's very much like being there, reading about it. The magicians you talk about, all legends from the Castle and in the pages of Genii so long ago.

-=tabman
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Guest » 06/26/05 09:21 AM

Originally posted by Werner G. Seitz:
Originally posted by tonga:
[b]One magician who gets little mention but was one of the finest people and certainly one of the greatest entertainers -- Al Goshman.
Somehow it is a bit strange..

BUT, still the one making the biggest impression is and was Albert Goshman .[/b]
INDEED!

Al Goshman sticks out in my mind, along with the The Professor Dai Vernon. I used to see both at the Magic Castle every week. Each had an unmistakable influence on me and I still think about them now.


tabman-- Thanks so much for this thread.
Guest
 

Postby Tabman » 06/27/05 11:38 AM

tonga, I'd love to hear more about Kuda Bux and Dr. Jax. Some of the best illustrations ever came from Dr. Jaks. I love his drawings in Effective Card Magic.

When I worked for Kozak, he did a Buxesque BF routine. Kozak is such a good friend. The man and the character he portrays onstage are two different people. He's a fine human and makes for a super onstage character too. Bigger than life!!!

Who will be the characters of the future???

-=tabman
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Guest » 06/27/05 12:28 PM

"Woody" Woodward, "Worlds Greatest Amateur"! Woody was older than dirt when I met him, and that was thiry years ago! He was a bootlegger, saloon owner, ran girls in the thirties in SF, illegal gambling, you name it, he did, and always with a smile. Funny little guy, all he wanted was to be in show biz. He used to come into the magic shop, and I would straight man for him:

"Hey there Henhouse how you doing?"

"Great, just great..."

Let me ask you, why do they call you HenHouse?"

"Cuz when I was born, my father took one look at me and Flew The Coop! When I was young they worried about me, so they gave me a test - they put me in the crib with round blocks, square blocks, red ones, blue ones, they wanted to see what I would go for..."

"Well, whadja go for?"

"I went for the nurse!"

"Are you married?"

"I was, I lost her. She was a beautiful girl. I used to call her my Melancholy Baby..."

"Why was that?"

"She had a head like a melon and a face like a collie!"

"Why'd you stay with her?"

"She had a very even disposition - MISERABLE ALL THE TIME!"

And so it went...

Best, PSC
Guest
 

Postby Pete Biro » 06/27/05 12:39 PM

PC: Woody was one of a kind... and how about Red Henning?
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Guest » 06/27/05 12:39 PM

for Tabman and such others as might be interested.
I fist met Dr Jax probably in 1948 or '49. One evening I went wto the Versailles in NY with my younger brother who had been into magic for many years and knew many of the NY crowd. We went to see Dr Jax who was performing there. He came to our table and because it was a slow night and he was not demanded elsewhee he worked everything in that big book-box of his. When Calvin and I decided to leave to go to another club to catch Charlie Cartes. Dr Jax, citing the fact tht it was indeed a slow evening, came with us. After his turn Cartes joined us at our table. The encounter between Jax and Cartes was amusing as neither had heard of the other but Jax was well acquainted with Cartes's teacher so an amicable settlement was reached. When that place closed Calvin, Jax and I headed for breakfast and Cartes kept his date with the hat check girl.

After that I met Jax from time to time. On one occasion I told him Calvin had been married and had honeymooned in the Virgin Islands. Shortly thereafter he encountered Calvin on the street. "Calvin, you look different." He walked all around Calvin. "Why, you've been married! You have been in the Virgin Islands!" By this time Calvin, as he later told me, was completely baffled and beginning to believe that maybe Dr Jax could read minds. However, Jax blew the gaff by telling him that I had given him the information.

I was in NYC when Jax died but didn't hear of it until a day later. He was buried within 24 hours of his death so I didn't get to the funeral.

My first encounter with Kuda Bux happened in this wise. One evening at the Magic Castle I was called to the lobby because a man was claiming to be a magician and wanted to come in.. I went out and Kuda Bux introduced himself. I was flabbergasted. I jolly well had heard of Kuda Bux. I jolly well had hoped someday to see him perform. I immediately rolled out the figurative red carpet. Thereafter Kuda was a part of the Magic Castle. He was there every evening -- usually in the library playing gin. It was a nice, friendly game with no stakes, no wagers. My question on entering the library was always "Kuda Bux winning?" The answer was pretty generally in the affirmative. He was good. His opponentwas usually either Dai Vernon or Snag Werris.

For reasons of Moslem diet restrictions Kuda never ate at the Castle. So at the Friday lunches he was frequently a subect of conjecture and discussion.. His mental act was such that if someone were to suggest that he was endowed with an eye in his little finger no one would laugh or scoff. We would insure, however, that he wore a glove when next he performed. If one suggested an eye in his navel, we would merely insist that his vest be buttoned during performance.

Okay, Tabman, sir, is this what you wanted?
Guest
 

Postby Tabman » 06/27/05 01:46 PM

tonga, it's right on the mark, breathtaking actually to read first hand accounts of these characters, tales about whom might be lost. I hope you've been spending your time in Arizona writing a big fat book of your memories.

-=tabman
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Guest » 06/27/05 02:51 PM

Tabman, since you are now in Mossy Dell rather than Moonshine Hollow does that mean you completed your move?
Steve V
Guest
 

Postby Tabman » 06/27/05 03:30 PM

Hey Steve, Mossy Dell is a transitional place sort of like purgatory only nicer. It only exists in my mind. Besides, I ran out of green corn squeezins a few days ago. I do hope to get back to Moonshine Hollow soon.

-=tabman
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Guest » 06/27/05 04:49 PM

Man...I gotta move back to the South. Can't convince the wife though (she is from New Bedford Mass and thinks Rhode Island is Southern).
Steve V
Guest
 

Postby Tabman » 06/27/05 07:14 PM

Albert Goshman seems to have made a strong impression on many of those who came in contact with him. By my way of thinking, this says a lot about the human being who was Al Goshman. Is this right???

And Steve, thats funny. I always wanted to move to California but never did and probably never will.

-=tabman
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Guest » 06/27/05 09:51 PM

Most of what you will hear or read about Goshman will have to do with his skill as an entertainer. That was certainly magnificent. But it was a small part of who Goshman really was.

Of all the people that I have known in more than 8 decades of a varied and happy life Al Goshman was one of the most decent, most humble, most willing to learn. Al started life with as many disadvantages as one could imagine. He was forced by his parents to go to work in their bakery at an early age. No one taught him anything about manners, dress, deportment. Yet Al paid the maitre d' at the Castle for lessons in table manners. There were many magicians who laughed at Al's dribbling food on his clothes, but there were none who had the courage to face up to their faults and try to remedy them. I have written before about his intense attention to improving his act. He was not cocerned with improving his sleight of hand and manipulative skills. That I never heard him discuss. His concern was what he might do to improve the way the audience saw him. I have scant place in my thoughts for those who detract from him while smugly contemplating the navels of their own perfection.

Al was a decent man. When he was off working a trade show he was not using the free time of evenings to gallivant around in distant haunts. That he called his wife every night was a given. That he used to call the Magic Castle every night because he was lonely in a hotel room was less well known.

I never heard Goshman say anything derogatory about anyone -- and for three years I spoke with him every evening that he performed at the Castle.
Yet there were those who having been born with the proverbial silver spoon refused to recognize the immense effort that Gosh had made to shake the clinging hand of his past. Those insecure snobs always referred to him in terms of his bakery past. And you would recognize the name of the principal offender were I to mention it. Since I prefer to emulate the sundial and measure only the sunny hours, I'll leave it at that.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 06/27/05 11:01 PM

Tonga, thanx for the memory, the stories re good 'ol Albert.

He truely was a humble man and always only concentrated on improving his act!
He also did safe money and cash whenever he could, even AFTERr he really was wealthy..

I recall, at a convention in Baden-Baden/Germany, he asked where to get some decent food, and I recommended a nice place, that really did serve good food, but also -already in those days- charged what they could, it wasn't a *cheaply* priced place..

Albert looked at the menu outside and decidet to join another spot..wonder what he found..

Also I recall, at some hotel he was staying (and I and the wify where staying there too) during breakfast, early morning he walked inside the breakfast room..I walked forward and said : *Albert, why don't you jon us at our table*..

He did, but at that hotel there where also diff. vouchers re breakfast, some more basic breakfast, and then the more continental one, with lots of bacon, eggs and that kind..

Albert had a voucher re the basic one, nevertheless he simply took everything from the *continental* table, and he really could find his way through all the food..

He saved his money, wherever he could, and that at a time where he already was a millionaire..

I also recall, when he travelled to a convention, he bought the cheapest suitcase he could for the goods/spongeballs he wanted to sell on his boot, stuffed it with his sponges and stuff, and what was left, hadn't gotten sold, he sold to some other dealer that did bid the highest, including suitcase, everything..so he could travel home without any left rest...

Yes..that guy was not only one of the greatest expert close-up magicians/entertainers of all time, he also was a real character..

There are endless other stories.. some true, some probably not so true..

One of them is that when he stayed at some ppls house that did invite him in a foreign country, f.ex. Germany, he called the States/his family from the hosts phone at the host expenses quite some time during his stay..
He really was a character..he's missed...
Guest
 

Postby Tabman » 06/28/05 08:13 AM

Goshman sounds like an individual woth getting to know outside the magic. I admire those who can bootstrap themselves and Im glad to hear he was a wealthy man when he passed on too. Did he make all that dough from selling sponges??? I know I bought more than one set from Magic By Gosh.

-=tabman
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Guest » 06/28/05 08:52 AM

Originally posted by -=tabman:
Did he make all that dough from selling sponges???
-=tabman
You bet..performing magic doesn't make anybody *really* rich..
It was the sponges he sold, that made his fortune mainly...
Guest
 

Postby Pete Biro » 06/28/05 10:25 AM

I had lunch with Albert just before he left us... he told me, "If I had my life to live over, I wouldn't be cheap! I'm leaving millions to (edited out)."

Did you know that besides being a baker, that at one time Albert was a "Kidnapper?" :confused:

Kidnapper = Photographer that takes pictures of little kids.

Mike Caldwell was in a taxi in NY City and started to chat with the driver, when he told the driver he was a magician the cab drivers said, "My brother is a magician in L.A., ever hear of Albert Goshman?" :genii:

When Albert and I worked a show in Tokyo, every night we would stop and eat at the steet vendors making, I believe, Yakitori. :p

When I was MCing a show at the IBM Convention in Hawaii, I opened with... "It's great to be here and look out at the audience and see all the colorful shirts... that used to be plain white and Goshman's." :D

Irving Tannen was sitting in the front row and literally fell out of his chair to the floor laughing. :p

One night in Paris, Fred Kaps and I were having dinner, Goshman walked in and Kaps said, "Albert, have you eaten yet?"

Albert replied, pointing at food on his tie, "Can't you tell?" :D

Albert used to call me to see if I was going to a particular convention. If so he would aske me to take a suitcase or two on the flight for him (even to Europe). I would because they weighed little or nothing, being filled with sponge balls.

He used to hire rock bands to make the sponges. They worked in music at night and had all day off with nothing much to do, so they were available.

AGain, just before he passed on, he spottem me with some guests at the Castle, dining. He had NOT performed for some time (because of his declining health)... he came up to our table, pulled up a chair and sat down. He said to me, "Can I do a show for your friends, I want to see if I can still do it." :(
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Guest » 06/28/05 09:06 PM

A friend recently told me, "Years ago, I said I never wanted to be one of those guys talking about those in magic I used to know....and here we are...."
YES, I was actually thinking of Woody Woodward and was pleased to see him mentioned. I saw him in Laguna Honda hospital a few months before he passed away, and you could still see that wonderful spark he had.
Besides those known nationally, like Woody, there are others, worth remembering.
Pete, to be at another S.F.I.M. meeting!
Guest
 

Postby Matthew Field » 06/29/05 03:58 AM

I've met some great characters, Tabby, from Slydini to the Professor to Richard Kaufman (!).

Now that I'm over here in England and attending The Magic Circle meetings every Monday, I can't believe the people in the room: Alan Alan, Alan Shaxon, Ali Bongo, Patrick Page and so many other great legends.

But the man I really enoy spending hours chatting with (and I'm about to sit him in front of a tape recorder) is Bobby Bernard. This man knows so much!

Matt Field
User avatar
Matthew Field
 
Posts: 2484
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hastings, England, UK

Postby Tabman » 06/29/05 06:50 AM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
Now that I'm over here in England and attending The Magic Circle meetings every Monday, I can't believe the people in the room: Alan Alan, Alan Shaxon, Ali Bongo, Patrick Page and so many other great legends.
That's just incredible. I can't believe you moved to England in the first place and now editor of the circular!!!

-=tabman
User avatar
Tabman
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 03/17/09 02:25 PM
Location: TC and KOZ at the Funny Bone

Postby Mark Collier » 06/29/05 10:05 AM

Billy McComb.
Mark Collier
 
Posts: 376
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Santa Barbara, Ca

Postby Guest » 06/29/05 11:03 AM

Originally posted by Diego Domingo:

Pete, to be at another S.F.I.M. meeting!
Diego,

I still have my original membership card for the S.F.I.M...

Best, PSC
Guest
 

Postby Danny Archer » 07/13/05 02:27 PM

I have met many characters in this business but two that spring to mind that have not been mentioned are Gazzo and David Acer ...
Producer of MINDvention
mentalism convention
Danny Archer
 
Posts: 595
Joined: 02/29/08 01:00 PM
Location: Denver

Postby Guest » 11/17/05 12:00 AM

Characters of magic....Ken Brooke, Billy McComb...Pat Page...Karol Fox (Milky the Clown)...Charlie Miller..Pavel..and Dai Vernon and lets not forget my old young friend Chappy Brazil...Danny Lord....
Guest
 

Postby Bill Wells » 11/17/05 11:00 AM

I am trying to separate the "characters" from those who were memorable because of their talent more so than their personalities...not that the two are exclusive.

Some I have meet and who are no longer with us...

Frank Thompson, Duke Stern, Larry West, Karrell Fox, Al Flosso, Jay Marshall, Walter Gibson, Senator Crandall, Don Alan, Mike Caldwell, Al Goshman, Charlie Miller, George Kirkendal, The Professor, Bob McAllister...and a bunch of others than I will think of in the next few days.
Bill Wells
User avatar
Bill Wells
 
Posts: 299
Joined: 01/21/08 01:00 PM
Location: Lexington, VA

Postby Garry Hayes » 11/20/05 08:45 AM

Hey Tab!

I am going back through some threads and thought I would share an experience I will never forget with one of Magic's True Characters. Back in the 1980's, when I was in my 20's, I had acquired a few magic collections and I was trying to look up "old time" magicians and chat with them. I was living in London, Kentucky at the time, in Southeastern Kentucky. A lay person had told me of a magician named "Joe" that once lived in Pineville, Ky, which was about thirty to forty minutes away from where I lived. No last name, just Joe. One day I set out to find Joe. I asked a few people in Pineville, Ky if they knew where Joe the magician lived. I had narrowed it down to two streets, about 15 dwellings. I drove up to a one bedroom House Trailer and knocked on the door, with anticipation of finding "Joe". A man that appeared to be in his 70's came to the door. It was obvious he used black dye to color his hair and his Errol Flynn type mustache. He had a wild look in his eyes. I said, "My name is Garry Hayes, I am a magician. I am looking for Joe, the magician." He stared at me for about 15 seconds without saying a word. It seemed like 30 minutes. At the time, I thought he was deaf. He then said, "Come on in". After getting inside he told me his name was Joe Carazini. We talked magic for a few minutes. He told me he had performed on the Ed Sullivan Show several times and had performed at the Crazy Horse Salloon in Paris, France. He also told me he had performed at all of the main entertainment venues in the world. I went along with what I thought was deeply embedded senility and dementia. This guy was crazy! He was living in a house trailer, in the middle of the sticks and was trying to convince me that he was a Magic Headliner. He then asked me if I would like to see the act that took him around the world. I said, "Sure"!
He went back into the bedroom. I could hear him opening and closing droors on bedroom furniture. This man was starting to make me feel uneasy and I truly felt I had got myself into a situation in which I was going to be forced to physically defend myself. About four minutes later, I was getting up to sneak out of the trailer, without saying "Goodbye" and he walked out of the bedroom behaving and looking like a drunk. I now realized I was going to reduce myself to beating up a 70 year old man. He walked over and pressed the start button on a cassette recorder and music started to play. The room was small, so he was only standing about 8 feet from me. After I saw the crushed hat on his head and the goofy, drunk look on his face, a flashback went through my mind when he started performing. I instantly remembered seeing this man perform on the Ed Sullivan show when I was a kid. He performs as a drunk, and did superb cigarette and billiard ball manipulations. He ate cigarettes. Smoke came out of his mouth and ears. He did the most unreal smoke ring effects I had every seen. At one point, he contorted his mouth, and perfect smoke rings would simultaneously come out of each side of his mouth. It looked like a double locomotive on a freight train. He did billiard ball and cigarette manipulations, then he would hit his chest again and smoke would billow from his mouth. Billiard balls started falling from his mouth, then he would hit his chest again and smoke would billow from his mouth again. He then opened his mouth and exhaled heavily. Bits of fiery fragments would fly from his mouth, yet there was nothing else visible in his mouth. Then smoke would again billow from his mouth. All the while, he would be making these unreal humorous facial contortions. He then finished with producing a long line of silks from his mouth, which could not have possibly fit in there. I knew I had just seen a classic act that had travelled the world, as he previously stated. We then shared some closeup Card and Coin effects with each other. He did one of the best Coin Matrix routines I had ever seen. As I was leaving, he stepped outside the trailer with me and went eccentric on me. He said he had the Power of the Wind. He drew attention to some bushes and said, "Notice, they are not moving." He then outstretched his arm and wiggled his fingers saying, "Move". Nothing happened. He tried it three or more times. Eventually, a breeze came through and the bushes did move. I appeased him and remarked about what he had done. Joe Carazini - A fine magician, but his name fit him to the T. It contains a configuration of the word crazi. He is the most eccentric magic character I have ever met. And I am glad I met him!
I then later found out two other magicians came from this small town - Preston the Magician (who looked very much like Willie Wonka-Gene Wilder) and Charles Bingham. Preston the Magician was the International President of the IBM one year. His real name was William Preston Slusher, JR. I have tried to since make contact with Joe Carazini, without success. Someone told me Joe and his brother came to Nashville, TN a few years back to make it big in the Country Music business as song writers. It did not pan out, so they moved back, somewhere, to Kentucky. The saga of the mystery of Joe Carazini still continues - Where Is He?
Garry Hayes
Garry Hayes
mrmagician@bellsouth.net
Garry Hayes
 
Posts: 367
Joined: 03/06/08 01:00 PM
Location: Nashville, TN

Postby Magiphile » 11/20/05 10:18 AM

While I knew a great percentage of those "characters" mentioned above one name is conspicious by it's absence....The ever Unpopular Richard Himber....in his Essex house Apartment he would watch 3 TVs at the same time....the stories about him and his evil and malicious pranks are so numerous I'd vote him the number 1 character of magic ....on the dark side.
Magiphile
Magiphile
 
Posts: 33
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Las Vegas

Postby Evan Shuster » 11/20/05 10:54 AM

As a fairly new (and amateur) member to the forum I'm clearly out of my league here, but wanted to share a few of my own encounters that had profound impact on my life, and influence on my love of magic. I was fortunate enough, in my early teens (mid-1970's) to meet up with Hank Lee, Phil Goldstein, Jay Malbrough, Ger Copper, Dick Oslund and even Richard Kaufman. All of these ranged from short introductions, to brief but meaningful conversations, to downright "Clear off the close-up mat and let's get down to business" sessions. There were, however, two experiences that will stay with me forever.

The first great experience for me was my trip to New York in 1977 (I was 12). One day I was watching Doug Henning on Broadway, the next day I was spending hours at Tannen's, watching, listening, buying. In between, I had lunch at a cafe (I think it was called the Gaeity?) and was invited to sit at a table with Harry Lorayne, Looy Simonoff and a few others whose names escape me (does Sam Schwartz ring a bell?). The only thing better than sitting for hours as they went around the table showing off classics, talking about new ideas and upcoming projects (Lorayne was discussing his ideas and plans for Apocalypse) was the fact that they never treated me or made me feel like a 12 year old. For that afternoon I felt like "one of the boys," as they coached me on some of my moves and taught me a few things in the process.

The next great experiece was in the summer of 1978 (Apocalypse was introduced earlier that year, just as Mr. Lorayne had said it would). Steve Dacri, a magician from my home town who ran a magic store at the time, had invited me to the Magic Castle as his guest. Bill Larsen was there and very graciously welcomed my father and me, and then seated us for lunch right next to Dai Vernon. Well, I'm sure you can imagine, I was so excited that food was the last thing on my mind. Mr. Vernon was very kind and invited me to join him. He watched me fumble through a version of Triumph, giving me pointers along the way. He also did a spectacular version of Coins Across for me, using his signature token coins (two of which I still have, to this day). We sat and talked for over an hour. That was really something! Again, not once was I made to feel like a kid. There was genuine respect, which seems to be a theme among all magicians I have encountered in my life.

So, you can see that my experiences are nowhere near as remarkable as some of you have recounted above, but to a young kid with magic in his heart, they left a lasting impression that shaped me to some degree, and I'll never forget them.
Evan Shuster
 
Posts: 735
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Seattle

Postby Pete Biro » 11/20/05 11:08 AM

The Carazini story ranks up there with one of the all-time great posts on the Genii forum.

Thanks a ton!
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Guest » 11/20/05 12:00 PM

Isn't Carazini's name "Jim" rather than "Joe?"
Guest
 

Next

Return to Magic History and Anecdotes