speaking of George Boston

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

Postby Guest » 04/06/07 08:42 PM

About ten years ago, when I was a magic assistant, I asked around
to find who had been the most famous magic assistants
in history
---and George Boston was about the only name that ever
came up.

Who are the other notable assistants, what were there unique contributions
and what is the basic lifestory of Boston?
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 04/06/07 09:31 PM

George Johnstone was a great guy. His contribution to me was his friendship and great stories he told.

A class guy.
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http://houdinihimself.com/
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/06/07 10:50 PM

Peter Bouton, Harry Blackstone Sr's. twin brother was an awesome assistant.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Matthew Field » 04/07/07 03:12 AM

Assistants? Pam Thompson, Debbie McGee, Guy Jarrett, Gay Blackstone to name a few. Charlotte Pendragon is something more than an assistant, I think.

From Bart Whaley's Who's Who in Magic:

Boston, George L.
(Chicago, Illinois: 6 Jan 1905-14 Mar 1975) Aka "George L. Merlin". Inspired in 1915 at age 10 seeing Thurston show & immediately learned from books & then buying tricks from Roterberg's shop. Semi-pro debut in 1916.
Pro stage magician as assistant to Duval Brothers 1924-28, assistant to Birch 1928, assistant to Howard Thurston 1928, stage manager to Harry Thurston 1931-32, assistant to Carter 1933, assistant to Mel-Roy, assistant to Virgil 1937, chief assistant to Will Rock 1938, assistant to Nicola 1938.
A manic-depressive, he was fired by all of the above. Improved after moving to Los Angeles. Assistant to Blackstone on 1943 USO tour. In 1944 switched to mentalism. Associated with Jim Sherman's shop in Chicago in 1945. Worked in Abbott's LA shop since 1948. On original AMA Board of Directors 1962-64.
His good autobio (written with Robert Parrish) is Inside Magic (1947, 224pp). Wrote Super Quiz (25pp). NOTE: Did not invent the Boston Box as assumed by Bobo & copied by Waters.


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Postby Guest » 04/07/07 08:52 AM

George wrote a column for Genii. When I got Ozzie Malini back into magic and brought him to the Magic Castle, George wrote it up like it was he who brought Ozzie in.

George could be LOUD! Once at an It's Magic show, where George was the Stage Manager or some backstage worker, the backstage mic failed. George announced the acts anyway, his voice projecting through the heavy front curtain. Those of us in the balcony heard him clearly.

His ex-wife married Ray Hafler and had a happy marriage for a change.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/07/07 09:27 AM

I've heard that George Boston liked to take credit for lots of things he didn't do, or liked to overstate his role.

In Genii, he did write a column and its title is ...

INSIDE MAGIC.

:)
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
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Postby Guest » 04/07/07 02:17 PM

Remember many "assistants", often do much more for the show, without setting foot on stage.
Blackstone, Sr. assistants said his brother Pete Bouton, actually ran the show, so his brother could walk on stage, knowing it was ready for him.
Ditto for Chris Kenner, who keeps the trains running on time, for David.
What an asset for Thurston, to know, George White, was THERE, for the show, onstage and off.
Or purposely anonymous invisible men, like Jim Collins, David Lustig, or Melvin _____?, whose bosses became famous, because they supposedly performed their feats, by themselves.
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