Frank Shields

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

Postby John Pezzullo » 07/19/04 05:36 AM

I've always wanted to learn more about Frank Shields [a relatively unknown magic bartender who passed away in 1989] since I first read about him in EPOPTICA [Issue #12 - September 1989].

Frank Shields, described by Jeff Busby as a 'legend among the cognoscenti', was originally from the Chicago and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1940s. He was, according to the piece in EPOPTICA, the only student of Fred Braue.

In 1948, Bill Woodfield wrote about Frank Shields in his 'Magicana' column in GENII:

Some of you...will remember Frank Shields as the fellow who spends his waking hours practicing card sleights. True, but more than merely a good technician, Shileds is an entertainer.
Several years ago on GeMiNi, Mike Rogers and Pete Biro graciously posted a number of their thoughts and recollections of Frank Shields:

Pete Biro:
Shields was, according to Vernon, one of the BEST HE'D EVER SEEN with top change, palming, etc. A tremendous entertainer, but for some
reason he seemed to always work "dives."
Mike Rogers:
Or the night some guy got in a fight with his wife/girlfriend and ended up tearing a $100 bill into tiny shreds like Frank would do. Difference was, they guy actually tore up the real bill. Then he cried real tears knowing what he'd just done. Then he cut lose with some of the worst profanity I've ever heard (keep in mind I'm an ex-navy man). Frank kept doing his tricks saying, "See, that's how I get my patter." With that he would repeat the guy's profanity...And it was real GUTTER stuff!
Pete Biro:
OK, try Frank's "magic words"... he would say (Mike will know, and you can guess)... he would say, "IF I CAN'T FIND YOUR CARD, I'LL LICK YOUR ***"
I'm looking forward to reading any further postings relating to Frank Shields, the man and his magic.
John Pezzullo
Posts: 455
Joined: 03/16/08 05:19 AM

Postby Bill McFadden » 07/19/04 09:09 AM


I believe Frank Shields was an inspiration/mentor for Max Howard. If you don't know who Max is, it would be worth your while to find out. I don't think I have current contact info for Max Howard, but I'm sure one of our Forum colleagues could provide it here, or privately. I'd like to learn more about Frank Shields as well. Thanks for bringing up the topic.
Bill McFadden
Posts: 617
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Villesville-on-the-Chesapeake

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