Harry Blackstone III

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

Postby Lee Almond » 06/03/09 11:22 PM

I have never got the full story on Harry Jr's son Harry Blackstone III (Chris??). As I remember he was under a truck (working on it) and he had the truck blocked up with blocks when the blocks gave way and crushed him to death. Is this correct? Also, was he involved in his Dad's show and was he going to carry on the Blackstone tradition in magic? Just wondering.
Lee Almond
 
Posts: 117
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Wichita Ks.

Postby Bill Mullins » 06/04/09 01:18 AM

His obits:

Chicago Tribune (IL) - August 22, 1984

Deceased Name: Magician Blackstone's son
SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- Harry Blackstone III, 25, died in a hospital here last Thursday after suffering severe head injuries in an industrial accident Aug. 14, it was announced Tuesday.

Mr. Blackstone was the son of magician Harry Blackstone Jr. and grandson of the Great Blackstone, one of the world's premier magicians for many years.

Mr. Blackstone was the lead singer and songwriter for the musical group White Lightning.

He is survived by his parents, Harry and Gay, and four sisters.



LA Times, 8/22/1984 p. OC-A8
Harry Blackstone III, Member of Magic Family, Dies of Injuries

Harry Blackstone III, 25, son and grandson of famous magicians, died Thursday of injuries he suffered when a truck he had been working on fell on him.

Blackstone was working part-time as a mechanic near his home in Santa Rosa to supplement his earnings as an entertainer, his mother, Gay Blackstone, said.

He was the sone of magician Harry Blackstone and grandson of "The Great Blackstone," one of the titans of the magic world in the 1920s.

The youngest Blackstone worked as a singer, songwriter and dancer and had appeared with Liberace, Eydie Gorme and the Mike Curb Congregation, among other acts. At his death he was the lead signer for "White Lightning," a rock group that uses illusions and pyrotechnics in its act.

His father, mother and four sisters survive him.
Bill Mullins
 
Posts: 2953
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Huntsville, AL

Postby Dave V » 06/04/09 11:13 AM

I used to work with someone who was close friends with Harry III. They used to go to High School together, hang out at the Blackstone house after school, that sort of thing. A few years later he got a job as an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)inspector. The toughest job he ever had to do was investigate his best friend's accident.
"I still play with a full deck, I just shuffle slower"
User avatar
Dave V
 
Posts: 251
Joined: 03/13/08 01:44 AM

Postby mai-ling » 06/04/09 02:31 PM

i understood he wasn't interested in magic.
but then i am not sure.
you will remember my name
http://www.mai-ling.net
world's youngest illusionista

User avatar
mai-ling
 
Posts: 740
Joined: 05/10/08 07:25 AM
Location: 60081

Postby Dave V » 06/04/09 09:13 PM

I think you're right. Magic wasn't really "special" to him. It was just what his mom and dad did.
"I still play with a full deck, I just shuffle slower"
User avatar
Dave V
 
Posts: 251
Joined: 03/13/08 01:44 AM

Postby Lee Almond » 06/04/09 09:21 PM

Thanks to all for the reply's. Very interesting. Mai-ling my dear departed friend Maurice Lowe had pictures of Blackstone Sr. and your dad when the Blackstone show played here in Wichita at the old Forum where Century II now stands. Sadly, Maurices son will not sell or give any pictures or his old super 8 vids to any magicians. So sad all of this history is collecting dust. Peace all.
Lee Almond
 
Posts: 117
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Wichita Ks.

Postby Lee Almond » 06/04/09 09:34 PM

BTW. It is on my bucket list to walk through the graveyard at Colon MI. and offer up prayers and have a cold one in memory of all the greats buried in Colon. Duke Stern, Don Alan, Jack & Ann Gwynne, All the Blackstones, Bill Baird, Karell Fox, and all others who I missed who contributed to our art. I really need to get there someday. Peace always all.
Lee Almond
 
Posts: 117
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Wichita Ks.

Postby Bill Palmer » 06/27/09 01:14 AM

I understand from conversations that I had with Harry Blackstone, Jr. shortly after Harry B's accident, that the truck was not up on blocks, but up on jacks. This is a major no-no. The jacks slipped and crushed Harry's head.

This occurred shortly after Harry B. had told his father that he had decided to go into the family business.
Bill Palmer, MIMC
Bill Palmer
 
Posts: 719
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Houston TX

Postby Brett26 » 02/10/10 01:40 AM

I never write to boards but with all of the inaccuracy in this thread I think I need to help clear the air. Most of the facts in this thread are incorrect. I was in Sanoma with Harry Blackstone Jr. when Harry passed away. It was one of the toughest times of my life. HB was killed by a truck, and his head was indeed partially crushed. He was not working on it, but the owner of the dump truck had picked it up during lunchtime and was testing out the repairs. The owner raised the bed up (which happened to have dirt and concrete in it) and could not get it back down. Since this was the problem the truck was brought in to the shop to have fixed, the owner of the truck came in looking for the owner of the station. It was lunch time and the owner was away, so HB tried to help. I am not going to get into details but HB was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was never on blocks of wood, jack stands or even off the ground. It was a dump truck and the bed was raised. After the accident when Harry Jr. And I stopped by the facility to pick up Hs belongings the station owner took me out to the truck and explained to me how the entire accident occurred.
HB was in a group called White Light, not White Lighting. Harry was my best friend. He lived with me and my family for a few years while his Dad and Gay were getting settled. He moved back to Redlands and went to High School there. After high school was over he joined the service. When he left the service, he moved back in with me in Fountain Valley, Ca. For a couple of years. We spent many hours talking about the family business, but his heart was in his music. He caught the music bug earlier in life when he was part of the "Mike Curb Congregation". He loved to sing, and was quite good. White light had mad a demo album and was close to doing a music video for a new station called MTV. I spoke to him a week before he passed away, late at night and he was excited about the show the group had recently done at the LA Coliseum. He felt that good things would come from that. Since I was never really interested in music, it went in one ear and out the other. I wish I had taken him up on his invitation and gone and seen him perform. He was quite proud of their production. As for him following in the family business, Harry Jr. never mentioned this to me during our time together in Sanoma. We talked for hours about H as we drove all over Sanoma in a borrowed pick up truck while I tried my best to help Gay and Harry make all the necessary arrangement for his service in Sanoma and Redlands the following week.
Gay, Harry, and I packed up all of his belonging and stored them locally in Sanoma. None of us really wanted to deal with any of it. Finally, a couple of years later, I rented a trailer and drove up to Sanoma in early September and loaded up all of his belongings. Drove back to Southern California and stored them for Harry Jr. in his warehouse. I never wanted to deal with any of it, nor do I believe his Dad did....Questions...email me at brett26@aol.com...Good Magic and Good Bye
Brett26
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 02/10/10 12:57 AM

Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/10/10 02:03 AM

Sad, and a gruesome story. I can't imagine what it's like to lose a child no matter what the circumstances are.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20641
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby SteveP » 02/10/10 10:58 AM

Brett26 wrote:I Drove back to Southern California and stored them for Harry Jr. in his warehouse. I never wanted to deal with any of it, nor do I believe his Dad did....Questions...email me at brett26@aol.com...Good Magic and Good Bye


It's true that Harry never wanted to deal with HB belongings. I don't know when everything was brought over to the warehouse in Azusa, but when I worked for Harry in 89/90, 5 years after his death, HB's belongings were still there, amongst all the illusions. I was at the warehouse with Harry one day and we had been discussing organizing the place and cleaning up and we got to HB's stuff and his mood just changed in an instant. And then we moved on. It was a difficult moment.
SteveP
 
Posts: 330
Joined: 01/20/08 01:00 PM
Location: St. Louis, MO

Postby Lee Almond » 02/10/10 09:25 PM

Thanks Brett & Steve. A very sad ending indeed. Peace.
Lee
Lee Almond
 
Posts: 117
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Wichita Ks.

Postby mai-ling » 02/10/10 09:55 PM

Lee Almond wrote:Thanks to all for the reply's. Very interesting. Mai-ling my dear departed friend Maurice Lowe had pictures of Blackstone Sr. and your dad when the Blackstone show played here in Wichita at the old Forum where Century II now stands. Sadly, Maurices son will not sell or give any pictures or his old super 8 vids to any magicians. So sad all of this history is collecting dust. Peace all.


Lee,

Wichita is on of the cities my father talks a lot about and
is very significant for him. If Maurices son has video of the
show that was done with my father on the show I would love
to get in contact with him about it. I know of places that
can transfer the 8mm to DVD quality. I definitly think it
would be wonderful to see my dad when he was just a kid...
you will remember my name
http://www.mai-ling.net
world's youngest illusionista

User avatar
mai-ling
 
Posts: 740
Joined: 05/10/08 07:25 AM
Location: 60081

Postby Lee Almond » 02/11/10 11:29 PM

Hello Mai-Ling,
So cool your Dad remembers Wichita with the Blackstone show! I will do my best but Maurice's son is a pure a**. Email me at wing_man49@yahoo.com. Maybe, just maybe I can put you in contact. Peace all.
Lee
Lee Almond
 
Posts: 117
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Wichita Ks.

Postby katstevens » 05/07/10 05:33 AM

Wow, this is really a trip!! I got to this forum completely by accident but am glad I found it. I was looking for info on Blackstone Winery and somehow ended up here. I knew HB3 very well, in fact I worked very closely with him and the band in the White Light project. Here's a little known fact about HB3...when I met him he had just arrived in Northern Cal along with his manager Jerry and keyboard player, Steven and prior to forming White Light, he auditioned to be the singer for a band I was working for, Vicious Rumors and got the gig. That was short lived because they were a bit too heavy (metal) for his tastes. But we became very close friends for many years and I worked with White Light up until his tragic death. I was very young at the time and his death impacted me greatly even to this day, but that is not the point I wanted to make in replying to this post.

My reason for writing this is to give you a bit more background on who he was and what he was up to prior to his death. White Light wasn't your average band - at the time he died, we were working on putting together a show that would feature not only White Light's original music, but would also incorporate "the magic" aspect into the show. I don't remember the exact year, but in the early 80's his father did the illusions for Earth, Wind and Fire's New Years Eve show in San Fran. We went to that show and he said, "this is what I want to do and I know how to do it." From that point on, we set about the business of making that happen - unfortunately, it never came to complete fruition because of his untimely death. His father had some affiliations in Hollywood (actors - I don't remember their names all these years later, but one of them had a primary role on the soap opera General Hospital) They believed in what HB3 was trying to accomplish and decided to invest in his effort. They took over the lease on a club in Guernville, Ca called The River Theater, which was to be the band's rehearsal studio as well as a functioning nightclub and movie theater. In the beginning, we didn't have the money to pull off the high dollar illusions, such as holograms,etc., so we had to start small. He had gotten a bunch of fabric, which I believe was originally someones drapes and he wanted to make a hooded robe, like a reapers robe, but in white satin with pockets in it so he could "make doves appear". I'm sure you all can follow what I mean by that and how it is done. But anyway, my mom and I made the robe and this fabric weighed a TON - it was a nightmare and a workout to work with but we got it done and he was actually able to use it in a couple of shows before his accident. The audience loved it!

Anyway, that is just a small glimps into what HB3 was doing prior to his passing - I could go on and on, but I will leave it at that for now. HB3 (his manager used to call him HB3PO - this was back in the early days of Starwars) was an incredibly talented man in many different ways!! Not only was he an amazing singer, he had the same enigmatic and alluring presence his dad had. He had an absolutely brilliant mind, capable of perceiving and accomplishing any task put before him - until the one that took his life which was not his fault.

HB3PO was truly one of the special ones who's fate just doesn't make sense. Why create a being with sooooo much in so many aspects and then take him at 25 years old when he was just getting started and could have been an inspiration to so many? This is one of the mysteries we will never know or make sense of. He was truly an incredible human being and I was fortunate to have known him. The person he was and the things he represented taught me alot and have stayed with me to this day and I reflect on them often.

I thank you so much HB3, but miss you more my friend...
katstevens
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 05/07/10 03:48 AM


Return to Magic History and Anecdotes