David Avadon Has Died

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/26/09 06:59 PM

I just heard that David Avadon died of a heart attack on Saturday. Details, if I can get them, to follow.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/26/09 07:03 PM

Please confirm ... it would be sad if true.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/26/09 07:08 PM

This from an email from Mark Nelson:

Dear All,

For those who have not heard, David Avadon passed away Saturday, August 22, 2009. He was 60 years old.

David performed his pickpocket act scores of times in the Palace and the Parlour for more than three decades.

Apparently he was working out on the treadmill at his gym when he collapsed, and paramedics were unable to resuscitate him. According to his brother, David had been ill recently and had been taking medication for an undisclosed condition, but was recovering.

He is survived by his wife Miranda.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/26/09 07:28 PM

R.I.P.
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Postby Donal Chayce » 08/26/09 08:23 PM

Oh, my...such a shock, and such sad news.
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Postby magicking » 08/26/09 09:47 PM

My condolences and prayers for his family and friends
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/26/09 10:34 PM

Services will be held on Sunday, August 30th, at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery Chapel, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. at 1:00 PM.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 08/26/09 11:06 PM

This is sad.

I bought his book at the IBM convention in Nashville, and just finished it. I wasn't familiar with him before that, and never saw his act. Is it recorded?
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Postby Richard Hatch » 08/26/09 11:30 PM

That is very sad news. Although best known for his pickpocket act, David was well versed in many aspects of our craft, as evidenced by his website:
www.davidavadon.com
David was also a very good friend of the superb writer, Sid Fleischman.
Here's a brief promotional clip on an agent's website:
http://ecparties.net/ectv_folder/avadon_video.html
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Postby Dave V » 08/27/09 02:28 AM

I only saw him once at a convention in Las Vegas, probably Comdex or CES, I don't remember which.

I got a really close view of the show as with all the people he could have chosen, he picked me out of the audience to come on stage with a few other gentlemen to check out his sub trunk. Of course, by the time I made it to the stage my watch had already gone south for a while. One of the others noticed something "fishy" about the lid, but we made eye contact just enough to say "I saw that too, but let's not ruin it for the others" and we finished checking out the crate and enjoyed an up close view of the rest of his show. Very little pickpocketing in that show, except for the watch steal, and maybe a wallet from the other guy.
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 08/27/09 04:03 AM

This is rather sad news.

I was going to post, that i had never seen him perform.. but having looked on his wonderfull web site

david avadon

I discover that i have, through his long list of film and television credits.

My thoughts are with his close ones...

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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 08/27/09 11:29 AM

There are times when we muse about perfect endings and romanticize how we might cease existing, but who actually gets their wish? When our ending comes, sometimes it comes out of the blue. Who then knows what last, panicky thoughts will rush through our mind?

Im now musing about this after I heard David Avadon had died.

Coincidentally I recently ran across a batch of old photos of David. I could not precisely time-stamp them, but they were probably taken sometime between 1969 and 1971. At that time period, David had renamed himself Avadon-Black and was an itinerant troubadour-magician who hitchhiked around America, performing for his supper, lodging, and enough money to finance his journeying. Like many other counter-cultural experimenters at the time, this was offbeat. I thought it was romantically daring and a bit daft--very grass-roots, improvisational, andwell reckless. His M.O. was to drop in at a local university and freely perform magic and other theatrical things in the student union or cafeteria. He managed to ingratiate himself and finagle a situation where he could perform his free show. I say free because the only type of payment he accepted was food, a place to crash, and other types of practical donations. His pre-show bally consisted of performing a couple of card flourishes, followed by a full presentation of R. W. Hulls The Tuned Deck (Greater Magic). His full show ran about an hour, using props that he carried in his knapsack. Somehow he managed to find me, having read the Hierophant and knowing that I lived in New Orleans. At the time, I wanted to include Playboy-type interviews in my magazine. Therefore, I ended up interviewing David for a couple of hours about his journeys and ideas. I remember spending a lot of time discussing Grotowskis Towards a Poor Theater and venues we imagined being created in the future--venues oddly enough like the ones Ricky Jay and Harry Anderson currently do. David, back then, was a classicistusing minimal props, lots of interactive theater, and spouting poetry and telling stories. It is safe to say that nobody else was doing anything like this David was a lone wayfarer and the drummer he marched to was Native American. He was, in two words, a Trickster-Hobo.

Alas, Davids eventual career track looped and swerved and he, like many others in the L.A. area, found special niches to play. He even managed to write some books and articles. However, deep down I think he wanted to be a working actor, with magic as an avocation. Nevertheless, (to borrow a phrase from Truman Capote) he was a duke in his domain.
I now prefer to remember him as the smiling, softly spoken troubadour named Avadon-Black--the dreamer I left alongside a Louisiana highway in the late 60s. I snapped a photograph of him grinning, his thumb out, his knapsack packed and ready to go. It was not long before a car stopped. Avadon-Black then happily hopped in. I watched him drive away, heading north into uncharted territory, bliss-out, blessed, and free

August 27, 2009
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Postby John Carney » 08/27/09 12:44 PM

David was a very nice fellow......sorry to see him go
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/27/09 01:13 PM

It's unfortunately ironic that he died while on a treadmill, trying to stay healthy. I wonder how often that happens, with people having cardiac episodes while exercising?
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Postby Ian Kendall » 08/27/09 02:25 PM

Jerry Garcia died after taking exercise for the first time.

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Postby Jim Maloney » 08/27/09 02:40 PM

Ian Kendall wrote:Jerry Garcia died after taking exercise for the first time.

Ian

While it's true that he was trying to improve his health at the time of his death, he passed away in his sleep. It was also not his first time exercising.

For example, there's this excerpt from Rolling Stone's bio on the Grateful Dead:
In September 1992 the bearish, chain-smoking Garcia was hospitalized with diabetes, an enlarged heart, and fluid in the lungs. The Dead was forced to postpone a tour until the end of the year; doctors put Garcia on a strict diet, exercise, and no-smoking regimen. The Dead returned to the road with a slimmer, fitter Garcia in mid-December 1992 with a series of Bay Area concerts.


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Postby Mark W. Nelson » 08/27/09 04:29 PM

Hi, everyone,

I just posted the below on the Magic Castle Forums. I have placed a call to David's brother, Joe, to offer the sympathies of the magic community as well. I wonder if anyone here knows David's birthdate?

++++

David Avadon passed away Saturday, August 22, 2009. He was 60 years old.

David was a highly accomplished, working professional magician, whose performances included an equal balance of mystery and comedy. Whether in full evening shows, in his guise of Wen Fa Sheng presenting mysteries from China, in his technical consulting work for film and television, or in his trademark specialty pickpocket act, David always gave a polished, assured performance, drawing laughter and amazement from his audiences. He performed his pickpocket act scores of times in the Magic Castles Palace of Mystery and the Parlour of Prestidigitation for more than three decades.

He was the author of Cutting Up Touches: A Brief History of Pockets and the People who Pick Them, a study of the art of the pickpocket in history and entertainment.

According to his brother, Joe, David was working out on the treadmill at his gym when he collapsed, and paramedics were unable to resuscitate him. David had been ill recently and had been taking medication for an undisclosed condition, but was recovering.

He is survived by his wife Miranda.

Services will be held this Sunday, August 30th, at 1:00pm at the Hollywood Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038 with a reception following at David & Mirandas home at 3414 S. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066.

David and Ricki Dunn are not undoubtably cutting up jackpots somewhere. Aloha, David, you will be sorely missed.
Best,

Mark
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Postby mai-ling » 08/27/09 05:20 PM

I was just thinking about Ricki Dunn the other day.
And even though I'm not at all on-top of many current
magi...I saw David's name and recognized right away
because of his book and association with Ricki.

Who had a mildly crazy sense of humour.

Too many people important people are dying and they
are necessarily the older generation either.
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Postby JFox » 08/27/09 08:07 PM

A true classy gentleman.

His pick-pocket act and "Red Tape Thumb Tie" routines will always be remembered by me.
RIP.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/28/09 01:23 PM

I could use a good hi-res photo of David if anyone has one. Please e-mail to me at moobooks@verizon.net
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Postby Terrence » 08/28/09 09:36 PM

I hope the Broken Wand will be read for him.

Very sad. We seem to be seeing so many of these -- 60 seems too young for this. Aloha David Avadon.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 09/04/09 09:08 AM

Please visit my website.
http://houdinihimself.com/
I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.
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Postby Ruben Padilla » 09/07/09 02:26 PM

David was a real worker who exuded class. Whenever he'd walk onto the stage at the Magic Castle and I was with somebody who had never seen him before, I'd always lean over and whisper, "He's really good - you're going to like this." He represented magic and magicians very well, and I'm sad he's no longer with us.
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