Johnny Thompson Question.....

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Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Guest » November 30th, 2005, 10:36 pm

I have a question that has bugged me for years. I really enjoy Johnny Thompson as a performer, I think he is a real treasure. Years ago I saw him at the airport sitting alone. He looked either tired or like he wanted to talk to someone. I didn't want to bother him so I just sat in the lobby (waiting area) until the flight and never said anything to him. I've regreted it ever since. I wonder how he reacts to people walking up to him and talking to him about magic? Did I make a good call or should I smack myself with a log or something?
Steve V

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Ryan Matney
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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Ryan Matney » December 1st, 2005, 12:11 am

I've only been around him once at a convention. He seemed to keep to himself or in his room most of the time but when he was mingling he was approachble.

People were coming up to him and holding out a deck of cards and asking him to demonstrate one sleight after another and he did. Spoke to everyone about anything they brought up but conversations were pretty short as several people were trying to talk to him at once.

Just my observation, I didn't really have the nerve to approach him myself in those conditions. I might have risked it if I saw him sitting alone in an airport. Get the log out.

By the way Steve, send me an email. I've lost your address.
Get the Dirty Work - Available now at http://www.ryanmatneymagic.com

Guest

Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2005, 4:29 am

I've met him numerous times here in Las Vegas. He's very nice and very gracious. Go ahead. Smack yourself a few times with a BIG log.

Guest

Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2005, 7:13 am

You forgot to add to the graciousness that he is also just a plain nice guy and that his wife Pam is just as nice and just as funny too.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
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Pete Biro
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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Pete Biro » December 1st, 2005, 8:14 am

I have worked with and for Johnny and Pam numerous times... there is no couple in magic like them... they are gracious, knowledgable and willing to share and help anyone that is serious about magic...

He works as an advisor to many, including Lance Burton and Criss Angel.
Stay tooned.

Guest

Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2005, 10:01 am

Dang. I hope I get another chance to run into him. Last time I did this was in the 70's and I was outside the castle, couldn't get in cuz I was a teen, and watched Vernon and some other fellow go in.
Steve V <---has duriflame at home to hit self with

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » December 1st, 2005, 11:21 am

Originally posted by Steve V':
Steve V <---has duriflame at home to hit self with
Nice! You can hit yourself repeatedly for up to four hours! ;)

-Jim

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Bill Wells
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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Bill Wells » December 1st, 2005, 1:44 pm

(quote)
Nice! You can hit yourself repeatedly for up to four hours!

-Jim
(end quote)

What a fabulous line ! Pete - where are you? This one deserves one of your line of the month awards...
Bill Wells

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Pete Biro » December 1st, 2005, 3:07 pm

Yes, 'tis a good line for sure and an award winner... but... anything about The Great Tomsoni is diminished by anyone that walks on stage with their fly open. :eek:
Stay tooned.

Guest

Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2005, 5:40 pm

Now Pete, you left yourself open to that one. (Leave it to a photographer to deal with overexposure!)

Lucy and I agree with all of the above. You have missed the opportunity of a lifetime to share a time with a genuine gentleman of magic and entertainment. Johnny Thompson (and Pam Hays) are two grand examples to those who wish peofessional status in the live entertainment industry. Had you approached him, you would have found him knowledgable, generous, and friendly.

After all the grief we have given you, it is also totally unfair of us to not admire you for your respect for another's privacy. That too is a mark of a true gentleman. Don't kick yourself too hard. Perhaps 50 lashes with a silk streamer while you're asleep would settle it! At least you got to see Johnny Thompson. I hope you do again.

(Lucy and Pam have a separate support group: Own Your Own Magician.)

Life is loaded with surprises. Enjoy them!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

Guest

Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2005, 6:09 pm

Thank you.... my hair smells like fuel from the duriflame log.
Steve V

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » December 1st, 2005, 6:29 pm

Originally posted by Steve V':
Thank you.... my hair smells like fuel from the duriflame log.
Steve V
Nice! Now you can market yourself as a Santa and a yule log all in one!

-Jim

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Pete Biro » December 1st, 2005, 6:33 pm

How many of you know what Tomsoni's job was BEFORE he turned pro in magic? :confused:

Submit your guesses. :eek:
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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby George Olson » December 1st, 2005, 6:53 pm

Jerry Murad (sp) and the Har........s.

During a Union work stopage in the 50's they were the only one's "working"

GO

Guest

Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2005, 6:58 pm

Does JT play on any CDs that are currently available?

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Magiphile » December 1st, 2005, 7:00 pm

Pete,
Give everyone a hint.......how about the name Ed Norton ?
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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Terry » December 1st, 2005, 7:10 pm

He was a member of the Harmonicats

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Ryan Matney » December 1st, 2005, 8:12 pm

He was a character on the Bozo show too.
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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Bill Palmer » December 1st, 2005, 11:07 pm

Johnny Thompson is a delight. I have worked with him on any number of occasions. At the Magic Circle Centenary, I was sitting in the patio of the Royal International Hotel, watching Jos Bema do an incredible imitation of Tommy Wonder, when I heard this voice behind me -- "Hey, Billy! When did you get here?" I looked up to see if Billy McComb was here. He wasn't. I turned around and there was Johnny, and he was talking to me. Even before I got to know him, though, he was always approachable.

He says he doesn't know how to take compliments, but I'll tell you this, he does enjoy them. So the next time you see him, if he isn't deeply in conversation with someone, go up and introduce yourself.
Bill Palmer, MIMC

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Pete Biro » December 1st, 2005, 11:22 pm

He worked in Chicago in the Sewers... and played with the Harmonicats.
Stay tooned.

Guest

Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Guest » December 2nd, 2005, 2:36 pm

Ya know...to make me feel better you could have said "man, good think you didn't talk to him, he killed the last guy who did".
Steve V

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Richard Lane » December 2nd, 2005, 4:34 pm

Talking of non-magic gigs, there's a photo in an early '70's Genii of Johnny and Pam appearing in dinner theater. I'm trying to remember if it was "Beginner's Luck," because their co-star was Bob Crane.

I imagine there lies a tale.

Guest

Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Guest » December 2nd, 2005, 6:55 pm

And perhaps a video....
Steve V

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Banachek » December 5th, 2005, 3:47 pm

I have spent a lot of time with Johnny and Pam this year, they are the best human beings I have ever had the privilege to become acquainted with. Johnny will literally bend over backwards for you and give you the shirt of his back. Pam is warm, funny and oh so cute. If you ever see her anywhere, you can be assured her two Chihuahuas are in her bag, literally.

Steve, you really did miss a chance by not talking to Johnny. Johnny missed a chance as well. He loves it when young guys come up to him and talk, magic is his life and loves to feel it going through his veins in conversation and loves to seed the future.

Johnny literally pulled himself up from the sewers :-), he was part of the Harmonicats group and had a few top records. If you ever get a chance, ask Johnny about the good old days in Vegas and his associations with the mob. Johnny worked with all the old acts and has tons of stories, I hear Pam may be writing a book containing some of them one day. This will be one book you will not want to miss. Johnny has worked every hotel in Vegas at one time or another, including all the ones that are no longer there. Johnny has had a hand in most of the major acts you see in Vegas in some way or another. By the way, if you have not seen the P&T B U LL S H I T show on comb-overs, you have to get it on DVD. Johnny goes through his entire morning ritual. Also check him out in the hot tub with a naked woman (all in good fun) in Penn's Aristocrats.

My favorite Mindfreak Episode that featured Johnny was the Halloween special. Those who saw it know why. Johnny is one of the main reasons I agreed to come on board the first season.

I can truly attest that there is no-one and I mean no-one in magic as gracious, knowledgeable and sharing as Johnny Thompson. The trick is to get him talking.

Johnny is like a father to me and to many others. He has given of his heart and of his home to so many through the years. For that, we all love him.
In thoughts and friendship
Banachek

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Pete Biro » December 5th, 2005, 3:59 pm

That was a great shoot with Criss on the Halloween Special, and John (AND YOU) were a treat to be around, not to mention Criss and all the crew! Hope we make the cut for some work on the next series.
Stay tooned.

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby skeptic555 » December 5th, 2005, 7:47 pm

My Johnny Thompson story happened at a lecture here in Chicago. Although I guess it's really a Pam story...

Goes without saying it was a great talk. He ended with the performance of the egg bag, and moved into the gimmick selling portion of the evening. A youngster, maybe 13-14 years old, was considering the egg bag purchase, which was on the expensive side, especially for a youngster.

The kid was rightly concerned about the level of difficulty, not wanting to buy it and then learning it was beyond his skill level. Pam, without batting an eye, said "well, we'll just give you our home phone number, and if you are having trouble, you just call him."

Damn.

One of my other favorite magic memories was when I was in Vegas a couple of years ago for a conference, and arranged for tickets to see Lance. Was up nice and close. I was settling in to enjoy Michael Goudeau, and Lance announces Goudeau is on vacation. Bummer, as Goudeau is awesome. But, Lance has arranged for a special guest, the world famous Wizard of Warsaw himself, the Great Tomsomi. My heart SOARED. What a great surprise. Of course, Johnny killed.

Steve

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Pete Biro » December 5th, 2005, 9:39 pm

I was at Magic Inc., staying with Jay and Fran... and John arrived. I had a new card in balloon (no apparatus) and did it for John and Jay... Then I started to explain how it was done and Jay grabbed me and said, "Shut up... look at John... you fried him."

His jaw was on the table!

John was realy nice to me booking me to do a spot in Les Sorcery, a magical review show in Nevada... I had a ball working the show with John and Pam, er, "Hayes" as we call her (her stage name before John).

Closing night of the show everybody does something goofy. We had a cremation illusion and when John set the lady on fire in the coffin we ran out on stage with marshmallows on sticks. :D

I stole his bowling ball and gimmick and produced it in my act just before he went on. :D

We had so much fun... :D
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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Bill Palmer » December 6th, 2005, 1:28 am

I used to emcee their shows when they played at Magic Island. I knew all of the cues and I knew how he liked to be introduced. We got along fabulously.

If you have seen the act, you know the spot where Johnny says, "I still have the tickets." At that point, whoever is the emcee/stagehand is supposed to stick his head out of the curtain at stage left, wave some tickets around and say, "So do I!" the guy in the sound booth does it, too.

I got a call from John, saying that they were coming into town, and he told me where they were staying. So I went to the hotel, went up to the room, and knocked on the door. When Hayes opened the door, I was standing there with a bunch of tickets in my hand and a pleading look on my face. She said, "Oh, Billy, that's so sweet!"

One time at a TAOM in Tyler, TX, Johnny, Pam, my wife and I did a Wendy's run to get burgers for the pooches!
Bill Palmer, MIMC

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby John Pezzullo » December 6th, 2005, 1:37 am

Originally posted by Banachek:
I can truly attest that there is no-one and I mean no-one in magic as gracious, knowledgeable and sharing as Johnny Thompson. The trick is to get him talking.
This is why an 'interview with Johnny Thompson' MUST be published in GENII.

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Ryan Matney » December 6th, 2005, 1:47 am

We keep hearing about a book Johnny is working on, maybe a Genii feature would be nice to go along with it.

He's certainly a favorite performer of mine and someone I look to a lot while trying to figure out how best to present magic.
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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 6th, 2005, 7:34 am

Johnny's book is well underway (Jamy is writing it), and David Regal will be doing the big Thompson article for Genii.
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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Pete Biro » December 6th, 2005, 9:37 am

Need Photos?
Stay tooned.

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Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Pete Biro » December 6th, 2005, 9:41 am

Which reminds me... a really great dear old friend of mine was (he's retired) one of the GREAT FASHION photographes in Hollywood. He did shoots for Vogue magazine for years, discovered Cheryl Tiegs, did publicity photos for Cher, Jonathan Winters... and hundreds more.

Anyway, John and Pam were just getting rolling with the Great Tomsoni act and needed photos.

My friend, Peter Samarjan, always said he "owed me one" (I did a big favor for him) so I decided to "call" and asked him to do a couple of photos of a friend of mine and his wife for their magic act.

He said, "Have 'em call and set a time."

Which they did... and you will not believe how great these shots came out.

ONE REASON...

Totally by accident they were on the Merv Griffin show the night before and Peter JUST HAPPENED TO SEE THEM.

He knew EXACTLY what the "Look" should be.

Of course the $1,500 and hour fee was waived!
Stay tooned.

Guest

Re: Johnny Thompson Question.....

Postby Guest » December 7th, 2005, 4:39 pm

Great news about a John Thompson book and a big Genii article. I second everything Banacek said. Johnny is a treasure, and Pam's great too. Their generosity is enormous!


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