At the time when Spencer and Dick Turpin were working together, most landlords would allow buskers into the public bar only. The lounge and saloon bar customers were considered too refined for that sort of thing. Buskers were strictly barred from these rooms.
This fact irked Spencer, who considered himself a gentleman and knew also that the pickings would be richer in the more expensive bars.
It was partly to overcome the problem that the Spencer/Turpin alliance was formed. The system was very simple. As was their normal practise, they would ride around on the top deck of a bus. In this way they were able to see in above the normal smoked glass of the different pubs, until they spotted one that was full. They would then get off at the next stop and walk back. Spencer would walk into the saloon bar on his own, and order a drink. He would also attempt to engage the landlord in conversation.
Dick, meanwhile, would hang about outside for a while. Then fifteen minutes later would walk into the public bar and ask permission to work it. He would commence performing. Spencer, in the other bar, would by now have engaged the landlord and possibly one or two other people in conversation. Suddenly, glancing into the public bar, he would "notice" Dick.
With a look of delighted surprise, Spencer would exclaim, "Good Lord! That's Turpin! He used to be one of my pupils. I taught him everything he knows." This would surprise some of the people, as up to now Spencer had made no mention of being a magician. However, he would soon tell them that he was indeed a leading society entertainer and regale them with one or two stories of his theatrical triumphs. Then he would say to the barman, "I have not seen old Turpin for years! I really can't let him go without buying him a drink. When he's finished through there, would you be so kind as to ask him to come round here?"
The barman would go into the Public Bar, and when Dick had finished going round with the hat, would say, "There's a gentleman in the other bar, who would like to see you." Dick would look through the opening or whatever into the saloon and would exclaim, "My goodness! It's Mr Spencer. I haven't seen him in years. He taught me all these tricks you know. A very fine magician is Mr Spencer."
Dick would then go through to the other bar, where he and Spencer would exchange pleasanteries; Spencer making sure all of the time that the landlord and one or two other people were involved in the conversation. Then Dick would be asked if he would be kind enough to perform one of the tricks that Spencer considered very good. Spencer in the meantime exhorted anyone and everyone to watch. Then Dick would cadjole Mr Spencer
into performing some of his marvels. The outcome was that, after half an hour or so, Mr Spencer would suggest to the landlord that just this once, as he had entertained them so well, Turpin might be allowed to go round with the hat. Spencer would then toss in a silver coin, more or less obliging the other customers to follow suit.
"Simon Says " The lecture notes of Simon Lovell. Available from the author at 145 Hillside Grove, Chelmsford, Essex. Price £2.50 inc. postage (Overseas £2.75 Airmail £3.30)
Five 8 inch by 12 inch duplicated sheets. The writing is on both sides of the paper, making ten pages in all, one consisting of diagrams. There is also an additional sheet making a frontispiece.
Obviously these notes were designed and intended to be sold only at lectures. They are certainly not produced in a commercial foremat. However, the material contained in them is complete in itself and can be enjoyed by anybody, regardless of whether or not they have seen the lecture. For this reason they are being reviewed here.
The first item, entitled "The Thoughts of Chairman Lovell" contains much that is the result of solid professional experience on the subject of performing close-up magic for money. This is a game that Simon knows inside out and he pulls no punches in this section. Everybody undertaking this kind of work would benefit from a perusal of these pages.
The second item is "The Modern Cabaret Act. . .And How to Sell it". This too has much priceless information on the problems faced by the professional cabaret performer. It also tells you how Simon managed to get himself a good agent/manager and how you can do the same. This one page could literally be a milestone in the career of a budding performer.
The third item has some sage advice on the subject of dealing with hecklers, together with some strong one-liners. This is followed by six tricks/gags. These include the famous "Alsation
Under Beer Glass" and the hilariously zany "Card in Dove". There are also some more conventional card items, two of which have been in Pabular. Simon has taken the trouble to fill in a lot of the presentation details; the little touches that turn tricks into entertainment.
Finally, there is a section on one-liners.
Summing up, I would say that in spite of a modest appearance, these few pages contain more real information than many a highly priced, nicely produced book.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.