I can't remember where or when, but some time in the distant past I once read that the more names you mention in a column, particularly a magical column, the more friends you will make. OK, David Roth, Finn Jon, John Calvert, Jay Marshall, Albert Goshman. Is that enough names to make friends? Actually, with the exception of Albert Goshman, they all have one thing in common; they have all been recent visitors to London, and even Goshman, though not being around at the same time as the others, had his ugly face appearing on our television screens just the other week. The TV show was taped some months ago and Albert was not quite his usual self, I thought perhaps he was a little reserved, but as always he delivered the goods as no-one else in the world can. Albert, come again, any time. Please. David Roth and Finn Jon both did lectures within a few days of each other under the auspices of Ken Brooke. Finn Jon surprised me particularly. He didn't do many tricks but one that he did do knocked most of those present sideways. This was a version of the A1 Koran Medallion effect where a number" is predicted and is revealed by being 'inscribed' on the back of a gold medallion. Finn Jon had a variation on this where a girl's name actually was 'engraved' It was marvellous.
David Roth, the young man who specialises in coin tricks. He came, we saw, he conquered. One thing was unique about the Roth lecture: for the first time ever the lecture could be purchased afterwards not only as lecture notes, but in the form of a cassette recording of the complete lecture. Several people took advantage of this and no doubt they will be sitting at home at this very moment listening as David Roth's voice on tape recreate for them the miracles he performed for them that evening.
John Calvert is one of my favourite people. He is one of a vanishing breed. He leads the kind of life we would all like to lead. Most performing magicians have dreamt of living the free-life of a travelling mountebank-cum-charlatan and I mean that in the nicest possible sense. John Calvert does just that, but in a grander manner. Not for him the living wagon or a caravan or the sleazy lodging houses of days gone by. He has for many years travelled the world by boat. His own boat, no less. In fact a yacht. I don't know the difference.
Looking and behaving like a character played by the late Errol Flynn he really is larger than life. There should be more like him but alas it requires guts and a tremendous amount of performing experience.
I first saw him around the middle fifties when he was touring the variety theatres in England, and last saw him perform in Spain a few months ago. Like whisky he improved with age, but I am quite sure that at least half his success is due to the everpresent Tammy, the most beautiful, gorgeous, effervescent, exciting assistant in the world. We have learned your secret at last John Calvert — without Tammy you're nothing, so there.
Now take Jay Marshall. He is the opposite to John Calvert. He carries his act around in a towel he stole from a hotel. He will sleep wherever any one will offer him a bed and a bar of soap. His hair is thinning, his shoulders stoop, his eyesight is failing, and for at least half of his act he talks to himself. His left hand is called Lefty and his right hand is called Frances. How can this man possibly be successful? But he is. There must be a reason. There is. Frances is her name. She does all the work whilst he gallivants around the world visiting theatres and plays and puppet shows etc. Like Calvert he is lucky. He has found a female who will tolerate him.
It has been said a million times before that behind every successful man there is a woman. With Calvert it is true. With Marshall it is true.
Is it true in your case?
Goodbye Patrick Page
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