The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Gene DeVoe (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Rainboguy
View Profile
Inner circle
1747 Posts

Profile of Rainboguy
Growing up in St. Louis in the 50's and 60s's, Gene DeVoe (Gene Zimmerman) was my mentor and taught me my first Magic trick, Paul Curry's "Out Of This World" when I was 8 years old in 1956.

Gene was a great magician and a great Magic dealer!

I'm curious as to any of you have any Gene DeVoe stories?

I do!
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8364 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
Yes! I worked a showboat with Gene (once) It was really not a big deal, but now I can say I worked a show boat.
It's late and I've had a long day. I'll come back soon with the story.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Rainboguy
View Profile
Inner circle
1747 Posts

Profile of Rainboguy
Here's one of my favorite Gene DeVoe Stories:

For those of you who knew the late Frank Pemper (AKA as Ricardo)....Frank was from Milwaukee and was a member of the Houdini Club...I liked Frank....he was nice to me once he got to know me... but Frank had a reputation as a "salesman"...he was always hawking something...Frank did a lot of cards and had some stuff published in one or more of the Jerry Mentzer Card Cavalcade Books.......

For many years Frank used to wonder amongst the "Cheap Seats" at the Abbott's Get Togethers while he performed his "Floating Silver Cube" for the fans in the stands. often selling a few "Floating Silver Cube" sets out of the trunk of the car...

So anyway, I was at an SAM Assembly 8 meeting in St. Louis one evening....the regulars were there...James Holmes...Harold Russell...Harry Monti.....Gene, of course, Dan Fleshman, etc.....and Frank Pemper was visiting from out of town...

So Frank says..."anybody wanna see a card trick I've been working on?"

And DeVoe says..."Do the CUBE Frank..."..

Groans from everyone and a big grin and belly laugh A LA Matt Schulien from DeVoe as Frank reaches in his pocket to pull out the glass bottle with the cork stopper and the Silver Cube in it....
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11157 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Frank lectured in Birmingham once and tried to pitch the Bally Prediction as if he invented it. Much to his surprise, Bill Stevenson, who actually did invent the trick was a member of the Birmingham Ring and Frank was busted quickly.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Gary Plants
View Profile
Special user
541 Posts

Profile of Gary Plants
I interviewed Bill Stevenson for a couple of hours on audio tape many years ago. He was an interesting guy.
I also have the trimmer and rounder from Gene DeVoe's magic shop.....the ones used to make all the Brother Hamman gimmicks.
foolsnobody
View Profile
Special user
Buffalo, NY
833 Posts

Profile of foolsnobody
Seeing the name Frank Pemper reminded me that before I lost it in a move I owned a small blue plastic spiral bound book by Frank Pemper that included a writeup of Marlo's Real Gone Aces. Frank's writing was a little rococo verging on incomprehensible and the layout of that book made me cry. But back to Gene DeVoe. I remember when the late Denny Loomis showed me Final Aces the first time.I used to session with him and "crash" on his living room couch quite often during the late sixties.
Rimbaud
View Profile
Loyal user
Saint Louis
291 Posts

Profile of Rimbaud
It's nice to see Gene Devoe's name mentioned. Growing in a small town south of St. Louis, I would bug my mother to drive me the 45 or so miles to Gene's shop downtown (In the Buder Building on Chestnut near 9th Street--in fact, I happened to be in the shop when he got the news that they were tearing the building down), and I would hang out for hours in utter awe.

When I was 18, the local community arts organization asked me to produce a revue-style magic show in the local theatre. I managed to get Gene to come down and MC the show. Since he had agreed, I was able to get James Holmes, Fr. Paul Zipfel, Harold D. Russell, Carl Grice and Mike O'Dowd to perform. These were at the time some of the strongest magacians in the St. Louis area.

It turned out to be a hell of show. I had never actually seen Gene (whom I never once called anything other than "Mr. Devoe") perform before and he was fabulous. Impeccable timing. This was the fall of 1981, and I remember him doing "Chapeaugraphy" and just getting roars out of the crowd. And him getting a response of out the multiplying bottles that I didn't think was possible. It was probably the first time I really understood what sets apart a real pro.

And everyone else was great. (Fr. Paul, and Harold D. especially.)

Later, I had heard that Devoe had said that that revue was one of the best he had ever taken part in. Buried in my scrapbook there is a Poleroid of me standing next to him after the show, beaming. To this day, it's still one of my proudest professional moments.

As another aside, there is a story that floats around the net about a time in the '60s, when Gene was apparently sitting around with some other magicians watching another magician's local tv show. The rest of the guys were apparently complaining that the guy with the show was a hack. According to legend, Gene said, "Yeah, but you know what HE'S doing? WORKING."
http://www.DanLaddthehypnotist.com
"Saying 'Everyone is special' is just another way of saying 'No one is.'" --Dash from The Incredibles
Rainboguy
View Profile
Inner circle
1747 Posts

Profile of Rainboguy
Hofzinser:

That card trimmer and rounder that you have are, in my opinion, TRUE PIECES OF MAGIC HISTORY if you believe, as I do, that Bro. John Hamman TOTALLY REVOLUTIONIZED THE ART OF CARD MAGIC with his many subtle and ingenious moves, counts and routines.

Since Gene DeVoe was the sole licensee of making and marketing Bro. John Hamman's many tricks and effects, including his FINAL ACE ROUTINE and many. many more, it was that card trimmer and rounder that prepared the cards that were marketed by Gene worldwide and make magicians all over the world Bro. John Hamman aficionados...

Gene and his wife Trudy spent many long nights at their kitchen table at home trimming, rounding, and otherwise preparing the special cards needed for most of Bro. John Hamman's routines....I feel fortunate to have grown up seeing Bro. John at Gene DeVoe's shop many times when I was a kid...getting to know him and other GREAT St. Louis Magicians, many of whom are listed in these Gene DeVoe posts....

someday...........maybe that trimmer and rounder may find it's rightful resting place in The American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan...

I feel VERY fortunate to have grown up in St. Louis, being part of a rich, vibrant Magic Community and watching all of this happen right before my eyes.....

Rimbaud: My wife grew up in Ste. Genevieve, so I am familiar with the area you live in....

For many years I always looked forward to performing my Annual Halloween Festival of Magic at the Assisted Living facility in Ste. Genevieve where my Mother-in-Law had lived....GREAT salt-of-the Earth folks from that area....and also, Rimbaud, the TV Magician you refer to was the late Ernie Heldman, and the story is true, NOT a rumor..Gene DeVoe was always actively helping other magicians make a buck or two performing Magic, and his comment about Ernie Heldman was designed to help these magicians learn a valuable lesson....GO OUT AND DO MAGIC SHOWS FOR MONEY...>>>>>>
dooblehorn
View Profile
Inner circle
Pittsburg, CA
1665 Posts

Profile of dooblehorn
Oh my gosh, blast from my past. My dad used to take me to Devoe Magic Den on Chestnut. To me it was just a magical place, filled to the rafters with cool and mysterious apparatus tubes and boxes of every kind. I could always tell that Gene used to get a big kick out of fooling kids who came in his store, with some unique close up trick. I always left with something, both memory and actual trick, that I would always treasure for years to come. My dad would always take my brothers and I to the IBM shows as well. I was about 7 at the time but will always remember what an impact Devoe made on me and how my dad got me interested in magic at such an early age.
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8364 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
Quote:
On Jan 5, 2013, Dick Oslund wrote:
Yes! I worked a showboat with Gene (once) It was really not a big deal, but now I can say I worked a show boat.
It's late and I've had a long day. I'll come back soon with the story.


Well, "soon" is a relative term! (I wrote that post, JANUARY 5, 2013!)

I don't remember the exact date that I first met Gene. (I think it was in the very early '70s. I also think he was still in the old WILL LINCHORST store. I was on a school assembly tour, for the Guy Keeler office in Lawrence Kansas, and was near St. Louis, so I did what any "normal" magician would do, I went to "the magic shop".

I got a "royal welcome" and enjoyed getting acquainted with Gene. I think Joe Scott was there too, so, it was a very enjoyable meeting. It was a weekend, so, I drove across the river and spent the rest of the weekend with Roy and Bernice Mayer. (got a "royal welcome, and a couple home cooked meals, there,)
Roy had been one of my mentors when I was a teen.)

So, back to Gene! Whenever, I was near St. Louis, I would stop to see Gene, and Roy, and BernIce. I tell a few stories in the book. It must have been the last time that I saw Gene when he was in the "new" store. Business was a bit slow that afternoon, and, we had a great jackpot session. He was working a showboat on weekends. The boat was "parked" (What a thing for a Navy veteran to say!)near the ARCH, and it was a "dinner theater". Gene worked "between the acts" of whatever play was being presented, while the scenery was being changed.

He said, "Come with me tonight! We can do a bit together." I said, "YES! I've worked many different "areas" of the business, but, never a SHOWBOAT!"

We had a fine dinner. Gene outlined an old, comedy card bit, that I had seen Karrell Fox and Duke Stern do. Karrell would get a man on stage and have him select a card. The card was returned, and Karrell did some fancy "flourishes and shuffles". Handing the deck to the spectator (Duke), he would say, "Your card is still in the deck, but, it's now reversed, it's upside down! Look through the deck and you'll find it reversed." Duke, whose eyesight was very poor (he was legally blind.)slowly looked thru the deck, and couldn't find the card. Frustrated, Karrell took Duke's arm and led him offstage. A few seconds later, a shot was heard. Karrell came back on, and said, "For my next trick!...." It got a hekkuva laugh!

I was to do Duke's part. Gene went backstage to dress for his first appearance between Act I and Act II. I got an aisle seat down front, and watched Act I. It was an old fashioned melodrama, and funny. Whenever a boat passed on the Mississippi, it would create a wake, and the showboat would rock back and forth. The entire cast on stage without interrupting the play, would rock back and forth with the action of the boat. The audience would get a big kick out of this.

Act I ended, the proscenium dropped. and Gene came on. He did some nice stuff, and, then coming into the audience, he invited ME, to help him do a trick. I followed him, and he did the card bit. I played 'iggy" (ignorant) and could not find the card. Gene escorted me backstage, counted to 'five" and fired a shot from his blank gun. He came back on, and after the line, he got a big laugh.

Backstage, I got into an "angel" wardrobe. A white robe, hokey angel wings, and a "halo". Two tricks later, I reentered, walking slowly, and still looking through the deck of cards. We got a show stop laugh!.

And, now I could say, "Yes! I worked a SHOWBOAT!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
David2015
View Profile
New user
1 Post

Profile of David2015
What memories,....

I too grew up in St. Louis and would beg my mother to take me to "DeVoe's Magic Den" downtown on Chestnut. I probably got her to take me about every other month. I mostly remember the stacked shelves and glass cases, full of tubes and boxes painted in all kinds of colorful themes. I recall UF Grant, MAK Magic, Abbott and of course, Steve Bender's Ickle Pickle Magic (which is a whole other story - going to Steve's house, into the basement where the metal shelves were packed 8 pieces of apparatus deep, all the tubes and trays and boxes covered in glittery stickers). Funny that my mother used to take me to Gene's while my father would take me to Steve's.

Anyway, Gene was great and I would delight in the 6 or 7 effects that Gene would demo/perform for me. He always had to restrain my eager attempts to check out the apparatus, until after we moved it into the purchase pile. I really loved those trips to DeVoe's Magic Den and the time Gene would take to show me tricks appropriate for my skill level as well as the type of performances I was doing at various times. I would always leave with a number of exciting new tricks.

I did get to see Gene perform twice, once being at the JCCA. I don't really recall much in terms of what the show was celebrating or what it was for but I have always remembered Gene performing Aerial Fishing. I'd never seen it before and to me, it was simply impossible.

Fond,.. fond memories.
Rainboguy
View Profile
Inner circle
1747 Posts

Profile of Rainboguy
Gene, (God rest his soul), was one of the TRUE St. Louis Legends of Magic....

Those of us who grew up there in and around St. Louis at THAT TIME ..well...we know who those "St. Louis Legend Magicians" were, and still are....

I wonder how many of them are still "around"?

That "St. Louis to Chicago Magic Corridor" was pretty special in it's day!
Tortuga
View Profile
Veteran user
Ballwin, MO
385 Posts

Profile of Tortuga
Found this thread by accident when googling something completely different. But it is fortunate. I began going to DeVoe's Magic Den in the early '70s. Gene was a true master magician, equally adept at close up and stage magic. Everything you pointed at he could perform and then if you bought it, he would take the time to show you some tips and "extra" techniques. It was sad to see the way the shop went in the end.

But getting back to good memories, I will say that my proudest moment in magic was probably when I won the very first Gene DeVoe Youthsayer Award. It was an award given to the most promising up and coming young magician. It is packed away, but I treasure it.

Gene was a true professional and yes, his aerial fishing was a sight to behold. I saw him do it at the Chase Park Plaza when the Midwest Magic Jubilee was there one year.
Rainboguy
View Profile
Inner circle
1747 Posts

Profile of Rainboguy
Here's a link to the Gene DeVoe page from MAGICPEDIA:

http://geniimagazine.com/wiki/index.php?title=Gene_Devoe
daviddelrey
View Profile
New user
74 Posts

Profile of daviddelrey
Loved Gene and his stores. He'd perform at Lindenwood and the JCCA yearly.
James Holmes
View Profile
New user
Branson, MO
4 Posts

Profile of James Holmes
Quote:
On Dec 9, 2013, Rimbaud wrote:
It's nice to see Gene Devoe's name mentioned. Growing in a small town south of St. Louis, I would bug my mother to drive me the 45 or so miles to Gene's shop downtown (In the Buder Building on Chestnut near 9th Street--in fact, I happened to be in the shop when he got the news that they were tearing the building down), and I would hang out for hours in utter awe.

When I was 18, the local community arts organization asked me to produce a revue-style magic show in the local theatre. I managed to get Gene to come down and MC the show. Since he had agreed, I was able to get James Holmes, Fr. Paul Zipfel, Harold D. Russell, Carl Grice and Mike O'Dowd to perform. These were at the time some of the strongest magacians in the St. Louis area.

It turned out to be a hell of show. I had never actually seen Gene (whom I never once called anything other than "Mr. Devoe") perform before and he was fabulous. Impeccable timing. This was the fall of 1981, and I remember him doing "Chapeaugraphy" and just getting roars out of the crowd. And him getting a response of out the multiplying bottles that I didn't think was possible. It was probably the first time I really understood what sets apart a real pro.

And everyone else was great. (Fr. Paul, and Harold D. especially.)

Later, I had heard that Devoe had said that that revue was one of the best he had ever taken part in. Buried in my scrapbook there is a Poleroid of me standing next to him after the show, beaming. To this day, it's still one of my proudest professional moments.

As another aside, there is a story that floats around the net about a time in the '60s, when Gene was apparently sitting around with some other magicians watching another magician's local tv show. The rest of the guys were apparently complaining that the guy with the show was a hack. According to legend, Gene said, "Yeah, but you know what HE'S doing? WORKING."


Thank you for the mention. Was this the show in Desoto, MO?
Author - Fantasio Cane & Candle Book No. 4
Inventor - One Handed Vanishing Cane to Silk
Developer - Magic Collection Software
Rainboguy
View Profile
Inner circle
1747 Posts

Profile of Rainboguy
James:

This is Rick Morein.

Glad you're here on the Magic Café!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Gene DeVoe (8 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.22 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL