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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Legends,.... Phil Free. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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I've allways loved stories of the ramblers, before us.
These folks were always my inspiration for pushing farther and playing.
Their big lives become small legends,..
I thought I'd start telling some of their tales.

Phil Free.
(a foto of a foto,.. sorry,.. it's all I have.
,in my waggon, 1998.)
A house painter by profession. Left Englang every summer, for the continental Europe.
France. Italy. Greece.
In order, to be sure, he'd make it home every winter; he left 20 quid by a bartender, in Calais, France,.. where the ferry was.
After a long summer, in 1963, he headed up to to Calais, picked up his 20er, and planned on hopping the ferry the next morning.
But,.. Darrol Adams,.. the Banjoman,.. was playing in the pub that night,...
Phil,.. and Darrol,.. drank the 20 quid,.. and a bit on top,.. he was stuck in France.
Darrol told him,.. "boy, live Life,.. with the living!"
Phil started doing Card tricks, in the bars of Calais.
Using Beermats, he performed TWO effects.
An Ambitious Card (mat) routine. And a Torn and Restored.. Beermat routine.
He could Palm and false shuffle Beermats,..using up to ten at a time.
His closer, was his 'collect-er'.
A Beer mug,.. Krug,.. with a metal hinged top.
He could make the top 'magical' open,.. and quickly close,.. encouraging contributions.

The second stage in his 'career',.. he bought an Accordian.
,hang on folks,..
He built a little valve on one end, so he could/would blow up balloons(!), while playing!
In the 70's, there weren't these sausage balloons availible,.. so he used standard round party balloons.
His gag was,.. telling the folks, the song was captured IN the balloon,.. then,.. he'd auktion off the balloon...
Sometimes he'd go into the Needle thru the Balloon illusion,..
always crazily fun.
He'd sing songs of travel and childrens silly songs,.. sometimes mixing both,....
Every now and then, he had a 'third hand' gag,.. continue playing accordian,... and swat flies(!),... he had some great bits.
His hat line was always the same,..
"I live from the smile in your heart. ,..throw it in my Hat,.. so I can take it with me!"

Another great bit of his, was to carry on a discussion/argument with an imaginary lady in a window behind him.
A constant fight, where he would try getting the audience to play with,.. very funny,.. very risky,...simply great.
In Germany, he is remembered for pulling off TWO Shows at once(!).
In Munich, 1972. He started a Show,.. had a good crowd,.. then told his audience,
the Show COULD be bigger,.. but the folks walking by,.. were scared off by THEM(!), his present audience.
To prove the fact, he told everyone to hold their spot,.. he was going to step out of the circle,.. and start a new Show!
,which he did.
After five minutes, he was running between the two Shows, singing two entirely different songs!
The cream, was getting the two audiences to out-do each other,.. in clapping,.. in singing with,... in donating.
It 's a classic, still talked about today.
You can find a bit more,.. and some sweet fotos at his facebook site: ''Phil Free the Busker's Pope".

smiles,.. and a warm heart,
Motley Mage
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Great stories, Gallagher--thank you!
D. Yoder
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Please continue with the stories, Gallagher. and thank you for this one.
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Crescent Head Australia
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G'day Gallagher

A great read mate - thanks for passing it on.

Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
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