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Topic: Steve Spill, not Mel Mellers
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 17, 2008 05:03PM)
I am just sick to my stomach at the moment. I'm completely disillusioned to be perfectly honest.

I purchased Mel Meller's first two DVDs and they contained some of the most wonderful things I had seen in a long time. Just brilliant.

So when I heard there was a third DVD I picked it up yesterday. It was filled with more wonderful stuff right up until I saw "The mind reading duck". Mr. Mellers, being from England I thought this might be a nice tribute to a Tommy Cooper routine with the Jo-ann card. Tommy had a wonderful routine and I could see Meller's character taking it and running with it.

Instead I saw a [b]blatant[/b] rip off of Steve Spill's mind reading goose act. I mean Mr. Spill did this thing all over the world for almost 30 years. I watched with my jaw hitting the floor and waited for the explanation.

I was assuming I would hear something like, "My good friend Steve Spill is releasing this in the states with Bob Kohler and I was lucky enough to get an advance copy etc..."

I mean, I wanted to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, I think he is a wonderful performer and picked up some fantastic things from his other DVDs. He always seemed to be Johnny on the spot with credits for other effects, he seems like a wonderful chap, and I figured this would be no different.

Instead he didn't even mention Mr. Spill, [b]not a word![/b] It's got to be a joke...where's the punchline? I mean he even had the same darn bird as Spill!

Well, it certainly appears as if Mr. Meller's is trying to pull a fast one. It is one thing for an amateur to 'borrow' a routine. I'd even expect it from some hack working the KofC in Podunk, but for a [b]professional[/b] to release it on [b]an instructional DVD without giving credit?[/b] You have got to be kidding me.

Is there an explanation? I mean did Mr. Meller's never see the routine and have it described to him as an "idea" during a brainstorming session with a friend? Was the duck a gift?

I don't know...I am having a heck of a time coming up with an excuse for the guy and I'd like to because he does not give the appearance of a dirt ball. But for crying out loud, this is the lowest...

Is Mr. Meller's a member? I'd really like to hear his side of things. I also bet Mr. Spill has a lot to say about it. Although if I were him I'd probably be too incandescent to talk about it.

I'm very, very, saddened by it.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Review King (Apr 17, 2008 07:03PM)
Danny, thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention.

Steve Spill's Mind Reading Goose is a classic and it is all Steve Spill. He has never given permission for anyone to release a version or to perform his version ( he and Bob Kohler are going to release the only authorized version ).

Does anyone have Mel Meller's contact info? We ALL need to let him know that this is unacceptable and he needs to come forward and explain how this came about. He also needs to contact Steve Spill. I have no idea how he can make it right, but that's for he and Steve to work out.
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Apr 17, 2008 07:31PM)
I can't think of any way this could be justified. Even if Steve had given Mel Mellers permission to [b]perform[/b] this routine (which I doubt, considering it is a signature piece), for Mr. Mellers to [b]release[/b] it (particularly when plans are underway for an [b]authorized[/b] version to come out) would be extremely bad form. Although Mr. Mellers certainly deserves the right to explain himself, I am very doubtful if there is any possible way he can mitigate what certainly looks like blatant theft.
Although intellectual property law is notoriously ineffective in the Magic world, I would think that this particular routine is so closely identified with Steve, and this fact is so widely known, that legal action might be possible.
This is just a **** dirty shame.
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Apr 17, 2008 07:38PM)
I've never met Mel Meller nor have I seen any of his material, whether in lecture notes, on DVD or whatever.

However, I do know Steve Spill and Bob Kohler and can verify that the [b]Mind Reading Goose[/b] trick is an [i]original[/i] Steve Spill presentation - one that Steve created and has performed for many many years. I can also verify that the only person who is authorized to release this effect in any matter is Bob Kohler.

I do hope that this matter is resolved by all parties involved. :smoke:
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 17, 2008 07:41PM)
As far as copyright goes, because Mr. Spill performed this on national TV, [b]the routine[/b] was automatically copyrighted as a one act play. merely displaying the copyright symbol is more than enough to copyright according to US laws.

I know WC Fields used to copyright all of his vaudeville juggling acts as one act plays after being viciously ripped off on the circuit (Here and abroad).

If Mr. Spill files a suit the monetary part might be difficult but I would be willing to bet Mr. Meller's would have a heck of a time entering the country.

Really sad stuff...



For those who own the Meller's DVD here is a link to Mr. Spill performing it on national TV about 20 years ago!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=junV6itsSf4

It is almost an [b]exact[/b] rip off!

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Apr 17, 2008 07:52PM)
Danny
Thanks for posting this, it's a real treat. Too bad it has to be here in a thread about it being ripped off.
Don
Message: Posted by: Bob Kohler (Apr 17, 2008 08:46PM)
Thanks for the interest in keeping legal properties in magic.
The matter has been settled. The DVD is to the best of my knowledge no longer available.

Steve Spill's "The Mindreading Goose" is a classic and in my mind one of the perfect routines for stage magicians who want to add a comedy piece of mentalism. It's all self contained and is hilarious. Plus it's easy to do.

We've been working on the release at Bob Kohler Magic for a long time to make sure we got it right. We're very close to having everything finally ready. We've taken Steve's methods and applied some newer technology that simply wasn't available when he developed the routine.

That's all of the information I'll release for now. The wait won't be too much longer. Look for the release after our new web site launches.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Apr 17, 2008 09:03PM)
Bob/Steve: I hope this has been settled and the idiot's DVD has been taken off the market. I don't know Mellers and wonder why he thought he could rip off someone's signature piece. Steve has been doing this for many, many years, and I always enjoyed seeing him peform it.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Apr 17, 2008 10:05PM)
I [b]know[/b] the facts on this, because I was there when Steve Spill developed this routine. In the 1980's, I worked at the Brook Farm Inn of Magic with Steve (and Bob Sheets and others) and I personally witnessed Steve develop and fine tune this routine into the brilliant performance piece that it is today.

If anyone did to me what's been done to Steve, that "magician's" *** would be quacking, because that's where I'd shove his duck.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Apr 17, 2008 10:49PM)
Right or Wrong??? Wrong that the routine was blatently ripped off and right that the DVD has been pulled from the market.

I don't think I can add any more than Danny has already posted in his first post. I thought the exact same thing and haven't had a chance to get back on here and post. I also thoroughly enjoyed Mel's first 2 DVD's. I thought based on the first two it would be worth checking out the third although skeptical from the standpoint that the first two were billed as the best of his years of work. If that was the case then why wasn't this stuff on the first two.

I sat shocked watching the routine. I have been a [b]huge[/b] fan of Steve's routine for 20 years. I first remember seeing it on the Magicians of the Magic Castle on CBS in 1988, along with Kozak, Lance Burton, Scott Cervine and Kevin James. I love the 20 Years of Steve Spill DVD. I am intimately familiar with the routine and could not believe that Mellers so callously ripped it off without any so much as a credit.

I was kind of psyched at Magic Live when Bob had a prototype on display of the Mindreading Goose. As Bob will tell you, I have purchased just about any routine he has put out. I thought that the Goose would be a cool bit in my act until the plane ride home from Vegas when I realized that some things just can't be duplicated. I realized that as much as I would love to support Steve with the purchase of his pet routine, it could never be done with the justification it deserves. Some routines stand alone with their creators. I feel this is one of them.

Actually, I hadn't heard the news yet that the DVD was pulled. I think it was the right decision, but my word...couldn't any research been done ahead of time?

Good luck to Steve and Bob on their future release.
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Apr 18, 2008 01:40AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-17 23:05, Larry Davidson wrote:
I [b]know[/b] the facts on this, because I was there when Steve Spill developed this routine. In the 1980's, I worked at the Brook Farm Inn of Magic with Steve (and Bob Sheets and others) and I personally witnessed Steve develop and fine tune this routine into the brilliant performance piece that it is today.

If anyone did to me what's been done to Steve, that "magician's" *** would be quacking, because that's where I'd shove his duck.
[/quote]
The Brook Farm Inn was where I first saw this piece, and I am pleased to know that "The Goose" is alive and well. I wish Steve and Bob the best with this.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 18, 2008 07:31AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-17 21:46, Bob Kohler wrote:
Thanks for the interest in keeping legal properties in magic.
The matter has been settled. The DVD is to the best of my knowledge
no longer available.
[/quote]
Mr. Kohler,

I purchased this thing day before yesterday. It was from a brick and mortar magic shop and may have been on the shelf for a while...I dunno.

I am glad that you have been in contact with them and the matter has been settled.

I'd like to say that this was the right thing for them to do, but in all honesty, the right thing to do would have been for them to never release this on video.

There have been some spectacular arguments in magic over some props and even some routines. The first that pops to my mind is the great debacle over the color changing silks that lasted for decades. Even that seemed more like misunderstanding to an outside observer than a blatant rip off on anyone's part as the final effect was changed as well as the script.

I do not know as I have ever seen anything as blatant, or as heinous, as this particular bit of theft. As I said in my first post, it is not unheard of for an amateur or a function hall hack from a small town to 'repeat' a routine word for word. But for a [b]pro[/b], a guy who is releasing an instructional DVD to [b]other[/b] magicians, to knock off a [b]famous feature[/b] routine, from a very well known magician, I am at a complete and utter loss. I have no idea how the bloke could possibly think he would get away with it.

I know in my mind any credibility I had for the man is completely shattered. Everything on [b]all[/b] of his DVDs have now become suspect to me.

Sad, sad, stuff. After all Mr. Spill has freely given the magic world, he deserves a lot better.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Woodfield (Apr 18, 2008 02:55PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-17 20:03, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
Danny, thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention.

Steve Spill's Mind Reading Goose is a classic and it is all Steve Spill. He has never given permission for anyone to release a version or to perform his version (he and Bob Kohler are going to release the only authorized version).
[/quote]
Well, not quite right, but I'll get back to that in a moment.

The 80's
I'm a local Washington, D.C. magician sitting at a table laughing my *** off watching Steve Spill and Bob Sheets at the Brookfarm Inn Of Magic in Chevy Chase, MD
It was a real education in how to blend strong magic & comedy. Bob's Cups & Balls and Card Stab. Steve's Goose and the Needles. Not to forget the two man pieces, Paper Balls Over The Head, Sub Trunk, and the Floating Lady.
Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would be working closely with both of these gentlemen. I was lucky enough to get hired around the same time as Bob Kohler to do close-up magic there and when they moved to Wheaton, MD.

The late 90's
The Inn is now just a memory and I'm working as a full-time pro, I learn a lot from Mr. Sheets who stayed in the area. Steve is set to open Magicopolis in Santa Monica and Bob says this would be a great opportunity for me, so I contact Steve. After numerous flights out to the West Coast to work at the theater, I decide to make the move out there and I'm now part of the team. It was a crazy time, I along with others are doing everything from cleaning the bathrooms, to giving tours, taking reservations, as well as performing. I'm doing shows in the close-up room, as well as kidshows there on the weekends, as well as performing in the stage show. And when I wasn't doing those things, I was standing out front on the sidewalk holding a goose and creating a buzz from local passerbys and motorists.

There, I told you I'd get to the goose.

Steve gave me permission to do the Goose Routine in the show. It was a great routine and played very well for me. Scott Alexander, who was on the show at that time, made me a tiny fez for the goose(in place of sunglasses Steve used), since my character wore a fez and monocle. I felt honored to be doing the routine, and never took it for granted.

Today
I have moved back to the D.C. area and have since retired the Woodfield character but still work as a full-time pro.

Taking another performer's routine is a lose-lose situation, for you and the creator. Like Danny, I enjoyed Mel's first 2 DVDs, he has a great character, so it's a bit of a shock to see this. The magic community is small and now with the internet, it's even smaller. Word is going to get out. The producer of this DVD has some explaining to do as well. Please support Bob Kohler and Steve by purchasing the authorized version. Then make it your own, you'll have a killer routine.

Barry Wood
Message: Posted by: Mr. Ree (Apr 19, 2008 02:08AM)
I have the “10 Years of Steven Spill” DVD here.

I have shown my 19 and 23 year old sons quite a few
performances from various DVDs.
But none have made them laugh so hard as the routines of Steven Spill.

Between the Mindreading Goose, Burnt Bunny and the Blood from Stone routines
we all could not stop laughing.

It is obvious that these routines and others on the disk were developed over a period
of time with a great deal of hard work.
This material is at least 18 – 28 years old.)

Very simple solution for me although I already own the first two Mel Meller DVDs
I have no interest in the third.
(If it really has been pulled from shelves, good.)

I personally will not support any person or product that rips-off another’s hard
work. I have placed Mel Meller on the same "no buy" list as MagicMakers.

Dave (Mr. Ree)
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 19, 2008 05:31AM)
Hello Everyone,

As the producer of the new Mel Mellers DVD “Undiscovered Wonder” I’ve read some of your posts with interest regarding Mel’s version of The Mindreading Duck routine and thought that it was time to set the record straight from my end.

Some of you are quite happy to point out not having heard of Mel Mellers, I’ll be honest and say that I personally felt the same way when the name of Steve Spill was mentioned to me in an email about five weeks ago. The only knowledge that I had of the routine was from seeing a famous performer called Joe Pasquale (here in the UK) doing something similar on The Royal Variety Show on TV a few years ago. I was told about Steve’s routine and did a search on Magic Café and found a thread discussing Bob Kohlers possible release. I immediately contacted Bob about the situation and asked him what he suggested we do to resolve any problems that he and Steve might have. In the meantime I also emailed Mel who was away performing, to ask for his side of the story. Before I even contacted Bob Kohler, I also contacted Murphys and asked them to suspend all sales. I don’t think there was much else that I could do other than that at the time.

After a day or so I received this email from Mel:
Russ has pointed out to me that the concept of using a puppet and thumbwriter is used by another entertainer in the states. I have no knowledge of this as I do not buy many DVDs or watch other performers. I have been using a puppet/thumbriter combination since the early 80's. As the tape clearly states in the explanation you can use any puppet (I have). I am currently in my Duck phase. Any similarity with another performers working repertoire is to be regretted but I cannot believe it would be similar as my performances are very character driven. Best to everyone. Mel

Now let me explain. I’ve known Mel Mellers for quite some time and personally think that that he’s a superb entertainer and up there with the best. For people to call him an idiot, is not only rather childish, but also shows that they too are unaware of his work. Some people really should know better. Out of respect to Steve Spill and Bob Kohler, for me personally it wasn’t a big deal to simply remove the routine from the DVD and have it re-issued (obviously I couldn’t do anything about the copies that were already out there).

Best,
Russ Stevens
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 19, 2008 07:22AM)
Mr. Stevens,

Thank you for your response.

Please take a look at this video of Mr. Spill performing the routine:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=junV6itsSf4

It would be one thing for Mr. Meller's to come up with a similar bent, but this routine and the routine on Mr. Meller's DVD are almost identical, right down to the opening gag.

I think Mr. Meller's is a brilliant entertainer, I think he is a very, very, smart man, I also [b]know[/b] that he is a thief.

You did the right thing by taking the routine off of the DVDs I applaud you for that. But as far as not knowing who Mr. Spill was....look...most people in the US have no idea who Tommy Cooper is, but If I see an American wearing a fez and proclaiming "[b]just like that![/b]" over a bunch of bottles I'd know where he nicked the routine.

So while we are in agreement about Mr. Meller's intelligence, please don't insult ours. I wish you and Mr. Meller's continued success, I only hope it is with his original material from here on out.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 19, 2008 12:29PM)
Dear Mr. Hustle,

I’m slightly confused as to why you think I’m insulting your intelligence by not knowing who Steve Spill is. Please accept that I didn’t, because that’s the truth.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Apr 19, 2008 12:43PM)
Russ:

Perhaps this will clear up your confusion:

Your posting Mell's comment:
[quote] As the tape clearly states in the explanation you can use any puppet (I have). I am currently in my Duck phase. Any similarity with another performers working repertoire is to be regretted but I cannot believe it would be similar as my performances are very character driven. Best to everyone. Mel [/quote]

and Danny's reply:
[quote] It would be one thing for Mr. Meller's to come up with a similar bent, but this routine and the routine on Mr. Meller's DVD are almost identical, right down to the opening gag. [/quote]

clearly illustrate his point.


Tony Iacoviello
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 19, 2008 12:50PM)
Well clearly to me the goose can read minds. It was so obvious!
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 19, 2008 01:55PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-19 13:29, russ stevens wrote:
Dear Mr. Hustle,

I’m slightly confused as to why you think I’m insulting your intelligence by not knowing who Steve Spill is. Please accept that I didn’t, because that’s the truth.

Best,
Russ (rsvpmagic.com)
[/quote]

Hi Mr. Steven's I am sorry for the confusion. It was Mr. Mellers' reply I was talking about


[quote]"After a day or so I received this email from Mel:
Any similarity with another performers working repertoire is to be regretted but I cannot believe it would be similar as my performances are very character driven. Best to everyone. Mel"
[/quote]
Mr. Stevens [b]please[/b] watch the video. I linked to The routine (not the duck nail writer props alone) are nearly identical including the opening joke.

I tried to put it into perspective by using Tommy Cooper as an example. Let me try again, Here in the U.S. there are maybe 100 people on the continent that know who Tommy Cooper is. 100% of those 100 people are magicians.

[b]But[/b], if I were to go to Covent Garden and swing a dead cat [b]everyone[/b] I hit would know who Tommy Cooper was and poor Tommy has been dead for nearly 20 years.

Now if an American put out a video where he was wearing a fez, holding a glass jar and a spoon, and loudly proclaimed, "[b]spoon jar! jar! jar! spoon![/b]" and proceeded to make the spoon dance merrily in the jar. You would be sitting there saying, oh that's interesting, it must be some type of homage to Tommy. then the explanation came up and the guy claimed total originality, you would know with a moral certainty that this guy was full of tripe. He either stole that routine from Tommy directly, or he stole it from someone who stole it from Tommy.

Here in America Mr. Spill isn't quite as well known as Tommy was in the U.K. BUT in the world of magic we have been watching Steve do the Goose for close to 30 years. On TV, in comedy clubs, at the magic castle, and a thousand other places. You also may not know that Mr. Spill's dad is Sand Spillman, on of the greatest mentalists to ever read a mind, and [b]host[/b] at the magic castle for many years. As a boy Steve learned the craft taking private lessons from Dai Vernon when Steve was still under the impression that girls were "yicky".

In the world of magic here in the states the workers all know Mr. Spill, and we all saw that dang Goose 30 years ago when he was breaking it in. It isn't like a couple of guys saw him do it in a comedy club. If VERNON were still alive HE'D tell you it was Spills.

So, for Mr. Mellers (who [b]I still[/b] admire greatly as an entertainer) to try and tell us :
[quote]" Any similarity with another performers working repertoire is to be regretted but I cannot believe it would be similar as my performances are very character driven. Best to everyone. Mel"[/quote]

[b]With all the evidence pointing to the contrary[/b], Mr. Mellers' either believes we are stupid, [b]or[/b] Mr. Mellers' himself has no idea what he is talking about.

Because for these to routines to be a coincidence it would be the greatest coincidence to ever occur on the planet earth. I mean that in all sincerity.

What is much more likely to have happened is Mr. Mellers saw someone perform this routine and [b]that[/b] person ripped off Mr. Spill and Mr. Mellers' may have asked that person for permission and that bloke said, "sure" because it wasn't his bloody routine to begin with.

Believe me when I tell you Mr. Stevens I am a BIG fan of Mr. Mellers, I wish what I have said above were not so, but it is, sincerely. For Mr. Mellers to make the claim he did in that email only made his situation and credibility [b]in this particular case[/b] worse. I wish you both nothing but the best, and I am not by nature an angry or vindictive person. It actually pains me to point this out, and perhaps I should have done it in an email, but seriously, to [b]anyone[/b] who has seen Mr. Spill do the routine there is [b]no[/b] other explanation. I say this only as a fellow magician and entertainer. I do not know Mr. Spill personally or Mr. Mellers. I have no personal ax to grind and the entire debacle is quite sad indeed. I just wish Mr. Mellers would either fess up or we should all just let it die. You took the clip off the DVD, brilliant, good form, it's as it should be. But please, refrain from patronizing us with the possibility of independent discovery. This is an entire routine, not a card move or a clever box.

All the best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Review King (Apr 19, 2008 10:22PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-19 13:50, Dannydoyle wrote:
Well clearly to me the goose can read minds. It was so obvious!
[/quote]

Nice Danny. As if it weren't bad enough that Steve Spill's routine was stolen, you have now tipped the method.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Apr 19, 2008 11:02PM)
To play Devil's advocate here for a moment. I don't know either Mr. Spill nor Mr. Meller nor have seen eithers routines or DVD's.
I did a "mind reading duck" bit a few years ago and too came up with the same opening gag. It's a rather obvious one so perhaps it could be a case of either simultaneous development or perhaps Mr. Meller forgot he had seen or heard about the routine in the past. It happens and while not excusable I think it highly unfair to bandy the Thief label about so casually. Especially since this routine appears to be the only one Mr. Meller seems to have duplicated intentionally or not.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 20, 2008 08:49AM)
::Rolls eyes::

Payne, you know I think the world of you, but until you have seen the videos, don't comment. It's silly.

The routine either directly or indirectly was stolen from Steve Spill. They are nearly identical. Watch the videos, then play the Devil's advocate. Believe me, [b]no one[/b] wanted to give Mr. Meller's the benefit of the doubt more than me. If it were one gag, one bit, or one prop, that may have been the case. It's props, timing, gags, and routine.

I do not throw the word "thief" around lightly. As a matter of fact this may be the only time I have on this forum.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 20, 2008 12:13PM)
I "independenly invented" the sub trunk last week.
Message: Posted by: russ stevens (Apr 20, 2008 01:55PM)
Dear Danny Hustle,

Just to clear things up here on my part and to make things clearer than I already have…

The quote from Mel is just that. His words and not mine.

As producer of the project I think that I’ve pretty much done all that I could to rectify the situation. I have nothing further to add other than what I have already said here in my original post.

Best,
Russ
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Apr 20, 2008 04:29PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-20 13:13, Dannydoyle wrote:
I "independenly invented" the sub trunk last week.
[/quote]
Someone "independently invented" doing the sub trunk with cards and the case, and got that published in Genii magazine a few months ago. Amazing world isn't it?
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 20, 2008 10:09PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-20 14:55, russ stevens wrote:


As producer of the project I think that I’ve pretty much done all that I could to rectify the situation. I have nothing further to add other than what I have already said here in my original post.

Best,
Russ (rsvpmagic.com)
[/quote]

You absolutely have, you heard there was a problem, and you removed the clip. Other people have contacted me in private messages to let me know that their version of the DVD does not contain the routine. What's done is done, and I was commenting on Mr. Mellers comments and not yours. My mistake, apologies to you Mr. Stevens.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: robjames (Apr 21, 2008 04:06AM)
I have known Russ Stevens for a couple of years and believe him to be someone of complete integrity - he has done the right thing here (I am guessing at personal expense)

Regards Jonathan Townsend's flippant comments about my trick in Genii - why let the facts get in the way of stirring up trouble, eh Jonathan? When I submitted the trick I claimed an original [b]method[/b], which my routine definitely has, and is therefore worthy of being printed. David Acer suggested briefly in the write up that I "may" be the first person to come up with the idea - which of course I wasn't.
Clear?!
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Apr 21, 2008 11:18AM)
And to add that Rob James routine is a brilliant handling, and just brought a smile to my face the first time I saw it!
Message: Posted by: Review King (Apr 22, 2008 01:12AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-21 12:18, Christopher Williams wrote:
And to add that Rob James routine is a brilliant handling, and just brought a smile to my face the first time I saw it!
[/quote]
Does it use a goose?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Apr 22, 2008 04:31AM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-22 02:12, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-21 12:18, Christopher Williams wrote:
And to add that Rob James routine is a brilliant handling, and just brought a smile to my face the first time I saw it!
[/quote]

Does it use a goose?
[/quote]

Not quite, close, it does a quick change at the end, and the Queen of Hearts is there in a Goose outfit!
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Apr 22, 2008 09:41AM)
[b]It's not a goose, it's a duck![/b] :)
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Apr 22, 2008 10:15AM)
So it uses a duck-and-deal approach?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Apr 22, 2008 05:49PM)
Maybe more of a duck and cover thing? if you remember that silly turtle cartoon ;)
Message: Posted by: MetalBender (Apr 30, 2008 02:11PM)
A duck is a bird, a goose is a poke in the arse.
Message: Posted by: toe to the mas (Apr 30, 2008 04:55PM)
[quote]
As the tape clearly states in the explanation you can use any puppet (I have). I am currently in my Duck phase.
[/quote]
He's in the "duck phase" cause it's impossible to find a stuffed goose!
Thank goodness Kohler and Steve are finally releasing this comedy gem to the magic fraternity. Hope Steve markets his needle and string handling.
Or better yet, a blood from stone gimmick!
Message: Posted by: landmark (Apr 30, 2008 07:32PM)
Why a duck?
Message: Posted by: Amyxdove (May 9, 2008 02:17PM)
Yeah I saw Steve do this about 15 times at the Magic Castle from the late 80's into the 90's. And he still does it today!!!! Very surprised at Mel Miller. It's too bad. Sorry to hear this Steve. At least enough people know it's your routine.

Andy Amyx
Message: Posted by: Turk (May 9, 2008 04:25PM)
[quote]
On 2008-04-22 10:41, Danny Hustle wrote:
IT'S NOT A GOOSE IT'S A DUCK! :)
[/quote]

I was talking to the duck!!

Mike

P.S. Sorry, reminded me of the great joke about the woman who walked into the bar with a duck tucked under her arm and sat down next to a drunk. The drunk looked over and asked" Hey! Where you'd get the pig? The woman indignantly responed: "I'll have you know that that's not a pig; it's a duck!!" The drunk responds: "I know! I was talking to the Duck!!"

(badda-boom)
Message: Posted by: Zerububle (May 12, 2008 08:09AM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-09 15:17, Amyxdove wrote:
Yeah I saw Steve do this about 15 times at the Magic Castle from the late 80's into the 90's. And he still does it today!!!! Very surprised at Mel Miller. It's too bad. Sorry to hear this Steve. At least enough people know it's your routine.

Andy Amyx
[/quote]
Interesting comment. Mel looks like he is in his 60's and has apparently been doing this for many many year. Exactly how do you know that it is Steve's? I'm not suggesting Steve took it from Mel. Why does everyone automatically assume Mel stole it from Steve. The joke is no proof. Its obvious. I would be interested to know whether Steve feels he originated that line or simply hear something similar elsewhere and played with it.

There is other stuff like this going on on the Café where one person assumes ownership of something that [b]could[/b] be conceived of by another as well. Bare in mind that many effects on the market today have their basis in existing ideas. PHIL, by Max Maven is originally by Ali Bongo (without credit). I don't hear anyone defending the great Bongo. He incidentally invented thousands of props and ideas for decades of television shows. Many of these ideas have since been 'adopted' by others. I'm not saying it is ok, neither is it black and white. To come online to a forum like this and accuse someone you know little about of theft (based on little evidence, or just opinion) is pathetic.

Notice that none of this [b]ever[/b] goes to a court of law. Why? Because it wouldn't hold water.


Bubble
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (May 12, 2008 12:10PM)
As I mentioned previously, in the 1980's I worked at the Brook Farm Inn of Magic with Steve Spill and others, and I [b]personally witnessed[/b] Steve develop and fine tune this idea and routine. I don't know why you're focusing only on a joke. Read the other postings in this thread and you'll understand why the routine was pulled from Mellers' DVDs.
Message: Posted by: Max Maven (May 12, 2008 12:22PM)
Zrububble writes:
[quote]
PHIL, by Max Maven, is originally by Ali Bongo (without credit).
[/quote]
I've put in far too much effort toward proper crediting to allow this misinformed comment to stand. When I first released "Final Fred" (which is what is now marketed as "The PHIL Deck"), I was quite clear in my crediting. The basic gag probably goes back to Alexander Woollcott, but as a card effect the starting point was Fred Lowe. It was from his trick that Ali Bongo, and then many others, came up with versions.

So, please bear this in mind: (A) The method for my version is radically different from that of Lowe or any of the others who preceded me, and (B) the key credit to Lowe always was and still is in the instructions.

There are plenty of things I've done that may warrant criticism. This isn't one of them.
Message: Posted by: Zerububle (May 12, 2008 01:47PM)
Please accept my apology Mr Maven. I was making a point about assumptions and then went ahead a clearly made my own! I have amended the post accordingly.

Once again, my apologies.

Bubble
Message: Posted by: Zerububle (May 12, 2008 01:51PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-12 13:10, Larry Davidson wrote:
As I mentioned previously, in the 1980's I worked at the Brook Farm Inn of Magic with Steve Spill and others, and I [b]personally witnessed[/b] Steve develop and fine tune this idea and routine. I don't know why you're focusing only on a joke. Read the other postings in this thread and you'll understand why the routine was pulled from Mellers' DVDs.
[/quote]
I have read it all. The routine was pulled because of the similarity and the hassle that would ensue... [b]not[/b] necessarily an admission of guilt! The assumption that it was stolen is the problem I have with all this.

Bubble
Message: Posted by: MetalBender (May 12, 2008 01:56PM)
It's Steve's. If Meller didn't feel guilty about presenting an unauthorized presentation of Steve's routine, then why did the pull the DVD off the market so quickly?
Message: Posted by: Zerububle (May 12, 2008 02:27PM)
It would not have been Mel's decision. What is it with you all. Mel would have signed the DVD over to RSVP. Russ Stevens would have made the decision based on HIS business reputation. The DVD being pulled is a testament to Russ' integrity and NOT proof of Mel's behaviour. For all you know Mel could have been doing this for 30 years. You can't proof he hasn't.

Stop tarnishing other peoples names with your narrow minded views.

The slogan for The Café is magicians helping magicians [b]not[/b] magicians taking pot shots at magicians based on limited information, hearsay and personal opinion.

Bubble
Message: Posted by: Zerububle (May 13, 2008 09:42AM)
Why the hell do posts keep vanishing? Is there some way of editing what you have already written? If so can I adjust a previous post on this thread?

Is the Café only for those who agree with the owners views? Not designed to cause problems, just an honest observation.

Bubble
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (May 13, 2008 02:08PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-12 09:09, Zerububle wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-05-09 15:17, Amyxdove wrote:
Yeah I saw Steve do this about 15 times at the Magic Castle from the late 80's into the 90's. And he still does it today!!!! Very surprised at Mel Miller. It's too bad. Sorry to hear this Steve. At least enough people know it's your routine.

Andy Amyx
[/quote]
Interesting comment. Mel looks like he is in his 60's and has apparently been doing this for many many year. Exactly how do you know that it is Steve's? I'm not suggesting Steve took it from Mel. Why does everyone automatically assume Mel stole it from Steve. The joke is no proof. Its obvious. I would be interested to know whether Steve feels he originated that line or simply hear something similar elsewhere and played with it.


[/quote]

Mel Mellers is about 45 years old, he's actually younger than Mr. Spill.

I am not assuming anything, Mel Meller's STOLE that ENTIRE routine lock, stock, and stuffed bird, from Steve Spill. He either stole it directly, or got it from someone whole stole it from Steve Spill.

Watch the youtube video of Mr. Spill performing the thing on national TV [b]over 20 years ago[/b]. That performance was lifted IN IT'S ENTIRETY and placed by Mr. Meller's on his latest DVD. It has since BEEN REMOVED from the DVD because it was an OBVIOUS rip off. There is NOTHING to assume. Nothing. It isn't one idea, it isn't about a duck, it was a finished piece that was lifted line for line, move for move. This isn't like the independent discovery of a single move or a line. This is an entire routine.

It would be like someone trying to pass off an entire one act play line for line setting for setting as an independent discovery. That doesn't happen.

There is nothing to assume. Educate yourself by watching both videos and THEN comment. They are identical.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Zerububle (May 13, 2008 02:58PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-13 15:08, Danny Hustle wrote:

Mel Mellers is about 45 years old, he's actually younger than Mr. Spill.

I am not assuming anything, Mel Meller's STOLE that ENTIRE routine lock, stock, and stuffed bird, from Steve Spill. He either stole it directly, or got it from someone whole stole it from Steve Spill.

Watch the youtube video of Mr. Spill performing the thing on national TV [b]over 20 years ago[/b]. That performance was lifted IN IT'S ENTIRETY and placed by Mr. Meller's on his latest DVD. It has since BEEN REMOVED from the DVD because it was an OBVIOUS rip off. There is NOTHING to assume. Nothing. It isn't one idea, it isn't about a duck, it was a finished piece that was lifted line for line, move for move. This isn't like the independent discovery of a single move or a line. This is an entire routine.

There is nothing to assume. Educate yourself by watching both videos and THEN comment. They are identical.

Best,

Dan-
[/quote]

Thank you for clarifying Mel's age. He looks older than he is!

With regards to you final comment. It is completely unnecessary to patronise me. I have seen both clips. They are almost identical. The style of comedy is however different and some would no doubt prefer Mel's performance. I make no direct judgement on who is right and who is wrong. My comments are aimed at people who vehemently attack another's character that is, otherwise, spotless.


Bubble
Message: Posted by: dot (May 13, 2008 03:08PM)
[quote]
I am not assuming anything, Mel Meller's STOLE that ENTIRE routine lock, stock, and stuffed bird, from Steve Spill. He either stole it directly, or got it from someone whole stole it from Steve Spill.
Dan-
[/quote]

hi Dan

not to sound bad or fall out with you but which one do you mean- you say out right that mel stole it directly from steve then you say he may have got it from someone who stole it from steve. now if he got the routne (not stole) from someone who stole it from steve and mel didn't know it was steves then he didn't steal it from steve- which means you are out of order.
what I'm saying is- you are making a grave mistake on a forum and acusing someone of being a theif- this is much worse than what you are acusing mel mellors of doing.
I'm not saying that this is the case but it looks that way.
I think it would be good for you to talk to mel first and base you argument on facts.

thank you for listening.

dot
Message: Posted by: MetalBender (May 13, 2008 03:20PM)
If Mel got the goose routine from someone who stole it from Steve Spill as you suggest then why would Mel take credit for the routine on the video instead of saying he got it from elsewhere.
Message: Posted by: dot (May 13, 2008 03:46PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-13 16:20, MetalBender wrote:
If Mel got the goose routine from someone who stole it from Steve Spill as you suggest then why would Mel take credit for the routine on the video instead of saying he got it from elsewhere.
[/quote]

that's right- why would mel or most top pros put stolen stuff on to a dvd- mel like another uk magician are being hounded but I do not think that they are guilty.

comedy like magic has stuff which we all do the same- for instance mention a duck and you will come up with jokes like yes mallard and ill put it on the bill- even a child will come up with these even if they not heard them before.

I don't know mel or steve but I think before we are to judge we should find out the facts. but no- some people just steam roller right in and make big prats of themselves as in this case here- and many others.

dot
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (May 13, 2008 04:26PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-13 16:08, dot wrote:
[quote]
I am not assuming anything, Mel Meller's STOLE that ENTIRE routine lock, stock, and stuffed bird, from Steve Spill. He either stole it directly, or got it from someone whole stole it from Steve Spill.
Dan-
[/quote]

hi Dan

not to sound bad or fall out with you but which one do you mean- you say out right that mel stole it directly from steve then you say he may have got it from someone who stole it from steve. now if he got the routne (not stole) from someone who stole it from steve and mel didn't know it was steves then he didn't steal it from steve- which means you are out of order.

[/quote]

Dot,

That theory works to a point, and not to put too fine a point on it but if someone steals my car, and then you steal my car from that person, you have still stolen my car.

Mr. Mellers himself claims that he came up with the entire routine independently. That is an impossibility.

I stand by what I have said and if anyone is out of line it is Mr. Mellers. The routine was removed from the DVD for a reason.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: dot (May 13, 2008 04:38PM)
[quote]
That theory works to a point, and not to put too fine a point on it but if someone steals my car, and then you steal my car from that person, you have still stolen my car.

Best,

Dan-
[/quote]


hi Dan,

your point is also flawed- what if someone stole your car and sold it to me and I didn't know it ws stolen- I'm inocent so are you but the theif wins twice

this also maybe the case- but only mel knows so we are just asuming- you that mel is guilty until proved innocent- me mel is innocent until proved guilty- I prefere my way as this is the way of the law.

dot
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (May 13, 2008 04:47PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-13 16:46, dot wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-05-13 16:20, MetalBender wrote:
If Mel got the goose routine from someone who stole it from Steve Spill as you suggest then why would Mel take credit for the routine on the video instead of saying he got it from elsewhere.
[/quote]

I didn't really suggest this as I don't believe it for a second. MR. MELLERS claims he came up with it. HIMSELF. That is a lie.

[quote]

comedy like magic has stuff which we all do the same- for instance mention a duck and you will come up with jokes like yes mallard and ill put it on the bill- even a child will come up with these even if they not heard them before.

I don't know mel or steve but I think before we are to judge we should find out the facts. but no- some people just steam roller right in and make big prats of themselves as in this case here- and many others.

dot
[/quote]

Dot,

This is a ridiculous argument. We are not talking about a line we are talking about AN ENTIRE ROUTINE!

This is the same as someone saying they came up with the entire "who's on first" routine by Abbott and Costello independently. IT IS AN IMPOSSIBILITY.

If anyone is making a prat out of themselves it is you. Where is the logic in your argument? It makes absolutely no sense.

There is nothing to Judge, the guy stole an entire routine and released it as his own offering NO CREDIT to the originator of the routine Mr. Steve Spill. There is VIDEO PROOF FROM A TWENTY YEAR OLD NATIONALLY TELEVISED APPEARANCE BY MR. SPILL! THE ROUTINES ARE IDENTICAL! WHAT IS THERE TO JUDGE?

Mr. Spill also performed this on local television almost 30 years ago.

There proof is overwhelming!

If you are sincerely fans of Mr. Mellers it would behoove you to let this argument go as this can only lead to further embarrassment for HIM.

To look at those two routines and claim that they are different in any way isn't stupid, it is a special kind of stupid.

Facts don't lie. The facts are Steve Spill has been performing this routine for nearly 30 years. I do not have any personal ax to grind with Mel Mellers. I enjoyed his first two DVDs tremendously! I think he is a wonderful entertainer. But facts are facts and he got caught with his pants down on this one.

When you decide to release a video or a book to the magic community you are OBLIGATED if for no other reason than to avoid this kind of embarrassment to check and credit.

I am a full time professional entertainer. I have been an entertainer for over 30 years. I have been involved in magic almost my entire life. In ALL of that time I have never seen a more BLATANT piece of thievery than I did when I saw this routine on Mr. Mellers DVD. Magic is NOTORIOUS for all types of theft and underhanded shenanigans. I have seen some doozies in my time but nothing compares to this.

Really, let it go. They took it off the DVD, that satisfied all involved. You are not doing Mr. Mellers any favors by keeping this up, it is ridiculous. Facts are facts and in this case you not only have a smoking gun but you still got the guy standing over the warm body holding it. I'm embarrassed for the guy. As I said, this is not personal for me facts are facts.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (May 13, 2008 04:53PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-13 17:38, dot wrote:
[quote]
That theory works to a point, and not to put too fine a point on it but if someone steals my car, and then you steal my car from that person, you have still stolen my car.

Best,

Dan-
[/quote]




hi Dan,

your point is also flawed- what if someone stole your car and sold it to me and I didn't know it ws stolen- I'm inocent so are you but the theif wins twice

this also maybe the case- but only mel knows so we are just asuming- you that mel is guilty until proved innocent- me mel is innocent until proved guilty- I prefere my way as this is the way of the law.

dot
[/quote]

No, you are receiving stolen goods. If you ever buy a stolen car...you will know it was stolen. Stolen cars are not sold in car lots. People who buy stolen goods are not innocent. As I said, the argument is moot because Mr. Mellers HIMSELF claimed total originality. HE credited NO ONE.

That makes him a liar and a thief, end of story.

I was trying to be a gentlemen about it but if you want to argue your ridiculous point, there you go. It's moot, it didn't happen that way ACCORDING TO MELLERS.

That's what I get for trying to be polite about it to avoid the guy further embarrassment. You killed any hope of that, well done.
Message: Posted by: dot (May 14, 2008 01:50AM)
[quote]








No, you are receiving stolen goods. If you ever buy a stolen car...you will know it was stolen. Stolen cars are not sold in car lots. People who buy stolen goods are not innocent. As I said, the argument is moot because Mr. Mellers HIMSELF claimed total originality. HE credited NO ONE.

That makes him a liar and a thief, end of story.

I was trying to be a gentlemen about it but if you want to argue your ridiculous point, there you go. It's moot, it didn't happen that way ACCORDING TO MELLERS.

That's what I get for trying to be polite about it to avoid the guy further embarrassment. You killed any hope of that, well done.
[/quote]

hi Dan

calm down- I was not arguing whether or not mel was a thief I was refering to your claims and the way you shout your mouth off.

of course people buy stolen cars without knowing that the are not stolen- it happens all the time- false plates and numbers are changed- paperwork is forged- it is big business so you are just so so wrong and stupid. you are not only stupid you have insulted many people who have been victims of such crimes

look if you wanna keep mouthin off and insult me fine but I made some points which you said were not possible but you see my job is about this very subject and it is not rediculous for innocent people to buy stolen cars you idiot- you can go on shouting your big mouth off but it is you that's making a fool of yourself and trying to character kill another magician before even contacting them- have you contacted mel?

keep up the good work

dot
Message: Posted by: dot (May 14, 2008 02:07AM)
[quote]
If you are sincerely fans of Mr. Mellers it would behoove you to let this argument go as this can only lead to further embarrassment for HIM.

[/quote]

I am niether a fan of both and I wll leave it- it just gets to me that you called someone a theif but without contacting them- but I guess that you are good buddies with mr spill so you are standing up for him- fair play to you for the buddy boy bit and all that stuff- I do not think that it was me who embarrased mel- just read back through to your rants- what got to me was you saying he was an out right theif and he stole this directly from steve then said that he may have got the routine from someone who stole it from steve- hot air and lots of mouth- well bye for now it was a pleasure talking to you.

dot
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (May 14, 2008 08:09AM)
A thief is a thief. I didn't have to contact anybody to observe the painfully obvious. Mel Mellers stole that routine. That isn't a guess, it is a statement of the obvious.

Calling me an idiot over it does not make you any less wrong in your point. I am not the one blowing hot air, the facts are the facts. There is no other explanation for the proof that is right there in front of you. Again, all of your juvenile, school yard, name calling, doesn't change those facts. It does however prove you don't have much of an argument, and less of an intellect, when that is the best you can come up with.

Try adding 'poopie head' next time. That always makes an argument stronger. What a joke, you are probably a 10 year old. That would certainly explain a lot of your logic. Thanks for the chuckle.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (May 14, 2008 08:12AM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-14 02:50, dot wrote:
my job is about this very subject
[/quote]

What job is that? milk monitor in the middle school? Or are you the playground snitch?

What a joke.
Message: Posted by: Zerububle (May 14, 2008 08:38AM)
Assuming Dot is a child you have just been drawn in to a classic piece of transactional analysis. PAC. You are now as child like as you claim Dot to be.

Your observation of the truth does not necessarily make it so. This is why we have a jury system. Individuals can be wrong. So can juries come to think of it. Looking again at Dots original comments it is obvious that he is not suggesting Mel is either guilty or innocent more that YOU seen dogmatic on the issue which does seen a little hostile.

No-one is questioning the similarity. More your unpleasant comments about a fellow performer.

We all work in an area where perceptions are altered. Reality is, when all said and done, only YOUR viewpoint. We all have our own 'map' of the world. Your views were noted. The DVD was altered to appease those who needed it. To continue calling Mel a thief is unpleasant and a tad unprofessional on your part.

Your photo makes you look quite mature, your comments seem incongruent.

Bubble
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (May 14, 2008 09:00AM)
Bubble,

I let it go a long time ago. Facts are facts. There is NO OTHER explanation. Do you offer a plausible explanation? Because independent discovery of an ENTIRE ROUTINE does not fly.

It gives me NO JOY to accuse the guy of thievery. I am not 'good friends' with Mr. Mellers or Mr. Spill. I am however a professional entertainer that knows first hand what it feels like to be ripped off. I also noticed that there was almost NO discussion on this topic and I felt compelled to put the facts out there for people to see.

I am not accusing Mr. Mellers of thievery, his actions speak very clearly and quite loudly for themselves.

Again, present an alternative explanation that makes any sense whatsoever. I am open to listening. Independent discovery in this particular case however is not possible.

This would be like someone to independently claim they wrote the star spangled banner. It isn't a reasonable possibility.

To be honest, it is obvious to me that Dot is merely a troll and more interested in argument than in Mr. Spill having been ripped off.

I also disagree with your armchair analysis. I actually found it quite humorous being very aware of the PAC model. A this moment, if anything I am exhibiting classic signs of the Adult model by using my life experience, and knowledge, to discern that dot is either a fourteen year old, or merely acting like one. I am also exhibiting classic adult model in my argument about this theft as I am not using anything other than the facts and Mr. Mellers own words to point this out.

Resorting to direct name calling as dot did never makes an argument stronger. I was mere commenting on the humor of that as I found it quite funny. Being called an 'idiot' by someone like dot is hardly upsetting. I was commenting on the moment, and that moment was quite humorous to me. I do hope he calls me 'a big poopie head' sometime in the future as that would almost certainly make my day. :)

Finally, I made no "unpleasant comments" about Mr. Mellers. I merely stated the facts. Mr. Mellers created this situation, I merely commented on it. I am not to blame for Mr. Mellers' actions. Mr. Mellers' actions however speak volumes for themselves. I am not the one who put out the video with the stolen routine on it. they have removed it from the DVD the smart thing to do. If you are at all interested in Mr. Mellers' reputation the best thing to do would be to let it lie and leave it alone. I am more than happy to do that, but when I am attacked and accused of "blowing smoke" I will respond with the same facts that have appeared in this entire thread. The facts are unquestionable in this particular case. There is no plausible alternative argument.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Zerububle (May 14, 2008 10:05AM)
Armchair analysis. Slightly patronising as I am soon to lecture once again for the British NLP national conference.

That aside. You talk of facts when all I see is your interpretation of evidence. You make links between this and writing plays, music and song. The clips I have seen are of a fairly basic thumb writer, number divination and a stuffed toy for laughs. Not exactly Shakespeare or Lennon & McCartney.

With the billions of humans walking the earth it IS possible that totally unconnected people could come up with identical material. EVEN word for word. Totally improbable YES but not impossible.

You say that "I am not accusing Mr. Mellers of thievery", the problem is you are. You have repeatedly said that you believe him to be a thief. You MIGHT be right. You might not. At least acknowledge there is room for you to be wrong.

Ideally, you should have contacted Mel personally and found out from him. This forum seems rife with people sharing their opinions of others on a less than positive level.

My Grandma used to say that "Opinions are like buttocks, we all have them but some are best off not aired in public". How right she was. :)

Bubble
Message: Posted by: ShaunRobison (May 14, 2008 11:39AM)
If I may put my opinion in.....

It is all well and good that Mr. Hustle is defending Steve Spill. Perhaps, at times, blaspheming Mr. Meller, but, nothing is coming from all this back and forth bickering.
Yes, (if there is proof) that Mr. Meller stole Mr. Spills routine (which I believe has happened) then He owes Steve an apology. This is something that should be taken care of between Steve and Meller not 20 people on the Café!..

Copying another's routine is wrong no matter how you sugar coat it. What Russ Stevens did was the right thing to do.

I just recently met Steve in Santa Monica and attest for his sincerity. A more honest and respected person you won't find. Does this stealing of his routine bother him? I am sure it does, but again, what can he do? nothing. Except try to get Mr. Meller to stop doing his routine AND!!! MORE IMPORTANTLY go on creating his own material and continue the great work he is doing at MAGICOPOLIS. That's what makes Steve stand out from other people. He is not just a magician doing tricks. He is a creator. And his integrity is intact.

I would still love to hear Mel's version of the story but until then I will still stick up for Steve.

Excelsior
Shaun Robison
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (May 14, 2008 12:58PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-14 11:05, Zerububle wrote:
Armchair analysis. Slightly patronising as I am soon to lecture once again for the British NLP national conference.
[/quote]
Yet you don't consider your armchair analysis of me patronizing (would it also be patronizing of me to point out to you that the word is spelled patronizing and not 'patronising' as you have spelled it?). I find that humorous. NLP conference...so what? Is that suppose to impress me? I really don't see what that has to do with the conversation other than to drive it horribly off topic.

[quote]
That aside. You talk of facts when all I see is your interpretation of evidence. You make links between this and writing plays, music and song. The clips I have seen are of a fairly basic thumb writer, number divination and a stuffed toy for laughs. Not exactly Shakespeare or Lennon & McCartney.
[/quote]
It was not intended to be. Neither is the star spangled banner. Which is the song I mentioned. What is your point?

[quote]
With the billions of humans walking the earth it IS possible that totally unconnected people could come up with identical material. EVEN word for word. Totally improbable [b]yes[/b], but not impossible.
[/quote]
Not if the odds of duplication are 100 billion to one and there are only 10 billion people on the planet. If you want to involve math in your argument it would be wise to actually DO the math before you try and use it as a defense.

[quote]
You say that "I am not accusing Mr. Mellers of thievery", the problem is you are. You have repeatedly said that you believe him to be a thief. You MIGHT be right. You might not. At least acknowledge there is room for you to be wrong.
[/quote]
As I said, I believe the evidence speaks for itself. I also believe (and I am not alone on this thought) that there is no other REASONABLE explanation. Yes in theory aliens could have come down and implanted that routine in Mr. Mellers' head as he slept. I don't think anyone would believe that story either.

[quote]
Ideally, you should have contacted Mel personally and found out from him. This forum seems rife with people sharing their opinions of others on a less than positive level.
[/quote]
That's your opinion. I personally don't see any reason for me to contact Mr. Mellers. I would think that MOST users here would like to be AWARE of theft. I personally believe making that knowledge public ultimately HELPS the magic community and may deter potential thievery.

[quote]
My Grandma used to say that "Opinions are like buttocks, we all have them but some are best off not aired in public". How right she was. :)
[/quote]
Yet you seem to have no problem airing yours and attacking me and mine. Again, that's humorous. Mr. Mellers is a member here, I don't see him jumping in to clear it up. I was done with it when it was taken off the video. Attacking me has only required me to further defend my position which is, if you watch those videos side by side there is [b]no way[/b] that Mellers' achieved independent discovery. Those are the facts.

Have fun at your NLP conference.

Best,

Dan-



[quote]
On 2008-05-14 12:39, ShaunRobison wrote:
Perhaps, at times, blaspheming Mr. Meller,
[/quote]
You know, I disagree with this. I have no ax to grind with Mr. Mellers. He may be a wonderful chap for all I know. What has happened to Mr. Mellers' and his reputation was his own doing. It has a lot less to do with me and everything to do with HIM putting pilfered material on a DVD and selling it to magicians as his own.

Think about that, please. I am certainly not the only one who has this opinion. I tried to be more politic about it but then I was attacked. My opinion is sound and the facts speak for themselves. I wish Mr. Mellers nothing but the best. Yet the evidence can not be denied. Why should that not be pointed out? I really don't get it. It was theft and if it was done by any number of other people the 'troops' here would be storming the castle with lit torches and farm implements. The entire debate is ridiculous as there is nothing to debate.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Zerububle (May 14, 2008 01:16PM)
Danny

You seen to have read by posts as an attack at you. Not so. I have never said anything against your view, only that it could be moderated more. My comment about NLP was only to emphasise I am no lay man as you inferred. I am amused by your attitude and patronising is spelt with an s. We should know, we invented the language that you lot still haven't quite grasped. :)

Bubble
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (May 14, 2008 01:30PM)
Curious, "Bubble" since you are an NLP expert and make this comment: "We should know, we invented the language that you lot still haven't quite grasped."

Would you mind explaining what your meaning behind this gibberish is?
[quote] You seen to have read by posts as an attack at you. [/quote]


:clownonball:
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (May 14, 2008 02:58PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-14 14:16, Zerububle wrote:
I am amused by your attitude and patronising is spelt with an s. We should know, we invented the language that you lot still haven't quite grasped. :)

Bubble
[/quote]
Sorry didn't know you were from GB that is a horse of an entirely different colour, not much grey area in that case, I stand corrected.

Being called an idiot is a personal attack, that wasn't by you personally, I was speaking in general.

Best...er..I mean cheers,

Dan-


[quote]
On 2008-05-14 14:16, Zerububle wrote:
Danny

My comment about NLP was only to emphasise I am no lay man as you inferred. I
Bubble
[/quote]
Lay people and NLP are not mutually exclusive, but that is another topic entirely and to go off on that tangent would require a new thread I'm afraid. :)

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Elliott Hodges (May 15, 2008 03:01AM)
I'm not quite sure what to make of this.
However, the need for this post dissappointed me because they way I understand it, Mellers is one of the top cruise ship oerformers around.
I have one of his dvds and the routine that I use from it in my stand-up act always goes down really well.
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (May 15, 2008 05:24AM)
If you want a really great reaction, you should try performing one of his unpublished routines. :baby:


Posted: May 15, 2008 7:03am
------------------------------------
In case it wasn't obvious, I was kidding about someone inappropriately performing his material...although as the saying goes, what's good for the goose is...
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (May 15, 2008 08:03AM)
LOL!

Larry, [b]thank you[/b] for the much needed levity!

I wish everyone well, I hope this is the end of it, and in the future I'm sure we can look forward to great things from all of those involved.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Joe M. Turner (May 15, 2008 01:47PM)
Today I was contacted by Danny Hustle with regard to the Steve Spill duck routine as it relates to my positive review of Mel Mellers' new dvd in Genii. I do not visit the Magic Café regularly anymore; the only web forum I read consistently is the Genii Forum and I had not seen this issue discussed there.

I have contacted Richard Kaufman to let him know of my plan to do some investigation and submit an addendum to my review.

Thank you, Danny, for bringing this to my attention.

Best,
Joe M. Turner
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (May 15, 2008 03:29PM)
Joe, I'd be happy to talk to you if you'd like. I worked at the Brook Farm Inn of Magic with Steve in the 80's and personally witnessed him develop and tweak the routine. PM me if you'd like.

Best, Larry
Message: Posted by: Amyxdove (May 16, 2008 05:11PM)
A goose may be a poke in the arse, but theft of intellectual property is a kick in the butt.

Andy Amyx

On 2008-04-22 02:12, Christopher Kavanagh wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-04-21 12:18, Christopher Williams wrote:
And to add that Rob James routine is a brilliant handling, and just brought a smile to my face the first time I saw it!
[/quote]
Does it use a goose?
Message: Posted by: Amyxdove (May 16, 2008 05:13PM)
Christopher Kavanagh said: Does it use a goose.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A goose may be a poke in the arse, but theft of intellectual property is a kick in the butt.

Andy Amyx
Message: Posted by: Joe M. Turner (May 17, 2008 08:40AM)
After being in contact with both Steve Spill and Mel Mellers, I have submitted an addendum to Richard Kaufman to appear in the Genii Speaks column of the next issue.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (May 18, 2008 12:17AM)
Well...looks like I came late to this party. I corresponded with Steve Spill today on the Café PMs about an unrelated subject, and, having mentioned that I've owned his material on VHS (does that tell you how long I've had it?) for [b]years[/b], he asked if I had read this thread and thought I might make a comment. I've seen the first 2 (I think it's the first two...the Mind DVDs) of Mel Mellers DVD products, and absolutely [b]loved[/b] the material and presentation. The difference in the British humor (or is that [b]humour[/b]?) takes some getting used to, as does the handling of an audience, and it's members, but it's hilarious. Having seen the Steve Spill compilations from years ago on the [b]long[/b] VHS tapes..they're fantastic!

Now..., on to the similarities...I can't speak of the Mel Mellers duck/goose material, because I haven't seen it. I do know that Steve was performing this routine [b]long[/b], long ago...I don't know the respective men's ages and I certainly cannot come up with a solution, but, if Mel Mellers agreed to remove this routine from the DVD, that's truly honorable of him. I've been a fan of Steve Spill's creativity and style for a long time, and, although I don't know him personally (as many Café members do)...but hope this problem can be worked out amicably without more tossing of the "thief" word.

These days, I don't believe anyone would release material that is known to be of someone else's creation, the instant transfer of information would only lead to almost [b]instant[/b] accusations of theft. Everybody would know in a matter of minutes.

Hoping to someday meet my other favorite performer (met Harry Anderson a few times for dinner, and [b]lots of[/b] drinks in NOLA)..Steve Spill...

Steve Thomas
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (May 22, 2008 05:24AM)
And...now that someone has send me a brief clip of Mel Mellers duck/goose routine, I would have to agree that there is just too much similarity in both the effects and the movements to be coincidental. Love watching Steve do that duck, too!

Steve
Message: Posted by: Joe M. Turner (Jun 21, 2008 01:01PM)
For those who do not get Genii, please note that I submitted an addendum to my review. This is what appeared in Genii Speaks in the July 2008 issue.

[quote]
Department of Inevitable Corrections: Joe Turner writes, “In the last issue, I gave a positive review to Mel Mellers’ Undiscovered Wonder DVD. Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Danny Hustle calling my attention to the “Mindreading Puppet” routine on the disc. Mr. Hustle pointed out that this routine bore more than a passing resemblance to a popular routine of Steve Spill’s, and sent me a link to a video of Mr. Spill performing this on television about 20 years ago. He also linked me to discussion on The Magic Café where the issue was being debated. The Spill routine—and I admit with some embarrassment that I had never seen it or heard of it before now—is a signature piece of his and there were plans already in the offing to release the routine on an upcoming DVD. I immediately contacted both Mr. Spill and Mr. Mellers to get their statements on the situation so that I could provide an addendum. Mr. Spill and Mr. Mellers both claim to have been performing a puppet/thumbwriter-based comedy mentalism routine for 20 years. (In Mr. Spill’s case, almost 30 years.) Mr. Spill’s claim does, to the best of my knowledge and research, predate Mr. Mellers’ and is backed up by a preponderance of evidence, both from television appearances and from many other magicians who saw him perform this routine. My best judgment tells me that this is a variant of Mr. Spill’s original routine and should not have been included without both a credit to him and, more importantly, his approval. The situation has, fortunately, already been resolved. The producer of Mr. Mellers’ disc, Russ Stevens, has recalled Undiscovered Wonders and is reissuing them without the routine.[/quote]
Message: Posted by: natmagic (Jan 28, 2009 01:12PM)
Wow - the heat is on!! Glad it's sorted out - I have some of the other DVDs produced by Russ Steven's and all of them are first rate - I would say his company is one of the best in this business for putting out professional DVDs for magicians. In all the ones I own by Russ, the performers always give credit where it is due.

I ended up purchasing Mel Mellor's DVDs after hearing so much about him on this chat, and seeing a short clip on youtube. In all honesty, putting aside the duck issue - this guy is one of the funniest acts I've ever seen!! His material on his DVD is brilliant - if he were to come to the US I think he'd knock a lot of so called well known comedy magicians off their perch.

I am a HUGE fan of Steve Spill as well, and will be purchasing his goose routine soon.

Back to Mr. Mellors. I buy a lot of DVDs, but I don't use a lot of material from them. If I can get one good routine that will go in my show then I'm doing well. HOWEVER, with Mellor's DVDs I could probably add four or five items. I'm adding his shirt effect straight away - it's pure genius.

Thanks to the guy who originally posted this chat because you've introduced me to one of the best comedy magicians I've 'never heard' about here in the US. I am HOOKED on Mellors and his DVDs contain some wonerful real world working comedy material. I really hope he makes it to the US one day to lecture because he would take this country by storm. He seems like such an honest and very intelligent gentlemen (and obviously well educated) - magic needs more of this type of person!

Thanks
Nat
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 29, 2009 05:01AM)
Maybe the café should start a Black List Topic where anyone could suggest other magicians to blacklist the purchase (and spread the news) of a product explaining why for good reason and debating over that: For sure it would produce (in many instances) the same result that certain things would be withdrawn, not by ethic but for commercial and marketing image reasons.
The direct impact may not be so great but it, for sure, would develop some self censorship, both on the rip offs and with the critics who are also doing frequent rip offs of other critics, simply parroting what they heard to feel "in".

Now about the goose, the duck, the ... as Dana Daniels keeps saying with great talent: "It's a bird!..."
Message: Posted by: ladirector (Feb 2, 2009 01:34PM)
Over the years I've seen many rip-off tricks, videos, DVD's, and plagerism in books. But I can't ever recall a rip-off product that was taken off the shelves like this Mellers DVD. This must have cost dearly in a number of ways. Something tells me that this wasn't done just because the producers have high morals. Does anyone know if there is a story behind this story?
Message: Posted by: markmiller (Apr 19, 2009 04:46PM)
I think the answer to your question is buryed in Steve Spill's post on page 2 of this thread: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=288612&forum=218&153&start=30
Message: Posted by: frientre (Mar 26, 2010 01:25PM)
I just bought Undiscovered Wonder with Mel Mellers and I'm very disapointed to find that the mindreading duck is not on the DVD. Where is it? Does anyone know? Is it an easter egg? Hope that someone knows. thank you.
Message: Posted by: lebowski (Mar 26, 2010 01:53PM)
Start at the begining and read this thread for the answer.