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Topic: Fred Kaps
Message: Posted by: twistedace (Jun 18, 2004 04:03PM)
Hi all,
I've heard a lot of Fred Kaps and was wondering if there was any video footage of him doing his magic. He's held in the highest regards by many magicians and I came into magic about 5 yrs ago, and was wondering if there was any footage of him working?
Message: Posted by: Tom G (Jun 18, 2004 05:52PM)
There is supposedly a new dvd of some of his work.
Someone had posted a sight that had some footage a while ago. Might be worth a search.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 18, 2004 06:13PM)
There is a film clip of his performance on the Ed Sullivan show the night of the Beatles' debut.
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Jun 18, 2004 08:18PM)
There is a link to the new DVD at the [url=http://www.fredkaps.com] Fred Kaps Website[/url]. I bought the DVD a couple of months ago and it cost about $60 plus $1.38 for the conversion to Euros.

The DVD is very good, but I'm biased because I like Fred Kaps and wanted it just to have a record of him performing. There are a lot of segments of him doing his act for different audiences (you'll see whis routine with the salt pour finale four or five times). There are no secrets revealed, but if you want to see a master, have at it.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Jun 19, 2004 05:17PM)
Fred Kaps did several public performances in sweden in the 50:s. A old magician in my home town saw him perform live many years ago and that was a wonderful experience, he said...

Info about F. Kaps:
Message: Posted by: The Magician (Jun 19, 2004 07:08PM)
I have some Lecture notes of Fred Kaps dated The 13th of February 1973 and it includes some great magic tricks by the master himself
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 20, 2004 05:06PM)
Go to http://www.fredkapsdvd.com and you will see the promo for the new DVD... and if you buy it you will have the extreme pleasure of even seeing ME on it... heheheh...

Seriously, as close to Kaps as I was and as much time as we spent together, this DVD had an incredible amount of images, performances, etc. that I had never seen... It is truly a great historic piece of Kapsiana.

Trivia item. Abraham Bongers was Kaps' real name. He also worked for awhile as "Mystica".
Message: Posted by: Blackwood (Jul 14, 2004 11:39AM)
I watched the Fred Kaps DVD last night and of course was humbled by his skill and style. There were a couple of disappointments for me though.

Of all the performing clips, not one of his often-called "signature" effect, The Homing Card.

And no real information about Kaps' history. Perhaps Mr. Biro or others who knew him could offer some more details. How did he get into magic? Who were his mentors/idols? He seemed to have passed on pretty young, what was the cause?

Now I guess I'll have to pony up another $20 or so to get a copy of his Homing Card routine on the Ed Sullivan/Beatles DVD-- unless someone knows of a cheaper option?

Message: Posted by: Randy Sager (Jul 14, 2004 10:06PM)
Kaps died of cancer in 1980 I believe he was 57? Maybe a little youger by a year or two.

Yes I'm sure Pete Biro can give more details on Fred Kaps.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 17, 2004 02:48AM)
I wish it had been taped, but at the recent FISM, in Holland, Dick Koornwinder, Mike Caveney and I did a talk and demo on Fred Kaps. If you go to http://www.fredkaps.com you will see some highlight pictures from that session... which I might add got a standingn ovation.

Kaps considered himself both a pro and an amateur. A pro in his work for pay, and an amateur in that he loved to play with magic ideas.

He was NOT a creator of methods, but a fabulous man in his choice of material. His skill and dedication and his ability to [b]act[/b].

When he did a false pass (say a coin move) he [b]believed[/b] he placed the coin in the other hand.

He was a gentleman's gentleman, comfortable hangin' out with the magic dudes or the Royal Family.

He could do it all, coins, cards, cups and balls, close up, then stand up and [b]comedy[/b] (in his native tongue he was tremendously funny--I saw him do many stand up shows in Dutch).

He was the kind of guy that did thing so well, that creators the world over would send him their tricks and inventions because they knew he would perfect the presentation and make it better.

He did die too young... in his 50s (I don't have my notes to give the exact age) during a performing contract at Leow's Monte Carlo casino in Monaco.

He was a great family man with two daughters, his wife Nellie passed away last year. One of his son-in-laws died of Mad Cow's Disease.

We worked a lot of convention shows and lectures together (me for comic relief, I guess) and used to visit regularly, here when he was in the US and I would always take side trips to Utrecht, Holland, where he lived when work had be in Europe.

He had a few new items he had developed that he was going to market, but after several dealers ripped off his "Dancing and Floating Cork" he decided to [b]not[/b] market anything after that.

There is a small book, published by Mickey Hades that has a lot of details about his life.

He did win an unprecedented three Grand Prix awards at FISM. He was on the famed Ed Sullivan show that introduced the Beatles to US audiences. He was on the Sullivan show before that doing an INCREDIBLE manipulation act.

His layman comedy act, talking included the Spot Card, Professor's Nightmare (Slydini handling), the Chinese Sticks (with three sticks ala Roy Benson) and the Salt Pour.

Kaps did the sticks and salt pour as he was taught by his coach when he was young and starting out, by Henk Vermeyden (who coached a lot of Dutch Magicians). Kaps didn't find out until much later that Henk had seen Roy Benson in the USA and taught the material to Kaps, which Henk had ripped off. Kaps really never knew that until much later in his career, but by then he had changed the presentations so much they had become his signature pieces.

Posted: Jul 17, 2004 3:57am
Kaps also was a good friend of Scotty York and of course, Ken Brooke. It was Ken who coined "The greatest all around magic entertainer of our time" when talking about Kaps, who's real name was Abraham Bongers.

He wanted a simpler name for his pro career and decided to look at names in a phone book. He liked "Fred" and then found a name similar to Kaps, I think it was Daps, and changed it to Kaps, which he thought was more masculine sounding.

At one point, when his hair got really thin he wore a toupee, but few knew it since he spent top dollar in Hollywood having one made by Max Factor. Then, later, in his 40s he decided he didn't need to cover up anymore and quit wearing it except for some TV appearances.

He got interested in magic from seeing his barber doing tricks, he hung around the barbershop and wound up marrying the barber's daughter, Nellie.

He had a small workshop and made many of his own gimmicks. He was also a very excellent amateur photographer.

Some of his closest magic friends were Dick Koornwinder, Ken Brooke, Bob Driebeek, Slydini, Dai Vernon, Albert Goshman and Arturo Ascanio.

He was greatly influenced early on by Chefalo.

His most famous trick, for magicians, was the Smoking Thumb... a trick most could never figure out.

He said, "My big advantage with that trick is I am a better manipulator." Ie: He could handle the gimmick in such a way no one knew where it was, let along what it was.

Posted: Jul 17, 2004 4:00am
One of my favorite tapes of Kaps is a private one with Brother John Hamman as his sole audience member. Kaps went all out to fool Hamman and did some amazing card and object magic.

The other is a BBC Special where he did a routine I created for him. That was one of my major joys in magic, to see a master perform a creation of one's mind.
Message: Posted by: Steve Knight (Jul 17, 2004 06:04AM)

There's a clip of Kaps on The Ed Sullivan Show which can be found at: http://www.contato.inf.br/Fred_Kaps_Ed_Sullivan_1964.avi
Message: Posted by: rickmagic1 (Jul 17, 2004 10:48AM)
Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for the great stories about Fred. I, too, have have seen the perfomance Fred did with Bro. John. It is a lesson in close-up magic! His cups and balls using the sponge balls is fantastic!

BTW, which routine did you create for Fred's show? I have a copy of that show, and I think I know which routine it was, but not sure.

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 18, 2004 07:36PM)
The Ring on stem of wineglass. I supposedly have a first generation copy of the tape coming from someone at the BBC. I have also written this up for Genii and it will be forthcoming.
Message: Posted by: Randy Sager (Jul 18, 2004 07:50PM)
Pete is there a chance of you ever posting any of the letters you and Fred Kaps wrote to each other. I know you had them on the Magic BBS several years ago.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 19, 2004 12:11AM)
Yikes.... I don't know. Right now I am really behind on several projects.
Message: Posted by: rickmagic1 (Jul 23, 2004 02:49PM)
So...as I understand this, you're going to put the workings for the Ring on stem of wineglass in Genii? Any idea which issue? I've watched that performance many times, one of the strongest pieces I've ever seen.

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jul 23, 2004 09:56PM)
Rick Johnson used to do a version of this called "Wedlock".
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Jul 28, 2004 02:16PM)
You can buy a book here about Fred Kaps:
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Aug 14, 2004 11:11AM)
Right in front of me, on the wall, there is No.4 of HOCUS, the dutch periodical,3d year, august 1980.

I have it framed and the whole issue/periodical is about Fred Kaps.. strange enough, the exact date of his death isn't mentioned there either, the frontcover has a nice picture fo him and just states


Accordingly to the above URL from Kjellstrom,the 8th of June 1926 is mentioned as his birthday, still the exact date of his death I couldn't find..
Died 1980, the funeral was the 28th of juli 1980.

IF anybody knows more about Fred, it would be Pete Biro!
I can't add anything that not yet has been said, but I truely can ensure one thing..


I've been lucky enough not only to se him life on stage on several occations -f.ex. at Hamburg/Germany in 1962 where I for the first time saw him doing the *Homing Card*...
Later at other conventiones (also earlier, first time in 1959 at Enschede/Holland) I also had the pleasure of seeing him working in private doing close-up..

Once again, anything said about this man is true..those not believing in it, simply get that DVD, Dick Koornwinder was responcible for in getting produced..
They'll then will understand..

BTW... The *Homing Card* is on one of the BBC Fred Kaps specials produced by John Fisher..a lot of ppl should have a copy..he there does not only the homing card, but his smoking a spoon as a start of his intro and the chinese sticks, apart from the great routine Pete *invented*..

HE WAS THE BEST!..it is that simple..
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Aug 14, 2004 03:30PM)
Thanks Pete Biro for the posts on Fred Kaps. It is the best posting I have read in the Café. Please post on yourself and other magicians that come to mind.

Thanks again because it is a great read!
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Aug 16, 2004 03:38PM)
Found some info on Magic Magazine´s web:

Posted: Aug 16, 2004 4:45pm
I discovered this info about Fred death:

This magician, of excellent education, affection and personality, passed away, cancer victim,
the [b]23 of July 1980[/b], but much can be learned on him in several books that he wrote.

Original text here (Spanish):
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Aug 17, 2004 02:49AM)
On 2004-08-16 16:45, Kjellstrom wrote:
I discovered this info about Fred death:

This magician, of excellent education, affection and personality, passed away, cancer victim,
the [b]23 of July 1980[/b], but much can be learned on him in several books that he wrote.

Original text here (spanish):
[/quote]Thanx Kjellstrom..added to my collection of Kapsmania. :)

Posted: Aug 17, 2004 3:53am
On 2004-08-16 16:38, Kjellstrom wrote:
Found some info on Magic Magazine´s web:
[/quote]Now [b]this[/b] is very interesting, because I always have been a very great admirer of Victor Borge -his timing as well as his humour were priceless and out of this world...I would never have connected FK in anything with VB...
Great to know what's mentioned there! Maybe I now can see some similarities in presentation f.ex. in his Homing card or his Chinese Stick routine to VB's style.
Message: Posted by: John Pezzullo (Aug 17, 2004 07:07AM)
The late Fred Robinson edited the British magazine "Pabular" for the first 66 issues. One of Fred Robison's heroes was Fred Kaps.

In the April 1980 issue of "Pabular" [Volume 6, Number 4], Fred Robinson wrote a heartfelt and insightful tribute to Fred Kaps in response to his recent passing.

For anyone interested in learning more about Fred Kaps, the man and his magic, this tribute is a 'must read'.
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Aug 17, 2004 07:57AM)
On 2004-08-17 08:07, John Pezzullo wrote:
The late Fred Robinson edited the British magazine "Pabular" for the first 66 issues. One of Fred Robison's heroes was Fred Kaps.

In the April 1980 issue of "Pabular" [Volume 6, Number 4], Fred Robinson wrote a heartfelt and insightful tribute to Fred Kaps in response to his recent passing.

For anyone interested in learning more about Fred Kaps, the man and his magic, this tribute is a 'must read'.
[/quote]Well, I was a subscriber of Pabular and of course I do own that issue..
Martin Breese has lately put all of the Pabular contents on CD..those who fancy reading from a CD can get it..actually I dislike reading from a CD, but the advantage is, one can print out/choose whatever one wants to *safe*..

BTW, Fred Robinson was a friend...first time I met him was at the convention in Liege/Belgium 1961, where Fred kaps won (again) the Grand Prix..also did meet there Gus Southall -at that convention..

Great and helpfull guys...both!

Actually Fred Robinsons Riffle pass (entirely diff. from the one commonly in use) is the most invisible I ever saw..and I've seen a lot of the great cardworkers..doing very, very well..but...

Also Fred Robinsons center and bottom deal was incredible..and..he did it with a deck we others would have thrown away..looked REALLY used.. :)
Wonder how Annabell is these days..must by now almost be a middleaged, still nicey lady... :)
Almost forgot to mention, Fred Robinson -apart from doing the cards- did a very very very nice coinvanish in necktie using incredible finely covered sleeving action..
I hope it is in the upcoming book Martin Breese is about to have finished re *The Magic of Fred Robinson*..
I saw Fred R. doing it at a private party I was invited too..it was incredible clean..
Message: Posted by: John Pezzullo (Aug 17, 2004 08:35AM)

I'd love to read your recollections of Britain's Gus Southall. Perhaps you can start another topic featuring your recollections of him - the man and his magic.


Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Aug 17, 2004 08:50AM)
On 2004-08-17 09:35, John Pezzullo wrote:

I'd love to read your recollections of Britain's Gus Southall. Perhaps you can start another topic featuring your recollections of him - the man and his magic.



[/quote]TBH, I have a feeling that this topic actually is aimed at real OLD masters of the art, ppl like Dante, Blackstone, Malini aso.
The ppl we mentioned, incl. even Fred Kaps -even when not being with us since 1980- are IMHO not *old* masters, but may be that is because they lived *in my lifetime*, maybe that is why I don't count them as *old*.. :)

Nice, you too recall Gus Southall, actually -as I mentioned he was generous- he gave me a can with powder to use on the hands when doing cardwork.
He did compete, as well as Fred Robinson, at the cardcompetition at that convention and we got to talk about handconditions aso. and I got that can containing the rest of that powder after he was through the competition..

He was also kind in writing letters and explaining some of the finer points in preparing the *gimmick* for his rising cards..
I well recall- I even have his letters somewhere- that he adviced to use a *needle* to let the elasticcord run over, the needle being the *real* point of having the cord running over, after that cord went through the 2 holes..the dealer selling the item under his name didn't care..the friction was much greater due to NOT using that needle..

Well enough said..as mentioned *Magicians of the old* should contain really what the title implies..even if the guys we are talking about -a bit off topic- where REAL masters of the craft..

Message: Posted by: Rennie (Sep 17, 2004 08:54AM)
I just finished reading the article on Fred Kaps in the latest issue of Magic Magazine.It was without a doubt the most fascinating article I have read on any magician. I can see why he was voted the best and most versatile magician ever.I have a dvd of some of his performances and they are absolutley flawless. When I came to the end of the article I was left with the feeling that I wanted more.Does anyone know if there is going to be a book written about this genius or will the current magicians not even know who he was? Pete Biro maybe?? Please !!
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Sep 17, 2004 09:22AM)
Anybody able to supply me with a copy of that issue mentioned?
I'll pay for it of course..
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Sep 17, 2004 10:47PM)
If you want a copy of the magazine,
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Sep 19, 2004 07:26AM)
Thanks.. I'll have a look.. :)
Ordered it.. !
Message: Posted by: entity (Sep 28, 2004 10:29PM)
I was fortunate in my teens to have met Fred Kaps and to have watched him lecture to an invited group of Magicians.

Everything he did fooled me. Everything.

After we all picked our jaws up from the floor, Mr. Kaps showed us how he had accomplished his miracles, and our jaws hit the floor again. Most of his methods were exquisitely simple. What struck me most was his acting ability. When he pretended that something had gone wrong in a routine, his face actually got red and there was a tremor in his voice.

That lecture changed my way of thinking about Magic.

- entity
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Sep 29, 2004 12:33PM)
On 2004-09-28 23:29, entity wrote:
Most of his methods were exquisitely simple. What struck me most was his acting ability.
- entity
[/quote]You hit it exactly..

THAT was Fred Kaps..!!!

But note, some of the stuff he did at his lectures, he wouldn't have done in real life for normal ppl.
An example is f.ex. where he does pass a lighted cigarette through a scotch patternd silk.
Another example is his silkpenetration through a ring (one of the Linking Rings, guess which one :) )

He DID design a couple of routines/stuff solely for his lecture before magicians and that doesn't lessen the impact at all..he was the greatest all-round magician in our time, and IMHO of all times past or future..

Johnny Ramsey too, took avantage of the way magicians think and devised a couple of (few) routines solely to fool magicians..

There was one thing I didn't know re Fred Kaps and just got to know when reading the article in *Magic Magasin*..and that was he was a fan of Victor Borge and did learn his *english* by watching/hearing Borge perform..

As some might know, Victor Borge originated from DK and he's about the greatest entertainer ever..

I'm too a huge fan of his and collected each and every bit from his TV-performances I could..
Strange enough, it never did stike me, some of the lines FK used, f.ex. when doing the *Homing card* or some of his other routines where truely *Borge'sk*, now when knowing about it, I easily can recognize it...
Message: Posted by: entity (Sep 29, 2004 10:23PM)

Mr. Kaps told me that the routine he used in his lecture where he passed a lit cigarette through a pocket handkerchief was a trick that he had devised for a television commercial for a cigarette company.

- entity
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Sep 30, 2004 02:35AM)
On 2004-09-29 23:23, entity wrote:

Mr. Kaps told me that the routine he used in his lecture where he passed a lit cigarette through a pocket handkerchief was a trick that he had devised for a television commercial for a cigarette company.

- entity
[/quote]Amazing.. :)
That again shows that *HE* could present stuff like this, my hunch though is he followed it up with other stuff...
Message: Posted by: rickmagic1 (Oct 25, 2004 12:32PM)
Coincedently, I was speaking to my neighbor, Hans, the other day. He said, "Didn't you mention to me that you were a magician?" "I did", I replied. He then proceded to tell me about a wonderful magician that he'd seen while he was still living in his native Holland in the '50s. I said, "His name wouldn't happen to have been 'Fred Kaps', would it?"
"YES!", he replied and was able to recall to me most of the act that he had performed. It just goes to show the impact some performers can have on the lay-public.

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 26, 2004 11:06PM)
Kaps was driving me to a shop in Amsterdam. He spotted a parking place and sped over to get to it beating another driver to it.

The other driver rolled his window down and yelled out to Kaps, "Magic isn't ENOUGH!"

We must have laughed for ten minutes.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Nov 5, 2004 02:10PM)
I found several booklets by Fred Kaps on Magic Inc, Chicago online shop:
http://www.magicinc.net/ (search for kaps)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 29, 2004 08:14PM)
On 2004-07-23 22:56, hugmagic wrote:
Rick Johnson used to do a version of this called "Wedlock".
Rick's was done with a small padlock. I remember it well.
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Nov 30, 2004 10:29AM)
On 2004-11-05 15:10, Kjellstrom wrote:
I found several booklets by Fred Kaps on Magic Inc, Chicago online shop:
http://www.magicinc.net/ (search for kaps)
[/quote]Yes Kjellstrom..and that was appreciated..

I ordered one the 6th of nov. and forwarded via Visa the money..

Didn't hear the slightest from them yet, despite of 3 emails after 2 weeks have passed the first time, and then a week and a week more..
7 days from the US to DK normally, IF something is send off..

So, essence might be, the link is fine, but one can't order and get anything?
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (May 7, 2006 04:01PM)
Any news about the new book about Fred Kaps?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (May 7, 2006 07:29PM)
We are still waiting for Dick Koornwinder to get it finished.
Message: Posted by: The Person With A Username (May 13, 2006 10:11PM)
By watching footage of Fred Kaps perform his silent act, I learned one of the most important things a performer can do: Smile. He had a natural, sincere smile that suggested he enjoyed performing his art, and that he was happy to be there. It added tremendously to his act, and really inspired me to try smiling throughout my own show. Surprisingly, it was my most sucessful show ever. It just amazes me how much you can learn from watching the performances of a genius like Kaps.
Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (May 14, 2006 06:01PM)
What a legacy this man left - we should all be grateful. Just by watching Mr Kapps you know the tricks mean nothing - he practiced what he preached.

What a man, what a 'magician'.

Best of,

Message: Posted by: The Person With A Username (May 25, 2006 08:14PM)
I have some footage of Fred Kaps that I watch everytime I become frusterated or tired with practice, and it inspires me to practice some more. His vanishing cane in the newspaper, salt pour, and his version of Dai Vernon's matching the cards are my favorite of his tricks, and he projects his personality perfectly. He is the ideal role model for an amateur magician like me.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Sep 4, 2006 12:37PM)
Fred Kaps, Holland was a phenomenon and now a legend. He is the only magician ever to win the world title three times:

A photo published in the swedish magazine: Trollkarlen 1956, Nr 41:

Message: Posted by: The Person With A Username (Sep 22, 2006 07:37PM)
On youtube, if you search for Fred Kaps,you will be able to see footage of Fred smoking his thumb, perform the floating cork, and show his two master pieces, the Salt Pour and Homing Card. As I stated in an earlier post, Fred Kaps has been a constant source of inspiration and is amog my favourite magicians to watch perform.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Sep 30, 2006 01:56AM)
Watch Fred in action:






Message: Posted by: Malchat (Oct 3, 2006 05:16PM)
I live in Fred Kaps' home town Utrecht. This thread inspired me to take a detour from my usual jogging route and visit Kanaleneiland, which is a neighbourhood close to mine and where Kaps' lived for nearly 20 years.

In front of Kaps' old house is a modest memorial slab... I wish I could make it magically and eternally levitate above the pavement. A miracle worker like Kaps certainly deserves that.

I'm of a later generation - thanks for reminding me of one of the greats.
Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (Oct 3, 2006 06:52PM)
Malchat - reminding you is one thing, but you remembering that he was (and not in a small way)one of the 'greats' is another thing.
I for one am pleased that you fully appreciate what Fred Kaps gave to magic.

Best wishes,

Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Oct 6, 2006 06:09AM)
A letter from the living legend Eddy Taytelbaum, a great magician and FISM winner.
He was also a close friend to Fred Kaps.

Here is a short extract from the e-mail:

In reply to you querries the following. Fred lived in Utrecht, I
would take the train from Amsterdam and visit him. He has two daughters,
One married an Indonesian chap who used to demonstrate the magic boxes that
fred had assembled for a dutch toy manufacturer. The other daughter I know
nothing of her whereabouts. Fred's wife died a few years ago.
the book; I do hope it contains some of the notes he took because some of
the tricks I have forgotten completely and hey had to be good otherwise he
would not have made notes.

Regards Eddy"

Thanks for surprising me again. Did you know that we were good friends and he
often would come to me and show me his new developments or improvements
before going public with them. During h**is illness I would visit him
often and chat with him about magic."

Contact Eddy: eddy.taytelbaum@wanadoo.nl

Some info about Eddy:


1. Eddy Taytelbaum (Holland)

2. J. H. Van Rinkhuysen (Holland)

3. John Ramsey (Scotland)

Double prize, winner Eddy Taytelbaum's card work was notable for introducing a number of unusual handlings. In later years his reputation was further enhanced by his side‑line of manufacturing beautifully hand, rendered close‑up props.

Posted: Oct 6, 2006 7:18am
On 2006-10-03 18:16, Malchat wrote:
In front of Kaps' old house is a modest memorial slab...
I'm of a later generation - thanks for reminding me of one of the greats.
Is it possible for you to take a digital photo of Fred Kaps house and the memorial stone?
If yes, please publish the photo here. Or send it to me and I will post it here for you. E-mail me.
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Oct 6, 2006 09:27AM)
I also would love to see that. Hopefully he forwards a picture to you...Fred Kaps as I said earlier was the Epitome of magic and what everyone in magic should strive to be like...We lost him way to soon. Know one knows what else he could have accomplished...
Message: Posted by: Malchat (Oct 6, 2006 11:01AM)
No problem. :) I went back there today and shot some pictures. Unfortunately we're having horrible rain over here (typical Dutch autumn), so the photos didn't turn out as good as I hoped.

Some impressions: the neighbourhood Kanaleneiland was a very nice suburb when Kaps moved in during the 1960s, but today it's really rundown. There is a lot of crime and vandalism there and anyone who can afford it is moving out. In fact, Kaps' house was recently sold (and it didn't yield much), and today I saw that the neighbouring house is for sale as well, like several others down the street. You can see the street and the For Sale sign in the first picture here: http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l72/Malchat/100_0852.jpg

I found this Google-cached page of the festivities surrounding the installation of the plaquette:

Here you can see the plaquette in the pavement: http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l72/Malchat/100_0856.jpg

And here is the plaquette itself - sadly, the rain ruined most of my photographs, this is the clearest I have: http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l72/Malchat/100_0858.jpg

I have written the exact words here: http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l72/Malchat/100_0858dutch.jpg

And this is the English translation: http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l72/Malchat/100_0858english.jpg


the only

triple world champion magician

Barcelona 1950
Amsterdam 1955
Luik (Liege) 1961


Lived in this house on the Peltlaan 79
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 6, 2006 06:01PM)
Many thanks, brings back great memories.
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Oct 6, 2006 11:01PM)
You did a great thing.My hats off to you.The pictures even with the lousy weather are fantastic.
Thanks again for sharing..
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Oct 6, 2006 11:07PM)
Pete Biro:
Your post reminds me you were supposed to get me a photo to put up on your Brief Biography on my site. I'm tempted to put up your avatar from the Magic Café, except I can't figure out what the heck that thing is on your shoulder.


Maybe if others on the Café see how empty your bio looks without a nice photo, they'll help me remind you to get me a portrait of the real Pete Biro.
Message: Posted by: aiturran (Apr 10, 2007 08:44PM)
Bringing back an old topic, as it refers to my favourite magician ever.
I'm a young guy, 23 years old, 4 years in magic, and knowing Mr. Kaps changed my life.
He's the model of elegance, charisma and excelence in magic.
Although he's not with us, he's been my mentor since I saw him on video.

I thanks Mr. Kjellstrom, Mr. Pete Biro and all the people that shared their experiences.
He left us very soon, but everyday I try to honour his name and emulate his example of showmanship and love for magic. He was one of a kind, and he'll be always remembered.

I just ordered Magic Magazine, I've been wanting it for some time and I couldn't wait any longer.
I plan buying Stephen Minch's book on Fred Kaps, does anyone know where I can buy it?

Thanks, hope there's more material of him soon, his magic was really amazing and has endured the sands of time, and they're still works of art.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 10, 2007 11:37PM)
There was more to Fred than most people know. At the last convention where Fred performed, I think it was in St. Louis, a soft-spoken friend of mine, the late Ray Maxwell, went up to him and said something to the effect of "Mr. Kaps, I really enjoyed your performance tonight. It was so smooth and so magical, I felt I needed to tell you how much I enjoyed it."

Fred asked him, "Was there anything in particular that you liked more than anything else?"

"Yes, I was particularly impressed with 'Smoking the Thumb.' "

Fred asked him, "Would you like to see the gimmick?"

Ray was stunned. He was elated. He said, "Oh, yes! Would that be possible?"

So he showed him the gimmick. Ray was awestruck. Then he said, "You may keep that. Thanks for coming up to me and talking to me. I really appreciate it."

I have seen the gimmick. And only if you know exactly what the gimmick is, will you ever be able to figure out how Fred worked it. But you need to see a video of his performance.
Message: Posted by: aiturran (Apr 15, 2007 04:49PM)
Thanks for sharing that Mr. Palmer.
I absolutely enjoy reading your experience with Fred Kaps.
Only shows the great human being he was.

That "Smoking Thumb" trick was amazing. In his hands was true magic, same with "The Salt Pour". And consider that has trick baffled many magicians, and still is now. That shows his importance and place in magic.
His Cups and Balls routine is also amazing. I have it on tape and it still fools me.

What really hit me about Kaps was when I saw his videos for the first time, he fooled me completely.
And that was considering at the time I had magic studies and already had certain acknowledge, but seeing him really changed my life. I loved his personality, you could see and feel he was a charming man. His smile made you smile, he was totally sincere. You had to enjoy his magic, and he showed how much he enjoyed it as well.

After seeing him, I found my place in magic.
His magic philosophy just went with my style and what I wanted my magic to do with people. And him being a magician for people, not for magicians. He created things to baffle everyone, not just magicians. And magicians being fooled by him shows he was right. Now I always try to think my magic for the people, and what a laymen would "see".

I hope to read more up close experiences with Fred Kaps, I really enjoy them.