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The Amazing Zanzini
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Would you have any thoughts on Houdini's "Full View of Audience" Release? This is most commonly known as the "Tug of War Rope Tie". The release, when properly addressed, never fails. You may be familiar, you take a smooth piece of rope about 4-6 feet long. You place your wrists upon the center of it and ask that they be tied at the smallest point. Without giving the steal away, allowing the committee to indulge in a "tug of war" at the two ends of the rope without endangering the release. I have always used this as a quick release, to get a laugh. I now play it up as a serious escape, mind over matter, letting the audience think I am having serious pain with this. After the wrists are tied, and knots drawn tight, I ask, are you sure you have tied them good and tight, also allowing the audience to see this up close also. Once they have agreed they are tight, and believe me, they are tight! I begin my patter and begin my escape. I am really playing this up as my hands are turning red and blue, then in a matter of 20 seconds I am free. The audience just eats this one up Mike. What makes this even more dramatic is the fact that I use two of the biggest guys I can find in the audience, the bigger the better! I am currently planning this as an upside down hanging "Tug of War" with suspension line set on fire as with an SJ escape.

The Amazing Zanzini
Roslyn
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Sounds like a nice twist to the old Steve "Mr Escape" Baker routine. I'm guessing you'll be quite low whilst hanging though. Do you think this will actually add anything? I mean the ea usually hangs up-side-down to add a danger element, if you're close to the ground this, in the eyes of the audience, wouldn't be the case.

Although I suppose you could do it and have them pull you from side to side making you swing. But even this might just be over kill for this routine.

Would be good to hear more about what you had planned.

Take care,

Ros
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CARNEGIE
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Mr. Zanzini,
You may want to check with Steve Baker before you proceed further. He is the creator of the Tug of War Rope Tie, and this is well known in the escape world. To my knowledge there is only one authorized person other than Steve who presents this escape. And that person was taught the routine by Steve and has his blessing.

I will say there are countless numbers of rope ties available that you don't need permission to present, the Kellar Rope tie comes to mind if you are looking for a quick laugh type of routine.

Your description above is Steve Bakers routine. Houdini never presented the Tug of War Rope Tie. No doubt you saw Steve present this on TV and copied it. Sadly, many people think that once a routine is on TV it is fair game to copy. This happened many times with David Copperfield. It's shocking the number of magicians who not dress like him, but also make knock offs of his tricks and even copy the entire routine down to the music.

Make no mistake, if you don't have permission from Steve on this particular routine, then you should cease. Let me state, this doesn't mean you can't do rope ties, but this particular one, The Tug of War Rope Tie, is a signature routine and creation of one person, and should be respected as such.

Carnegie
Steve Baker - Mr.Escape
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Thank you Carnegie,your a Gentleman!
I saw this post last night and my first reaction to Zanzini was to
rip his head off for presenting my routine as his!

I created this routine in 1958,and it's been one of my signature escapes
every since then.
There are no slights or stealing involved,it's done in full view,with close
up cameras covering every angle!!!
I've performed it over a thousand times,without failing!!


Steve Baker
CARNEGIE
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Zanzini,

Let me be the first to say that you're routine and effect are is a totally different method to that of Steve Baker's. They read the same but methodolgy is different, and sure enough the words 'Tug of War' do appear in the text, as does, 'doing it for a laugh'.In that I stand corrected.


Dean Carnegie
FLIM-FLAM
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Mr. CARNEGIE
Mr. Zanzini has a firm foundation as presented to base his use of that rope escape. If you could provide an original trademark of that rountine, I think that would help in this matter. Clearly however, I can concur with his referenced book. Not only does it validate his side, but the words "tug of war" are mentioned. I have not seen Mr. Bakers version, but the one explained above is one of Houdini's rope escapes. This is one of those situations that can get pretty sticky. A fine line for sure! But the rope escape mentioned pre-dates anyone currently on the scene today. I could be wrong, but he has provided a valid source.

Mr. Baker
Hello, this is Jim McClain. Please get yourself a copy of the book mentioned. Mr. Zanzini is not passing bad information. He is telling the truth! You could not have invented the routine he mentions above in 1958.


Jim McClain
Roslyn
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I think it is important to destinguish between the routine and the method. If you (as in anyone reading this) decide to perform the T.O.W as described above you are copying Steve Bakers routine.

Now you may have a different method, but if you perform your routine directly after Steve and the audience think you've done the exact same thing then for all intense and perposes you have.

Alternatively, if you performed your routine after Steve and the audience thinks you've shown them a completely different release (regardless of the fact you may have used the same method) then you have a different escape.

Its kind of like doing the ambitious card routine using a duplicate card or a double lift. To the audience the card still goes in the middle and jumps back to the top by magic. Same routine, different method.

Now I've seen Steve Bakers routine he performed on Dick Clark and on the Cannons 21st Century Lecture Video and it is performed "as a serious escape" exactly as described above.

You may have a different method or you may not, but if you're doing this escape in the same way as Steve Baker then you're doing his routine. Adding the suspended bit is a twist on this routine. As far as I know Steve, nor anyone else does or did it this way and therefore it could become a whole new routine in its own right.

Those are my thoughts on this kind of thing.

Ros
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CARNEGIE
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Jim,

If you look at my second post I said, "I stand corrected." The routine is not called the Tug of War Rope Tie, though the words tug of war do appear in the text.

Steve Baker at one time was going to release his version of the Tug of Rope Tie to the escape community but then decided not too. His methodolgy is totally different, and I do stress TOTALLY different.

The Houdini text finishes with the comment "this is sure to get a laugh". This is the escape that is taught on Dixie Dooley's Escapology DVDs and surely is, Houdinis. And to that I said, I stand corrected.

I think the confusion comes in with the later part of the description where in Zanzini describes his serious version of the routine, which is exactly how Steve Baker presented it.

As for proof of Steve Baker's version, I personaly have a number of pieces of footage from television shows like Dick Clark LIVE, The Alan Thicke Show out of Canada and others, of Steve Baker presenting his Tug of War Rope Tie, which is exactly what he introduces it as. It is presented as mind over matter and Steve always makes a point of asking for the biggest guys he could and his hands and fingers do indeed turn red and blue. Houdini's text, at least what I read on this particular escape, and this is the ONE in question, mentions none of those points.

I will add this. Zanzini claims he is using the Houdini Full View Audience Escape Version and thus doing that upside down from a burning rope, this is NOT in conflict with Steve Bakers version at all.
FLIM-FLAM
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Mr. CARNEGIE, Yes, I did see the previous post. A cross in the mail? Anyway, there are so many routines out there, it's hard to keep track of them all. Everyone seems to be developing new twists and turns, and always to the enjoyment of the audience. I only wish some would cleary read what is written before jumping on others. I think that would eleviate much bickering. Clearly, some have spoken out of line.

Jim
The Amazing Zanzini
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Mr. Baker,
I will say this again, you did not invent this escape routine in 1958! You are clearly not reading my post! The escape routine I am talking about was performed by Harry Houdini long before there was a Steve Baker. If you were around during the days of Houdini, which I doubt very much, then please pass on your trademark to legal ownership. You are standing on empty ground! Your comment about ripping my heqad off was very childish, especially since the escape I am clearly referring, is not yours!

The Amazing Zanzini
Cliffg37
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I am of the opinion that Houdini failed to copyright many of his routines. I know he copyrighted some.

The truth of copyright law is that the first one in gets it done. This is how the band "Chicago" is able to hold its' name. The city never copyrighted it.

I do not know If Steve Baker holds the copyright or not, but if for arguments sake he does not, then it is still the right thing to do to find a different rope tie to use. Anyone who has been around for a while knows that routine is Steve's.

But why argue, selling someone elses stuff is always harder than selling your own. Go to 33 rope ties, or your favorite book of that genre and work up your own routine, you could probably make it great. Just give it a different name.

My 2 cents

Cliff
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KingStardog
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Whats wrong with being original and doing something that doesn't 'look like' or 'sound like' or 'is like' ?
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
The Amazing Zanzini
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I suspect based on the manner presented here so far, that the "Tug of War" is not copyright material. Wanting to be fair, I would ask that Steve Baker present proof of ownership. I did not raise a fuss about this escape routine, others did. I would like to add, that even though I referrenced the book Houdini On Magic, and did not state that I was performing the routine as the "Tug of War" as clearly posted above in my original. I can still pre-date the use of "Tug of War Escape" the one in question as being created by Steve Baker in 1958, by other performers during during Houdini's time and into the 1930's. I'm not questioning that Steve Baker created his own routine, but the use of "Tug of War" is in fact, not his! Anyone wanting to do a little research at your local library or internet savy, can come up with several names of performers. I'll start with The Great Carletti, who was performing his version of the "Tug of War" long before 1958! The history books are full of information for those who truly want to learn and not just argue!

The Amazing Zanzini
GreatWizardoftheEast
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Which history books? Not finding any Carletti in any of my history books. I looked on the internet too and could find no reference. Could you elaborate please?
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Quote:
On 2005-07-31 18:49, Cliffg37 wrote:
I am of the opinion that Houdini failed to copyright many of his routines. I know he copyrighted some.

The truth of copyright law is that the first one in gets it done. This is how the band "Chicago" is able to hold its' name. The city never copyrighted it.


Cliff


The band Chicago was forced to change its' name by the city of Chicago. They were originally The Chicago Transit Authority. Smile

I'll stick to Houdini,
Kevin
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In the entertainment world if a fellow pro is known for a routine or escape who ever invented it,,,,,, one would leave it alone.
This is done and has been the norm for many years now,,,,to note just two McComb and his ???? Finger ring trick,,,,Kaps and his???? smoking thumb etc etc.

Mr Baker has worked at and made it his sig piece,
Out of respect to a fellow pro alone, I would not use it,,,,,still that`s me,,,,I would like to think that Mr Baker would treat me likewise.

There are many many escapes that we too could spend the desired time on and make them our own, so do so.

Ken.
KingStardog
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Quote:
On 2005-07-31 20:57, Kondini wrote:
In the entertainment world if a fellow pro is known for a routine or escape who ever invented it,,,,,, one would leave it alone.
This is done and has been the norm for many years now,,,,to note just two McComb and his ???? Finger ring trick,,,,Kaps and his???? smoking thumb etc etc.

Mr Baker has worked at and made it his sig piece,
Out of respect to a fellow pro alone, I would not use it,,,,,still that`s me,,,,I would like to think that Mr Baker would treat me likewise.

There are many many escapes that we too could spend the desired time on and make them our own, so do so.

Ken.


Agreed!

Then there is also this:

Whats wrong with being original and doing something that doesn't 'look like' or 'sound like' or 'is like' ?
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
The Amazing Zanzini
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Quote:
On 2005-07-31 20:11, GreatWizardoftheEast wrote:
Which history books? Not finding any Carletti in any of my history books. I looked on the internet too and could find no reference. Could you elaborate please?


Were you not the one giving me a hard time last night? Anyway, I would expand your library. Do you happen to know anyone in Bradford, England? If so, you might try getting yourself some extremely rare copies of the "Leat Leaflets". Several stories about Carlette in a few of them. Note* These were never put in circulation, they were given out for free. Also, "Imperial Wizard" Rottenburg, Germany, now out of circulation, covered Carlette and his "Tug Of War Rope Escape". I'm not going to argue this any further.

The Amazing Zanzini
CARNEGIE
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This has been one heck of a post! At one point the whole thing was deleted then brought back and edited down. Can't wait to see how it's edited down further! Smile

I'd like to mention again that indeed the Houdini on Magic book does have a rope routine in there that Houdini used in which he mentions the words tug of war, though it is not titled tug of war rope tie. Nor is it commonly known as the tug of war rope tie, that is an assertion on your part. I don't know about Harry White, but my personal library is just shy of 1000 books, not counting magazines and such.

I did spend some time this afternoon looking for any reference to Tug of War Rope Ties and could find nothing. The books I looked through included Price's Pictoral History of Magic, The Illustrated History of Magic, Conjuring by James Randi, 8 books by John Booth, The Great Illusionists by Dawes, Kellars Wonders, Greater Magic, The Tarbell Course and on and on. The only reference to Tug of War that I could find is in the piece in Houdini on Magic that you mentioned.

And I did state that you were correct that it was in that book. What is not in that book is the routine that you describe, your serious version. This is the routine that Steve Baker worked on since 1958 and has a great deal of televised footage to prove it. It is a signature routine of his. Your serious version though probably different in method, is exactly as Steve has presented it for over 40 years. As Kondini put so well "In the entertainment world if a fellow pro is known for a routine or escape who ever invented it,,,,,, one would leave it alone." I suppose the exception for that would be if permission were given or if the originator had died.

I do think the beef here is with your 'serious version' which is identical to Steve Bakers.

I will add that I think we were baited into this post. Sadly I took the bait as did others.
The Amazing Zanzini
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Mr. Carnegie, do you have copies of the "Leaf Leaflets" or "Imperial Wizard"? I don't have any extra copies, as these are extremely rare. Note my previous post. Just because you don't have the reference material does not mean it ain't so. If you are so confident about this rope tie, which is clearly noted in Houdini On Magic, that anyone who has seen Steve Bakers routine, can clearly make the connection, and should squash any doubts. Are you saying to everyone here that there is no evidence that Carlette performed a routine called "The Tug of War Rope Tie"? Is Steve Baker 100% sure that he and only he, is the only one to perform this? Are you both that sure? We already know this was Houdini's routine, he just used a different name for it. That book alone proves Houdini not only did it prior, but it also proves where Steve Baker more than likely got his idea for his own version of the "Tug of War" I have already proven what I say about Houdini, this should already be clear to everyone. You mention that the beef is with my "serious version" that is just like Steve Bakers? Can you or Steve Baker provide footage of Steve Baker doing this while suspended from a burning rope? You are right, my routine is serious and dangerous! While Steve Bakers is not! After I am tied, I am then hoisted upside down into the air and my suspension line is set on fire. If someone else is performing this rope tie like my routine, that's great! I surely would not be moaning about it, especially if I had yet to copyright it! Steve Baker is one of the greatest escape artists of all time, no disputes on that one. But he did not invent the rope tie, and he knows it! Would you and Steve Baker care to take the Carlette Challenge at the next EA Convention? Your both 100% sure "The Tug of War Rope Tie" was not performed prior to 1958?

The Amazing Zanzini
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