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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » David Roth (40 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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gregg webb
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I've known David Roth since he was 17 and I was 20. So that's over 50 years. I just spoke to him several days ago. He sounded fine. He was telling me about when he knew Francis Carlyle. David knew these great anecdotes because he knew so many of the guys. I just heard this news from Jeff McBride. On the Genii forum there is a whole page, but no one knows anything. Someone could check with Darwin Ortiz or Pat Cook. They'd know. This is shocking. Gregg Webb
Michael Rubinstein
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My friend David Roth is gone. He was my best friend in magic. He had some health issues, but I never thought he would leave us so soon (and the details of his passing aren't important). To many he was a legend, the man who shaped coin magic for generations. To me, he was someone who I could call and we would talk for hours. Not just about magic, although he loved to share stories about the Giants in magic. We would talk about our lives, and what we were up to. Years ago, he stayed with me for three months after a fire broke out in his apartment, and in all that time we never had those all-night sessions that magicians love. We just talked about life, and my cats. In fact, he turned down an offer to move into the city to be closer to his place of work, because he confessed, he didn't want to leave my cats!!
In recent years due to my own health issues we didn't see each other much, but in earlier times we toured the world together, going through Europe, Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines. We traveled together, just because we enjoyed each other's company, and had a blast promoting our shared love of coin magic. Often, after our lectures, we would get together with the attendees and David would wow them with incredible card magic! Yes, David had some of the best teachers in card magic like Marlo, Jennings, Ortiz, and others, who shared secret stuff with David because he wasn't a card guy!
Together with Mike Gallo (and initially Geoff Latta), we held the famous New York Coin Magic Seminars. The first was held in a hotel in Manhattan, one was held in Las Vegas, and the rest at Marc DeSouza's magic theatre. The work we created, a DVD series consisting of over 34 hours and over 225 routines and discussions on all aspects of coin magic, have been called by Bill Wells the video Bobo for the 21st. century. Of course his own work, preserved in his own book and DVD sets, are classics and will be in itself lessons for generations to come.
David was always so supportive of my coin magic, and his advice made me a better magician. From David I learned about how to build a routine, the importance of patter, and how to make magic look as clean as possible. I always tell the story that after seeing David perform for the first time as a teenager, I changed my entire philosophy of coin magic and developed my own retention and fingertip style. To be more like David. He was the Best.
He used to kid me that when I went to his apartment for the first time in 1983 to have a session, I brought a box of fresh ruggalah. The way the afternoon went, was that I performed, and he watched. I guess I passed the test because we became friends for life. When I got overwhelmed with work and raising a family and had to put magic to the side for a while, it was David who kept calling me to keep me updated with all the news in the magic world until I was ready to come back.
When we were kids, we watched as the greats of the generation before us slowly began to pass on. And we realized that we, and all the guys of our age group, were the people that everyone now looked up to, as we had looked up to the Vernons, the Slydinis, the Kaps, and the New York guys like Ken Krenzel, Gene Maze, Derek Dingle, Herb Zarrow, Sam Schwartz, Harvey Rosenthal, and so many more. And now, it seems like our generation is passing down the torch to a great new group of young, talented magicians, who will become the older generation, and so it goes. The changing of the guard. But no one will ever be able to replace my friend, who has impacted the lives of magicians the world over, now, and for generations to come. R.I.P. David (1952-2021).
Available at dealers EVERYWHERE - RUBINSTEIN COIN MAGIC- The biggest book on coin magic since Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, and the most important since David Roth's Expert Coin Magic! Hardbound, 500 pages, 20 chapters of state of the art coin magic illustrated with 930 crisp photos! A contribution chapter from over 20 of the world's top coin magicians! This will be the book against which all future books on coin magic will be measured! Already called a Modern Classic!!
And if anyone (USA ONLY) needs some of the coin stuff used in the book, shoot me an email at rubinsteindvm@aol.com as I have some limited supplies of coins and props used in the book.
gregg webb
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I was working at Tannen's when David bought a red close-up mat which he was going to use because he was going to perform at the Magic Castle the first time. He had me bring out about three different ones because he wanted it to be perfect. I understood.
Before long I saw Vernon on, maybe Dick Cavett's show, talking about David Roth. Vernon had been blown away and admitted it on national TV. Before too long, it seems, I met Geoff Latta who was somewhat in the know about David's techniques. David had been helping him. Later I was to find that David was helpful to a fault. One reason he and I got along was that I wasn't trying to learn his techniques because I was trying to develop my own...which he respected.
Again, seemingly before too long Richard Kaufman's book on Coinmagic came out. Before too long it seems, The first few issues of The Apocalypse came out, and then Kaufman's big book on David's coin magic came out.
I must say that at the time, you saw very little great coin magic. Slydini of course did coins. Shigeo Takagi from Japan showed me a really great matrix with quarters. That was a very interesting time. Many guys did cards. Very few did coins. One heard of Kaps, or Goshman, various other names...but nobody at the time could make it look like the way David did. Magicians would surround him just watching him do his Retention of Vision vanish (you thought you saw the coin in the hand before it vanished). He called it "getting a burn". Or watching him just do his Spellbound variations.
Most guys at that time, when they did coin tricks...they looked like coin "tricks". David really got it to look like real magic. Young guys today with the
DVD's and all might not be able to realize the state of coin magic before him. He made coins magical.
gregg webb
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I was working at Tannen's when David bought a red close-up mat which he was going to use because he was going to perform at the Magic Castle the first time. He had me bring out about three different ones because he wanted it to be perfect. I understood.
Before long I saw Vernon on, maybe Dick Cavett's show, talking about David Roth. Vernon had been blown away and admitted it on national TV. Before too long, it seems, I met Geoff Latta who was somewhat in the know about David's techniques. David had been helping him. Later I was to find that David was helpful to a fault. One reason he and I got along was that I wasn't trying to learn his techniques because I was trying to develop my own...which he respected.
Again, seemingly before too long Richard Kaufman's book on Coinmagic came out. Before too long it seems, The first few issues of The Apocalypse came out, and then Kaufman's big book on David's coin magic came out.
I must say that at the time, you saw very little great coin magic. Slydini of course did coins. Shigeo Takagi from Japan showed me a really great matrix with quarters. That was a very interesting time. Many guys did cards. Very few did coins. One heard of Kaps, or Goshman, various other names...but nobody at the time could make it look like the way David did. Magicians would surround him just watching him do his Retention of Vision vanish (you thought you saw the coin in the hand before it vanished). He called it "getting a burn". Or watching him just do his Spellbound variations.
Most guys at that time, when they did coin tricks...they looked like coin "tricks". David really got it to look like real magic. Young guys today with the
DVD's and all might not be able to realize the state of coin magic before him. He made coins magical.
Hookem
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I remember when I first tried the shuttle pass, it felt clumsy and I wasn't sure if it would fool anyone. Then I saw David Roth, and was blown away how real it looked. The Hanging Coins transformed the way I approached coin magic. Then Wild Coin. Various Spellbound handlings. The Black Hole. And on and on. David was truly very talented and creative to the point of being out-of-the-box in his thinking. Much imitated but never equaled, he was the epitome of a true original.
Nev Blenk
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David came over to London in 95 on business and while here a small workshop was arranged by Morley Budden (Kaymar Magic). I travelled down from the northeast to attend.
There was about a halfdozen of us there. Everything we asked he covered, even types of close up mat that worked best for him. I vividly remember him stood right under my nose going through the deep back clip recovery.
In between the teaching he did a few card tricks which easily fried us (or me anyway).
Back then being quite young and always broke it was an effort to get time off work and pay for train tickets down to London but it was the best money I ever spent.
I would love to know who else was there that afternoon. Back before the day of mobile phones and email addresses to my regret I never made the effort to keep in touch with anyone.

RIP Mr Roth. A master of performance and teaching.
Lawrens Godon
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In 1996 I was Jean-Pierre Vallarino's assistant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the great Bazaar de Magia convention.
There I met David, we talked about everything, but mainly coin magic lol !
I encouraged me to pursue my research on the back thumb palm, giving me several sources to study.
I'm grateful for all he brought to the magical world, and first of all for his kindness.
warren
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Another legend gone such a loss to the magic communtuty RIP
Betrayal Mix
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It's always a sad day when we lose another giant - perhaps sadder too for those new ones of us who never got to know the greats in the first place.. thoughts and prayers to everyone

For those of us who want to see some of his best work, what would people recommend? The New York Coin Seminar stuff?
Mb217
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So sorry to hear this...😔

I spoke to Roth for his birthday a couple/few years ago and we had a great conversation. I was humbled that he knew of some of my work. WOW!!! I have known him for many years growing up in NYC and frequenting the old Tannen's Magic Shop near Times Square. Man, Roth was Coin Magic for me, and it was always good to run into him here & there over the years, always a special moment. And it was just beautiful to watch him work, no one did it any better, and he taught most of us here & worldwide a thing or two as to the art with that famed, “...50 cent piece” of his. He will be sorely missed, and his influence and expert ingredients will live on in me and surely many others for all time and then some.

Finally, to a real Master here and everywhere...Thank you for being such a nice man and a great magician that gave so much more than you ever took. Now, onward to see the greatest magic that ever was...R.I.P. 🙏🏽
*Check out my latest: The MB Tanspo PLUS, MB's Morgan, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at gumroad.com/mb217magic Smile


"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
gregg webb
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I was thinking about one area of David's work that I feel has been misunderstood by many writers. They refer to the Retention Pass as any time you keep the coin held-out or held-back in the opposite hand, as in "you pretend to put the coin in the left hand but RETAIN it in the right hand". Well, this is not what he meant.
He was referring to Retinal Retention or Persistence of Vision. See, he was operating on another plane. He kept his coins shiny and just before a coin was to vanish, he'd hold it still, on the left palm but still held by the right fingers and thumb tips, long enough to "burn" an image into the retina of the viewer so that after the hand was closed, as the coin was stolen away, your retina told you the coin was still there. Then he timed the opening of the left hand to reveal the vanish...that you could swear you saw the coin "dematerialize". It was amazing to see up close. He called it "getting a burn" and he used to do it over and over for those of us who were friends of his. This technique made his coin magic seem like supernatural phenomena. I feel that a lot of people who never knew him well enough to see this up-close think that Retention Pass means just keeping (retaining) the coin in the other hand...a fake-"put". No...it is Retention of Vision Pass or Retinal Retention Pass. In the early days it was just Geoff Latta who was understanding this.
Leo H
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Quote:
On Jan 16, 2021, Betrayal Mix wrote: For those of us who want to see some of his best work, what would people recommend? The New York Coin Seminar stuff?


Everything Roth released in print and on DVD was great. He was that amazing. If his name is on it, get it.

Notice that Roth never worked with silver dollars, only half dollar sized coins. At a lecture I attended he pointed out that his hands were small and he was more comfortable with half dollars.

The best description of Roth's ROV vanish is in Kaufman's CoinMagic book. Several pagesges are devoted to the nuances that Roth thought were important. It might also be in Expert Coin Magic. Roth noted that it was important for the coin to catch the light before the move. Right before it went into the receiving hand, the coin was revolved from edge on to flat surface toward the audience. This would reflect a brilliant flash outwards, if the coin was polished.
Mb217
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Gregg, nice to explain this here as to Roth. I remember Mickey Silver mentioning Roth to me as to this long ago, and of course Mickey took it to an even higher level as to truly understanding the extensive power of it in the right hands.

I use a simple retention pass but know many ways to do it, as for me it is just a tool to get from here to there in an effect. The whole action of it becomes second nature within a routine. And usually you can substitute a fake put, but a cleverly placed use of the persistence of vision is quite a bit more convincing and eventually more startling, as you mention Roth originally showed and made better known.

And Leo, I learned an awfully lot from the man, his DVDs were gold as to learning good coin magic. I would guess they would remain HIGHLY RECOMMENDED forever. I can't perceive a moment in time when they would not be anything but required learning. (Oh, and Mix, Roth's work can be seen all over the internet and it takes you only a minute to see how truly good he was from the simple to the complex, which he made look simple).

Leo, I remember him also somewhere mentioning preferring half dollars to silver dollars, mostly a matter of comfort for him as you said. I think they are more comfortable for most people really, especially just starting out and as you go down the road a'piece. Oh, and once you get that retention vanish down, it works even with a dulled silver coin, and then any coin really. But the shinier the coin, the better flash or burn for sure. Certainly a magical little thing that was worth all Roth's deeper exploration, explanation, & sharing of.
*Check out my latest: The MB Tanspo PLUS, MB's Morgan, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at gumroad.com/mb217magic Smile


"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
gregg webb
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Mb217 - you are one of the few who understands the difference between what most people mean by the "retention pass" and the retinal retention, persistence of vision, "getting a burn" theory.
I was also thinking about the first time I met David. He said to me, regarding how he got so good so young, that most magicians don't practice enough. I think he got his discipline of practicing from music. He had played the oboe, he made money on the side carving reeds for other oboe players, and from music stores he knew about rosin. Rosin was something you rubbed on the bow of a violin. Well, David used to rub the edges of his coins with rosin to make them easier to palm (!) Also he used to really be able to play piano...honky-tonk style I believe it is called. He attempted playing piano and also typing on a typewriter with coins palmed to improve his classic palm. I'm trying to remember some of the more interesting anecdotes about David as a way of keeping his memory alive.
To get back to my point. He believed most magicians didn't practice enough. That's a real lesson there.
Dougini
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I am so sorry. To say I am shocked would be an understatement. RIP

Doug
gaddy
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His contributions to coin magic will be remembered for many generations to come. An absolute legend.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Mb217
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Gregg, thanks and I have played with the move for a long time, and as mentioned became super-excited by it behind Mickey SIlver's work using it in some highly creative ways. But yes, it was Roth that first explained it best into my mind. I can remember when it first clicked to me as I was in front of the black glass front of the top oven of our stove. In its reflection, I could better see what the retention was all about, I could actually see it happening as all I could see was the burn as my hand closed around the coin. It looked just like I left the coin there. I remember yelling Eureka!!! when I got it, just like I did when I finally nailed The Sylvester Pitch way back when.

I remember some stories from Roth, and the ones you tell sound so much like him. A very interesting man with a piercing focus as to the detail of things. I remember the rozin story, and I remembered as a boy the stickiness of the residue from it when using it on my violin in grade school. I never heard much of his family and didn't know if he was married or had kids, but I can see in lieu of all that a fantastic focus being created on coin magic and the art in general. He was quite intellectual about it all.
*Check out my latest: The MB Tanspo PLUS, MB's Morgan, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at gumroad.com/mb217magic Smile


"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
livejeh
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RIP :-(
joseph
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R.I.P. ...
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
countrymaven
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The passing of master David Roth is sad. Because he reminds us of an era we can never get back, the wonderful 80's, when coin magic became way more visual and magical. Much of this is due to Mr. Roth's influence. Richard Kaufmann's books, which featured Roth's coin magic, were the first time you felt that you could completely understand coin moves from the written page. They were like videos, almost, in books.

I must also mention Roth's shelled coins across. One of the greatest, most practical and deceptive close up transpositions, ever.
So the passing of master Roth also reminds us that those of us who grew up in that era, have had that era pass from us as well. We are not getting any younger. But as long as we live and do good visual coin magic that amazes, we are still carrying the torch, and this is certainly due to influence of Mr. Roth. Thanks David, for all the great magic, which we will try to carry on, for you as well. We are indebted to you, more than we perhaps know.
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