DON DRIVER




DON DRIVER
Magician, Thrill Seeker, Sleight-of-Hand Master, Escape Artist, Sideshow Performer, Ballyman, Svengali Pitchman, Raconteur & Teacher

You can buy Don's revered DVDs here...
http://www.lybrary.com/don-driver-m-78510.html

Read what people at the MAGIC CAFE say about
DON DRIVER'S 'BUILDING A TIP' DVD
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=159167&forum=6
"The DVD is invaluable to street performers, trade-show workers, pitchmen, and demonstrators--anyone who needs to draw a tip. Don is the man!" - Pop Haydn

and his 'THE SVENGALI PITCH' DVD
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=48561&forum=111

The BALLYCAST interview with Don Driver
This is fantastic (warning: explicit language)
 http://ballycast.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/ballycast-023-2009-01-11.mp3
 DON DRIVER'S STRAIGHT JACKET ESCAPE... 100 ft. IN THE AIR!



A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY





Look at the attitude!
In the Navy, Don spent much of his time studying magic books.

Young Don performing in front of a poster of his hero, Harry Houdini...




Don at Baltimore's Inner Harbor with the Phil Thomas, John Fritz and their wives.


Don with Slydini 1976
Don in his wet suit with David Hamn and John Fritz before leaping
into the Baltimore Harbor

Don with Les Fritz at the Lincoln Speedway in Oxford, PA. 1974
(from left to right) John Fritz, John Riggs, Don Driver and Les Fritz)

Don outside the Thunderbird Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas 1974
from left to right (Les Fritz, Don Driver and one of the Hell Drivers, Bob Corbin)

Don at the old MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas

 Don working his legendary word magic at a jam auction! Look at that 'stache!

 Don took over Dantini's spot performing magic at the Peabody Book Store

 Don performing at a V.I.P party in Las Vegas. DON DRIVER circa 1976 with Siegfried at the M.G.M.Grand in Las Vegas.This was at a hotel party for the high rollers and Don was part of the entertainment along with circus and sideshow acts.


 Don standing on the barge from where he will leap.

On Friday September 19th 1975, Don Driver leaped into Baltimore's Inner Harbor bound and chained! Don surfaced 45 seconds later free of his chains. What makes it even more dangerous is that this was before mayor Shaefer cleaned the Harbor up! You can see the Trade Center in the background on the right and The Constellation behind Dantini.
David Walker (who taught Don the Svengali pitch), Jerry Spaulding, Whit "Pop" Hayden and Don Driver.
A Chance snapshot of Don and doing his legendary Svengali pitch
http://chicagomagic.blogspot.com/2006/07/pitchman-don-driver.html 


MICHAEL SCHIRMER, DON DRIVER & DENNY HANEY





QUOTES from DON

"So I tell the crane operator to take me up to 80 feet. It makes a better show that way and if I'm going to buy it, I want to buy it all quick."

"I worked under canvas" 

"Give em' the doughnut then sell em' the hole" 

"I'm carney. A guy who knows his business, enjoys it and is well paid for it ought to feel as if he has the world by the tail on a down-hill drag and that's the way I feel." 




A LIFETIME of FRIENDS

MICHAEL SKINNER
Don's friend, mentor and one of the best close-up magician's of all time on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson...
Watch this amazing "Tea Cups and Cherries" routine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ebutknI8UU

Michael Skinner (1941 – 1998) was an American magician known for his close-up magic work. Born in Rochester, NY in 1941; but he spent most of his professional life living and working in Las Vegas. Skinner worked for over 20 years as the magician-in-residence at the Golden Nugget but he also made appearances in other outlets. In particular, he performed twice on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Skinner was known for his large repertoire. He was reported to have once performed 28 consecutive shows without the repetition of a single trick during a full week of bookings at The Magic Castle
Skinner studied under magicians Eddie Fechter and Dai Vernon.



 DAVID WALKER
 Walker taught Don the Svengali pitch


David Walker speaking of how he started pitching.
A fascinating and touching story...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUGkf25DOk0

Walker at the Senior Pitchman Reunion
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUuORXKS21k

Walker telling a favorite joke!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2aBSdHVoTU

Walker telling two more jokes...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXW3iz9n8dY


WALT HUDSON
The legendary Walt Hudson took Don under his skillful wing, teaching him fire-eating  thblock-head routine.
Learn more about Walt Hudson right here... 
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/2013/12/walt-hudson.html 





SAM ALEXANDER
Don worked for Mr. Alexander in Hawaii
Sam Alexander (1920s-1997) was a 20th-century sideshow attraction who went by the stage name, The Man with Two Faces. As a young man and an employee of the Schubert Theater in Chicago his carelessness with a lit cigarette caused a gasoline explosion that burned off his face.
After a year in hospital and then a stay in a nursing home, Alexander began wearing a mask and joined a Peter Kortes sideshow. Alexander would tell his story to the audience then remove his mask. It was a shocking exhibition. Alexander was made the blow off for the show.
Alexander went on to work with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey. At Madison Square Garden in the 1960s, ladies were so shocked by his face he was ordered off the stage. He later worked with the Clyde Beatty Circus. He later started his own sideshow company. Alexander had 72 operations on his face, and was finally able to trash the mask. He died in 1997.

http://circus-freaks.tumblr.com/post/25609949705/sam-alexander-aka-the-man-with-two-faces-was

http://thehumanmarvels.com/900/sam-alexander-the-man-with-two-faces/disfigured



Seeing Don's talent, Phil Thomas took him under his wing. Don worked with Phil at Yogi Magic Mart's 310 N. Charles Street location.

GEORGE GOEBEL



Toy tycoon Alex Schlaferman known as Alex Xander is a protege of Don's
Alex is only 19 and already a millionaire
Alex has made national news for throwing a party on the Brooklyn Bridge
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/xandernation-leader-basks-fame-manhattan-bridge-party-arrest-article-1.1425750

Alex's youtube channel Vante Toys
https://www.youtube.com/user/vantetoys

The Wallet Ninja! The 18-in-1 tool the size of a credit card!
http://www.walletninja.com/Default.asp?bhcp=1


Alex Xander on Howard Stern
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjrAwNwJQYQ 



BUZZ BUNDY
Don worked with legendary stunt driver Buzz Bundy in THE TOURNAMENT OF THRILLS

Buzz Bundy's movie work on IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0120403/ 

 An interview with Buzz

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO4QqlXzL-E 



 POP HAYDN
Whit "Pop" Haydn and Don Driver have been good friends for many years.
Don with Nancy and Whit Haydn at the Unconventional Convention in Kentucky

DocJon talks with Don Driver and Pop Haydn

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF6tjuXH_5Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgNPe1Kfygo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to5n7pGpBIU








12 comments:

  1. Don is the greatest magicical philosopher of our time!
    Docc Hilford

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  2. Don taught me everything I know about magic and was a great friend. I have very good memories of working as his assistant in Baltimore for a period of time in my teenage years, especially at the state fair and at other shows he performed. I hope he is well and has had a happy life. John Traynor

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    Replies
    1. John so good to hear from you.Do give me a call.615 562-2068

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    2. John, I've tried to find your email address to no avail. Don Driver is interested it contacting you. Don is on Facebook as well as TMOB.

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    3. John this is driving me crazy.Come back and read the reply's.

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  3. I learned of Don's work from Docc hillford & Flora CO. I wrote to him several times receiving wonderful replies. I purchased his pitch materials to learn all I could. Many years ago as a youth, I had the pleasure of working with Marshall Brodien Sr. and Jimmy Dixon at various events and fairs. Pitchmen are some of the greatest folks I have met. I use the skills they taught me everyday.
    Amen

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  4. That last photo of Don eating fire was one that I took at Henry Horton State Park where he did a magic show. We had a ball there entertaining children as much as the adults.

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  5. Don was a great friend during my teenage years when I lived in Baltimore. I would spend hours in the Yogi Magic shop talking to him, and he taught me so much about magic. I visited him several times after he moved to Las Vegas, and we went to see Roy & Siegfried and other magicians performing there. Curtis Generous (aka Curtis Weir)

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Don was a great friend during my teenage years when I lived in Baltimore. I would spend hours in the Yogi Magic shop talking to him, and he taught me so much about magic. I visited him several times after he moved to Las Vegas, and we went to see Roy & Siegfried and other magicians performing there. Curtis Generous (aka Curtis Weir)

    p.s. One more thing - I've never known anyone who drinks more coffee than Don

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  8. Realy aosam tips thank you your writing is very very amazing..
    Driver Magician 5 Final

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  9. Does anyone know how to get hold of Don Driver? Email? Phone?
    Been trying to reach him unsuccessfully for years!

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