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Thread: Ricky Jay

  1. #1

    Default Ricky Jay

    It is with great sadness that I wish to acknowledge the life and talent of my dear friend, Ricky Jay, who passed away yesterday at his home in Los Angeles. Ricky was perhaps the greatest practitioner of close-up magic in the world, as well as an accomplished actor in movies and TV, author, film consultant and raconteur. We played many gigs together in the 1970s and 1980s and I was proud to write the music for his 1989 TV special based on one of his many amazing books, "Learned Pigs and Fire-Proof Women". If you aren't familiar with Ricky's work, you owe it to yourself to check him out on Youtube, where his many projects and appearances are documented. He was in a class by himself and I am so fortunate to have had him as an inspiring friend and colleague. Rest in peace, Ricky.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, Dawg. I first heard of Ricky many years ago when I bought his “Learned Pigs” book. Condolences to his family.
    Jim

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    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    Sad news, my heart goes out to his friends and family... It is difficult to lose loved ones anytime but around the holidays it seems particularly rough

    I recognized Ricky when I saw him as the card dealer in the Garcia/Grisman “thrill is gone” video, I didn’t know who he was but I had seen him in many movies and always enjoyed his performances. A genuine charachter on the screen.
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    Expert on my own opinion Bogle's Avatar
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    This is is incredibly sad news, and we have indeed lost an incomparable human being and entertainer....no exaggeration. Many of us are familiar with Ricky Jay's appearances in movies and television, and perhaps have noticed his name in the credits as a consultant on many projects through the years. But it was his stage act that that would assure you of walking away from his performance venue in total awe, amazement, and always with a huge smile. He was arguably one of the world's greatest magicians, and (in my opinion) nobody else could do what he did with a deck of playing cards....nobody.

    I know that Dawg's friendship with Ricky Jay goes back a long time, and I was among the extremely fortunate that enjoyed seeing the original David Grisman Quintet (with Bill, Darol, Todd, and Tony) play a couple of times (ca. 1976) on the same program with Ricky Jay. These shows took place at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA and rank among the best live performances I've ever seen. I vividly recall the beginning of one particular show: The DGQ opened the performance with an old jazz tune "My Walking Stick", while Ricky (dressed in top hat and tails!) caused a black walking cane to "float"--all while singing the lyrics to the Quintet's masterful accompaniment.....just amazing.

    For those of you unfamiliar with Ricky Jay's body of work, have a look at YouTube (as Dawg mentioned) and should you ever happen to run across a video copy of an old HBO special, "Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants"--buy it.

    Dawg--I am profoundly sorry for the loss of your friend....my memories of him will always hold a special place, and he truly was one-of-a-kind.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    So sad to see the loss of Ricky Jay. He was the best. I once saw him throw a playing card 20 feet and lodge it in a wall. Not one person there - including plenty of his friends and lots of jaded showbiz folks - did not believe it was magic. And so it was. He’s going to be missed by lots of people.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    I heard of his demise this morning, and was deeply saddened. An amazing talent and from what I’d heard, a delightful fellow.
    I had never enjoyed the pleasure of a first hand meeting but, I, certainly had hoped for one, I offer deep condolences to all who had known this incredible talent!
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    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    So sorry to hear that Ricky Jay passed away. I was a big fan. After college I worked as a bartender at the Great American Music Hall where Ricky regularly performed. His gigs were a real highlight. I remember once during one of the annual Sunday morning deep cleaning days at the club, with the lights on full blast, I found a jack of hearts playing card stuck behind the ear of one of the gold cherubs all the way in the back of the balcony. It was a playing card that Ricky had thrown ("Cards as Weapons") from the stage probably 150 feet away during one of his shows. I still have the card in a box somewhere...

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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    My sincere condolences on the loss of your friend.

    Jamie
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    I thought the world of that book "Learned Pigs and Fire-Proof Women". I remember seeing him on television. I was most impressed by his amazing card throwing.

    I kind of lost track of Ricky Jay until he turned up on Deadwood. My brother tells me he was also in one of the Bond films.

    Having Ricky Jay as a good friend must have been great. He will be missed.
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    I too recall his incredible skill with throwing cards witnessed @ the GAMH in SF.
    Once opening for the DGQ he indeed threw one of them into the far balcony.
    That was a really good GAMH find there EvanElk!

    Ricky Jay
    May peace be with him..........

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    Registered User Miltown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    I first became aware of Ricky Jay in PT Anderson's films: Boogie Nights and Magnolia. He was also great in Deadwood.

    In his honor, I just spent a little bit of time on YouTube watching some of his magic videos. Amazing stuff.

    RIP to a man who brought so many so much joy.

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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    So sorry for our loss. RIP

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    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    Just checked him out. I can watch those videos all day. RIP

  15. #14

    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    Loved that guy! His magic, his movies. Sorry to hear we've lost him.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    I liked his character in “Heist” too.
    Timothy F. Lewis
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  17. #16

    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    He has a nice role in The Spanish Prisoner, a great movie you don't hear much about these days. Also, stars Steve Martin in a serious role Oh yeah, and Ed O'Neill (Al Bundy) as an FBI agent!

  18. #17

    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    Surprised and pleased to come across this thread. I knew nothing of his connection to Grisman. I feel incredibly fortunate to have seen one of his intimate theater performances in NYC - the David Mamet directed Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants. An absolutely unique entertainer and by all accounts and equally special person in all aspects of his life.
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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    Dawg, Most sincere sympathies at this time of loss. I am glad you reminded us of your friend's work and many contributions.
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    Registered User David Rambo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    Dawg, please accept my condolences on the loss of your friend.

  22. #20

    Default Re: Ricky Jay

    I hope that I do not speak for many others in saying that prior to reading this post, I had not heard of Ricky Jay. Upon reading the above posts, I did a quick web search on "Ricky Jay", and spent about an hour of sheer delight watching him on YouTube videos, until I finally had to pull myself away. What an amazing person he was, a genius for sure...and SO humorous (as out-and-out funny as any performer that I have seen, and "polished"...no wonder he was a hit on Letterman, Fallon, and so on)--what a character!!. And personable to boot. Obviously Ricky Jay's passing is a huge loss to his friends.

    Whether or not you are familiar with Ricky Jay's work, I would suggest doing yourself a favor (and giving tribute to the man) by watching videos of him--very easy to find, but extremely difficult to pull away from--"just one more, doggone it, one more and I will get back to work". And apparently the video stuff represents only a small part of Ricky Jay's work. Wow. Hats off to him.

    Thanks for posting this Dawg.

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