Patrick Page: The Pageboy Speaks… Again by Patrick Page
Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss (originally published in Genii May, 2011)
Pat Page was quite simply one of the great magicians of our time and, until his recent death, was valued by countless of his fellows as being of our greatest magical resources. Along with men like Jay Marshall, Billy McComb, and John Thompson stateside, and Ali Bongo across the pond, Pat Page was one of the handful of sage mentors that experts called on to answer questions and offer experienced guidance. And like the rest of that select group of men, Pat Page was a "worker"—a man who had been in the trenches, knew how to do a show, and could deliver the goods no matter the circumstances or conditions.
He was also a consistently funny, blunt-spoken, and fearless commentator on the world of magic. It got him into trouble more than once, but it never made him pause about his choices. If you knew Pat Page, what you saw was what you got, and you were awfully glad to get it. I was lucky to be one of those who knew him (among other things, he performed multiple times at Monday Night Magic, and it was always a lesson and a joy), and I treasured every moment spent in earshot of that Scottish accent and winning smile. Pat Page was the guy who could not only vanish a pack of a cards in a Topit and do jazz Estimation with a stacked deck on stage—years ahead of his time in both cases!—but who would call you up and offer you a ride to the airport, just because he knew how much it would improve your day.
I was first introduced to Mr. Page when I subscribed to the marvelous 1970s British journal Pabular. The publishers prevailed upon "the Pageboy" to write a column for the magazine, consisting of nothing more nor less than whatever happened to come to his mind at the moment. I was charmed by the distinctive voice, who would report on his travels, his visits with the likes of Vernon, Flosso, Fogel, Kaps, Marshall, Pollock, Slydini, and more, his recollections of John Ramsay, his thoughts about the business of magic, the differences between close-up and stage work, share sight gags and jokes, and much more. It's a delightful free-wheeling account that amounts to a ticket to travels with Pat Page, and you couldn't find a better companion for such an adventure. Note too that he also talks about his expulsion from the British IBM; the Brits seem to have a talent for insulting their greatest, considering The Magic Circle kicked out David Devant for the same reasons. It is to laugh, and you will not fail to laugh as you share these pleasant memories with one of magic's greats.