Revelations Vol 1-17 – Dai Vernon


Take a break and turn to the notes provided by Dr. Gene Matsuura. Dr. Matsuura was a confidant of many of the most esteemed sleight-of-hand magicians of the 20th century. He is a real student of magic and, in particular, the magic of Vernon.


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It's been 30 years since the initial release of Revelations, the monumental video set that immortalized the life and work of perhaps one of the greatest magicians who ever lived – the Professor himself – Dai Vernon.

In celebration, L&L Publishing is releasing the Revelations 30th Anniversary Box Set which features all 17 volumes of Revelations digitally remastered on 8 DVDs. Also included are three bonus DVDs that contain extremely rare footage of Vernon lectures from the 1970's – almost six hours of material that almost no one has ever seen before. Included also are four audio CDs of Vernon lectures from the 1960s and two commemorative booklets. The first is a facsimile of the original Videonics Revelations catalog with comprehensive commentary on each volume by Sid Lorraine while the second contains Dr. Gene Matsuura's original notes made at Dai Vernon's farewell lecture in 1976. Everything is packaged in a full color slipcase that is sure to make this set one of the most desirable magic keepsakes ever released.

David Ben's introduction that appears in the beginning of Gene Matsuura's notes booklet:

"Will wonders never cease?
When it comes to Dai Vernon, apparently not.

This celebration of the 30th anniversary of Revelations, the series produced originally in 1982 by Hans Zahn in Newfoundland, attests to that amazing legacy and it provides yet another generation of magicians – old and new – the chance to experience Dai Vernon and his magic.

This compilation is much more than just a repackaging of the original discs. With additional footage from the celebrated $1,000 Lecture Tour in the mid-1970s, private videos shot by Bill "The Prez" Larsen at The Magic Castle, and supporting documentation and ephemera, magic aficionados and historians now have an accurate portrayal of perhaps the most celebrated thinker and performer in magic during his "Late Period."

Start with Vernon's lecture at the Washington Press Club in August 1973, courtesy of Arthur Emerson. (Still images of Arthur Emerson and Vernon were inserted for the first minute or so because the initial quality of the video was suspect. Your patience, however, will be rewarded.) Vernon is 79 years old at the time. That's right, 79! It is Late Vernon, Second Wave.

Next, screen the October 9, 1976, lecture at The Magic Castle. Here Vernon is reprising the content of the $1,000 Lecture Tour. He is now 82. Again, it is Late Vernon, Second Wave.

Take a break and turn to the notes provided by Dr. Gene Matsuura. Dr. Matsuura was a confidant of many of the most esteemed sleight-of-hand magicians of the 20th century. He is a real student of magic and, in particular, the magic of Vernon. He is also renowned for the quality of his observations and notes. We thank Dr. Matsuura for agreeing to release his personal notes on Vernon's $1,000 Lecture Tour appearance in Sacramento. His observations are astute, and the nuance he flags worth studying.

Next up: the April 1977 presentations filmed at The Magic Castle. Shot by and because of Bill Larsen, they represent yet another extraordinary gift of the Larsen family to the magic community. In fact, it is hard to imagine what magic would be like today without the Larsens – Genii magazine, The Magic Castle, the Academy of the Magical Arts, and now this. The family, in its fourth generation in magic, continues to contribute to the growth of magic and the preservation of magic history. Vernon, by the way, would soon turn 84! It is the tail end of the Second Wave of the Late Period.

Only then, it is time to revisit the monumental series that is Revelations. Recorded in 1982, when Vernon was 88, it is the Late Period, Third Wave. Here, Vernon provides more coaching and commentary than actual performance. Michael Ammar, Gary Ouellet and Steve Freeman are there to assist, performing and demonstrating magic, and to spark the conversation. We see how things are meant to be done, and how not. The breadth of material is staggering. Fortunately, this commemorative package of discs and other material includes a reproduction of a booklet that provides a detailed description of each section so that viewers can zero in on their particular area of interest.

If I can offer one final word of advice, it is to heed what Vernon said to a young Albert Goshman: take one trick and learn to do it better than anybody else. Goshman did exactly that, and built his initial reputation with "Spellbound."

With this 30th anniversary celebration of Revelations, you have that same opportunity.

I look forward to seeing your magic."
– David BenToronto

The Academy of Magical Arts has graciously opened their members-only video vault and allowed L&L to publish one of their rare private videos. This is your chance to watch vintage lectures by Dai Vernon taped at the world-famous Magic Castle by Bill "The Prez" Larsen who had the foresight to preserve Vernon's genius for posterity. These videos are also valuable for their historic importance as they are among the first lectures ever videotaped at the Magic Castle.

Lecture DVD 1 – April 1, 1977 Lecture:

  • Wand Spin Vanish
  • Retention of Vision Coin Vanish
  • Card Handling
  • Pull-Through Shuffle
  • "Dad" Stevens Shuffle
  • Erdnase Top Palm
  • Hofzinser Palm Control
  • Top Changes
  • Top Palm
  • Elmsley Count/Twisting the Aces
  • Larry Jennings' Ambitious Classic
  • Hamman's Pinochle Trick
  • Deal Controls/Stop Trick
  • Reverses
  • Color Changes (Leipzig, Malini, Tenkai)
  • Spectator Cueing
  • Push-Through and Block Shuffle
  • Henry Christ's Off the Table Shuffle
  • Diagonal Palm Shift and Card Transfer
  • Action Palm
  • Cover for Erdnase Shift
  • Double Lift Get Ready
  • The Trick That Fooled Marlo
  • Double Lift-Handling and Application
  • The Trick Without a Name
  • Coin Under Glass
  • Three-Card Monte
  • Cards Up The Sleeve
  • General Advice
  • Card Switches
  • Vernon's Mental Card Miracle

Lecture DVD 2 – April 15, 1977 Lecture:

  • Five Coins and a Glass
  • Leipzig's Slow Motion Coin Vanish
  • The Tale of the Treasury-Worm
  • The Daivergent Silk
  • The Peripatetic Walnuts
  • Balls in the Net
  • The Cups and Balls
  • The Linking Rings
  • Cut and Restored Rope
  • Knot in Rope Bar Stunt
  • Joe Berg Knot
  • Upsetting a Square Knot
  • Ball Handling/Wand Spin Vanish

Also featured are Vernon's anecdotes including how he first came to the Magic Castle, early Castle memories, and his infamous X-rated Japan story.

October 9, 1976 Lecture:

  • Introduction by Bill "The Prez" Larsen
  • Vernon's Introductory Remarks
  • The Cups and Balls
  • The Peripatetic Walnuts
  • Five Coins and a Glass
  • Retention of Vision Coin Vanish
  • Han Ping Chien
  • Wand Spin Vanish
  • The Daivergent Silk

Lecture DVD 3
In August of 1973, Dai Vernon lectured for a large and extremely enthusiastic audience at the Press Club in Washington D.C. and host Arthur Emerson was prescient enough to have a video camera on hand for the occasion.

Contents include:

  • The Cups and Balls
  • Coins Through The Table
  • Retention of Vision Coin Vanish
  • Five Coins and a Glass
  • The Linking Rings
  • The Cylinder and Coins
  • Matching the Cards
  • Larry Jennings' Ambitious Classic
  • Color Change (Tenkai)
  • Top Changes
  • Cards Up The Sleeve Advice

On April 9, 1963, a very select group assembled at the newly-formed Magic Castle to hear Dai Vernon lecture. This was a historic moment because it was on the strength of this presentation that Vernon was asked to become the Castle's resident magician – and now, through the magic of audio recording, you can be there, too, almost 50 years later. Volumes 3-4 record another lecture on December 6, 1964. Vernon was performing regularly at the time; his methods were brilliant and his timing perfect.

CD 1 (1 hour)

1. Introduction

2. Five Coins and a Glass

3. Cups and Balls

4. The Daivergent Silk

5. John Ramsey Cylinder and Coins

CD 2 (1 hour)

1. McDonald's Hundred Dollar Ace Trick

2. Penetration of Thought

3. Top Change

4. Bottom Change

5. Ambitious Card

6. Tips

7. Conus Aces

8. Erdnase Bottom Palm

9. Hofzinser Bottom Palm

10. Mental Card Miracle

11. The Travelers

12. Palming

CD 3 (1 hour)

1. Introduction

2. General Comments

3. Jerry Andrus and Lies

4. Conversational Approach

5. Double Lift

6. The Pass

7. Getting a Card to the Top

8. A Trick with a Double-Faced Card

9. Aces Up or Down

10. Color Changing Deck

CD 4 (1 hour)

1. Coin and Glass

2. IOU

3. Brain Weave by Alex Elmsley

4. Four Pair Solitaire by Henry Christ

5. Spelling Trick (using a cull)

6. Thought of Card Trick

7. Silk from Bill Trick

In this booklet, you'll find comprehensive notes by Dr. Gene Matsuura, a lifelong student of sleight-of-hand magic – particularly Dai Vernon – who was in attendance at what was billed as Dai Vernon's farewell lecture in Sacramento, California in March of 1976.

Matsuura's keen observations of the material that Vernon presented at that lecture provides invaluable insights into many of the routines performed on the lecture DVDs in this set. Covered are the Cups and Balls, Five Coins and a Glass, The Tale of the Treasury-Worm, The Daivergent Silk, The Peripatetic Walnuts, Twisting the Aces, the Linking Rings, many, many effects and ideas from Erdnase, and much, much more.

Coupled with a scholarly introduction by David Ben, Dr. Matsuura's notes are a snapshot of a historic occasion – Dai Vernon presenting his life's work one final time.

This booklet is an exact reproduction of the Videonics catalog that was issued in June of 1983 which featured the Revelations series. We've included this to provide Revelations viewers with the historical context of the series in addition to other valuable insights.

You'll find an introduction by Michael Ammar, one of the co-hosts of the series, where he describes the filming of Revelations in addition to offering some interesting perspectives on how the project was developed and realized. In addition, Sid Lorraine contributed comprehensive reviews on each of the 18 volumes, providing viewers with a "blow by blow" description of the vast and rich material covered in Revelations.

Vernon Revelations – Volumes 1-17 (on 8 DVDs):
History was made September 2-6, 1982 in a filming studio in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, as the life and magic of Dai Vernon was permanently recorded for future generations. Inspired by Bill Larsen, the project was undertaken by Videonics, owned and operated by Hans Zahn. The co-hosts of the filming project were Michael Ammar, Gary Ouellet and Steve Freeman.

The format is that of a jam session, with Vernon discussing his tricks, moves and routines, and generally holding court. All the moves, techniques, routines, tips and handlings discussed are actually performed by Vernon or one of the co-hosts, along with a complete explanation. Roughly half of the subjects covered relate to the published record; half the material was new and disclosed for the first time (at the time of the video shoot).

You'll learn important new techniques regarding the Vernon classics and important revelations about the Erdnase techniques, which Vernon has spent a lifetime studying. There's a lifetime of magic study in these eight discs.

Volume 1

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • The Story Behind the Stars of Magic Series
  • Vernon on Think-of-a-Card, Dunninger,
  • Brainwave Deck
  • Vernon on Effects
  • Triumph-the Vernon Triumph Shuffle
  • and the Proper Presentation
  • Story of the Vernon False Shuffle
  • Practice & Improve Your Magic
  • Keeping Notes on Your Magic
  • Cutting the Aces-
  • Another Vernon Card Classic
  • Vernon on Passes, False Cuts
  • Irv Weiner's Opening to Cutting the Aces
  • The Story is the Entertaining Part of the Trick
  • Story of the Ambitious Card
  • Vernon Performs the Ambitious Card
  • Vernon Explains an Ambitious Card Move

Volume 2

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • The Vernon Double Lift
  • The Fingerprint Card Trick
  • Vernon Double Lift Replacement
  • On the Strike Double Lift
  • Vernon's First Intro to the Pass
  • Spellbound
  • Story of the Purse Palm
  • Vernon Demonstrates the Purse Palm &
  • Spellbound Move
  • Vernon on Coin Vanishes
  • The Ring and the Wand
  • Slow Motion Aces Performance
  • (Steve Freeman)
  • Story Behind Slow-Motion Aces
  • The Slow Motion Card Vanish
  • Story of the Last Card (Tent Vanish)
  • Freeman Demonstrates Last Card Vanish
  • Vernon Explains Slow Motion Aces
  • Lay Down & Routine
  • The Force with No Name
  • Slow Motion Aces for Magicians

Volume 3

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • The Travellers (Michael Ammar performance)
  • Explanation of the Travellers
  • Vernon on Malini's Method of Marking the Cards
  • Proper Way to Turn the Top Card Over
  • Why Vernon has the Cards Signed
  • The Kangaroo Coins (Gary Ouellet performance)
  • Kangaroo Coins Explanation
  • Vernon Talks About Lapping
  • The Balls in the Net (Steve Freeman performance)
  • Vernon's Story about The Balls in The Net
  • Vernon Explains the Moves for The Balls in The Net
  • Han Ping Chein with Ball
  • Vernon Explains What Makes a Good Trick
  • Jumping Jacks
  • The Tenkai Palm Switch
  • Vernon Explains How He Got the Name "Professor"

Volume 4

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • The Tenkai Switch – The Pivot Move
  • Story Behind the Symphony of the Rings
  • Vernon Tells a Silhouette Story
  • Vernon Performs the Symphony of the Rings
  • Explanation of Ring Routine – Counting the Rings
  • First Link
  • Spinning the Ring
  • Unlinking the Ring
  • Crash Link
  • Chain of Three
  • Linking Three & Unlinking Three
  • The Continuous Linking
  • The Falling Ring
  • The Interlocked Rings
  • The Figures
  • The Long Chain
  • Unlinking a Solid Ring
  • Unlinking All the Rings
  • The Symphony of the Rings –
  • Vernon Performs for Live Audience
  • The Coins and Champagne Glass – A Vernon Classic
  • The Secret to a Good Coin Vanish
  • More Coins & Champagne Glass Explanation

Volume 5

  • Gary Ouellett Intro
  • Vernon Talks About Fred Kaps
  • Vernon Explains Coins & Silk Routine
  • Vernon Explains Coin Transfer
  • Ammar Teaches Chanin Classic Palm Coin Productions
  • Ammar Introduces the Cups & Balls
  • Vernon Tells How He Got His Cups
  • Vernon Demonstrates the Opening to the Cups & Balls
  • Ammar Demonstrates Jay Marshall's Bit with Cups
  • Explanation of Depth Illusion
  • Vernon's Story About the Cups &
  • Balls at the Magic Castle
  • Vernon and Ammar Walk Through Cups & Balls Routine
  • Vernon's Advice On What To Do After Palming Something
  • Explanation of Phase Two & Three
  • Loading Sequence
  • Large Ball & Wand Vanish
  • Wand Spin
  • Vernon Explains Ball Under Cup Vanish
  • Vernon Explains Coins & Purse Swindle
  • Malini's Version
  • Vernon's Purse Palm Vanish
  • Leipzig's Coin on Knee

Volume 6

  • Gary Ouellett Intro
  • Color Change Section Intro (Freeman)
  • History of Color Change
  • Erdnase's First Method with the Vernon Improvement
  • The Erdnase Pivot Color Change
  • The Malini Handling
  • Picking Off the Pip
  • Leipzig's Handling
  • Leipzig's Side Slip and Vernon's Variation
  • Handling the Sucker Gag
  • Steve Freeman's Tips on the Color Change
  • " Softy" Color Change
  • Vernon Passes on Good Advice
  • The No Palm Color Change
  • The Time Vernon Cheated the Cheats
  • The Greek Crimp
  • The Gambler's Peek
  • The Back Crimp
  • The Suit Peek
  • The Corner Crimp/Cutting to a Crimp
  • Story About Larry Grey
  • The Snap Crimp Story
  • The Snap Crimp
  • Mexican Joe Crimp
  • Best Way to Reverse a Card
  • The Breather Crimp

Volume 7

  • Gary Ouellett Intro
  • An Unpublished Linking Ring Move
  • The Vernon No Key Linking
  • The Five-Card Mental Force
  • Some Thoughts on the Stop Trick
  • Taking Advantage of Good Breaks
  • The Trick That Cannot Be Explained
  • The Cutting Trick
  • How to Practice the Trick That Cannot
  • Be Explained
  • Vernon Talks About Card Palming
  • The Hofzinser Bottom Palm
  • The Diagonal Palm Shift and the
  • Vernon Improvement
  • The Hofzinser Bottom Palm Transfer

Volume 8

  • Gary Ouellett Intro
  • The Diagonal Palm Shift-
  • a detailed description
  • The Hand Washing Move
  • The Gambling Palm
  • The Vernon Gambling Palm Transfer
  • Topping the Deck
  • The Erdnase Top Palm
  • Several Methods of Replacing the
  • Palmed Card onto the Deck
  • Skinning the Hand, Version 1
  • Vernon Color Change
  • The Tenkai Palm Color Change
  • Skinning the Hand Version #2
  • The French Pass
  • Two Technical Descriptions of
  • Bottom Palms
  • Covering the Side Slip
  • Dramatizing Revelations
  • The Loewy Palm
  • Some Moves for Cards Up the Sleeve
  • The Vernon Card Switches
  • A New Top Palm
  • The Card to Jacket Pocket
  • The Palm Change
  • Story of the Mysterious Kid
  • Vernon Talks About Shiners

Volume 9

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • The Berg Move
  • Explanation of Berg Move
  • Story of the Trick That Fooled Houdini
  • Explanation of the Trick
  • That Fooled Houdini
  • Vernon Tells Horwitz Story
  • Vernon Explains the Boat Trick
  • Vernon Performs Three Card Monte
  • for Live Audience
  • Explanation of Three Card Monte
  • Preparing the Cards
  • Bent Corner
  • Tips on the Hype Move
  • Sucker Ploy
  • Explanation of Hype Move
  • The Torn Card
  • The Broad Worker's Story
  • The Double Flash
  • Removing the Bent Corner
  • Bobby Fischer Story

Volume 10

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • The Vernon Cone and Ball Routine
  • Basic Move for Cone & Ball
  • The Ball and Silk
  • Hand to Hand Ball Transfer
  • Vernon on the Dye Tube /
  • Color Changing Silks
  • Loading the Silk
  • Palming the Tube
  • Start of Routine
  • Steal of the Tube
  • Routine Taught from Behind
  • The Chopstick Double Lift
  • Valuable Tip from Erdnase
  • (Double Lift)
  • The Overhand Shuffle Technique
  • The Pinky Count
  • The Greek Break
  • Bottom to Top Transfer
  • Vernon's Simple Double Peek Control
  • Triple and Multiple Peek Handling
  • The Fan Force

Volume 11

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • The International Gambler's Code
  • The Zanzig Code
  • The Spread
  • The Miami Brothers Ploy
  • The Vernon Card Switch
  • The Gambler's Hole Card Switch
  • The Snatch
  • The Verbal Code (Vernon)
  • Teaching Method for Verbal Code
  • (Memorized Cards)
  • How to Memorize the Cards
  • (Vernon Method)
  • Vernon Tells the Story of Benny
  • Vernon Tells the Names of Each Card
  • in his Code
  • Vernon Short Card
  • Corner Short
  • Freeman Demonstrates Short Card Control

Volume 12

  • Gary Ouellet intro
  • Freeman Quotes Erdnase
  • The Erdnase Bottom Deal
  • The Elliott Bottom Deal
  • The Artanis Bottom Deal
  • Gambling vs. Magic
  • The Second Deal – The Erdnase Methods
  • The Johnny Thompson Method
  • Vernon's Trick for Second Deal
  • Vernon Gives Tips on Second Deal
  • The Vernon New Theory Second Deal
  • The Big Lie about the Strike Second
  • The Elliott Million Dollar Secret
  • Mexican Joe's Shift
  • The Side Shift
  • Covering the One-Handed Shift
  • The S.W.E. Shift
  • The Kennedy Center Deal (The Real Work)
  • Bad Habits Center Deal

Volume 13

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • The Drunken Mitt
  • How to Tell Backs from Fronts
  • by Feel Alone
  • Tips on the Overhand Shuffle
  • The Erdnase Full-Deck Control
  • The Vernon Full-Deck Control
  • The Charlier False Shuffle
  • The Push Through Shuffle
  • The Strip Out Shuffle
  • Vernon Gives Tips on the
  • Push-Through Shuffle
  • The Kid Royal Shuffle
  • The Up the Ladder False Cut
  • Up the Ladder used in Triumph

Volume 14

  • Vernon – Three Card Monte
  • Ammar – Beanie Wienie, Cards to Pocket
  • Ouellet – Three Shell Game
  • Freeman – Time Machine, Cutting the Aces,
  • Slow Motion Ace Assembly
  • Ammar – The $2 Bill Tear, The Yeast Card,
  • Card on Ceiling
  • Ouellet – Kiss Trick, Ring on Rope
  • Ammar – Coins & Silk
  • Ouellet – Silver Passage
  • Ammar – Roll-Over Aces
  • Ouellet – The Two Goblets
  • Vernon – Symphony of the Rings

Volume 15

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • Why Vernon Changed his Name
  • How he Got the Name "Professor"
  • Interest in Magic Since a Young Boy
  • Enjoyed Watching Gamblers
  • Talks About Erdnase
  • Vernon's Favorite Book: Erdnase
  • School Magic Show
  • No Use of the Word Damn or Egg Bag
  • Great Weakness of Magician
  • Meeting Cliff Green
  • Producing a Card in the Shower
  • First Time Seeing Max Malini
  • Malini Egg Bag – Russia Story
  • Malini at the GM party
  • Malini Card Stab
  • Antique Table Story
  • Advice from Malini
  • Malini's Best Tricks Were Never Performed
  • Malini's Vanishing Tobacco
  • Malini's Opener
  • Malini at Buckingham Palace

Volume 16

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • Cutting Silhouettes
  • The Harlequin Act
  • How Vernon Met Frances Rockefeller King
  • Magician Spies on Vernon
  • J. K. L. M.
  • Dr. Daley's Notebook
  • The Book, "Our Magic"
  • Cardini
  • The Frogman
  • Cardini's Talking Act
  • Cardini's Tails
  • Al Baker
  • The History of Silhouettes
  • Colorado Springs
  • World's Fair
  • Vernon Cuts a Silhouette
  • Twenty Dollar Gold Piece

Volume 17

  • Gary Ouellet Intro
  • King of Koins
  • The Gimmick
  • Emil Jarrow
  • Jarrow Plays London
  • Closing of his Act
  • Partner in his Act
  • Warren Keane
  • Malini Block of Ice
  • Fred Keating Canary Story
  • Paul Rosini
  • Herbert Brooks
  • The Manner In Which Tricks are Presented
  • Larry Grey Follows Hobos
  • High School Dance
  • Lance Burton at the Body Shop
  • Garrick Spencer / Academy of Magic
  • Allen Kennedy Center Deal
  • Teaching John Scarne the Center Deal
  • Vernon Takes Ted to See Allen Kennedy
  • Mrs. Vernon Meets Mexican Joe
  • The Greek Gambler
  • The Hold-Up Story
  • Jack Benny Joke
  • Dr. Ross
  • Meeting Dan Cummings at Restaurant
  • Takes the Touch of a Billiard Player
  • Frank Tobey / Vernon Sees Faro Shuffle
  • for the First Time
  • One Arm MacDonald – The Diamond Ring
  • $100 Ace Trick
  • Davis the Miracle Man

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