Friday, February 9, 2018

John Bushey has passed away

I have some extremely sad news. John Bushey, a great friend and a major collector of handcuffs and Houdiniana, passed away on Thursday after battling cancer for several years. The blog Ennyman's Territory announced his passing today with a heartfelt tribute. Friends are leaving messages of condolences and remembrance on John's Facebook page and at

Among John's many contributions to the Houdini world was his taking on the task of collecting and documenting every edition and variation of Houdini's pitchbooks. He was an unsurpassed expert in this area, and I always enjoyed receiving his excited phone calls sharing the news that he had just uncovered yet another variant of Adventurous Life of Versatile Artist, etc. John shared many of his rare finds in a continually updating treatise called The John Bushey Houdini Collection.

John was also a huge Bob Dylan fan and one of the forces behind the Duluth Dylan Fest in his home state of Minnesota. John had a regular show on radio station KUMD called Highway 61 Revisited. The studio has now been renamed the "John Bushey Highway 61 Revisited Studio."

A giant among the Houdini collectors and a good friend to us all, I was very lucky to have known him and I will miss him very much. Say "hi" to Harry for us John!



  1. John has been a dear friend, since the 1970's - when he, myself, and a dozen other magician pals were the "new generation" of Houdini Enthusiasts & Handcuff Collectors.

    It was John, whom I always looked up to the most - for his knowledge & generosity.

    A very sad day for all of those who knew him.

    Rest In Peace, Johnny-Boy.
    --Joe Fox

  2. His Houdini Museum visit was one of those GREAT MOMENTS. He and close magic friends made sure to drop in when there were a large group of cuffs being auctioned off in another area of Pennsylvania. For us it was a truly historic occasion. I know we are all deeply saddened by this news. We are so lucky to have him pass our way. A very special person who we made sure to stay in contact with.

    Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz
    The Houdini Museum, Scranton, PA

  3. His contribution to the world of Handcuffs, Houdini, Magic and Bob Dylan is second to none and he certainly will be missed by those interested in these fields.
    He invited me to his special visit to the Houdini Museum in Pa. when he was planning to go a few years back but the timing was off.
    I regret not being able to get together with him for that.
    I assumed that we would have another chance to do it again one day.
    I have many other memories of being with him that will be cherished for as long as I am around.
    A true friend and even though he will be missed my many, we should all know that he excelled at everything he did and had friends all over the world.

    1. As I try to come to terms wirh the loss of another friend it is not easy as most of you know John was a great friend to all ... We made many trips together always planning for the next... making new friends and seeing old friends so proud to share there collections with fought long and hard my friend not to make this trip you always proved to me there was Magic in believing! But now you can rest without pain and talk to Harry about handcuffs and how many Russian pitchbooks there are thank you for calling me a friend....

  4. Didn't know him but knew of him and I'm pissed and sucks

  5. We are deeply saddened to hear about John’s passing. We loved anytime we could get to see him or talk on the phone. Truly a wealth of knowledge in so many areas. He is dearly missed.
    Kevin & Kristen