26 November 2023

[Guest post] A tribute to Micky Hades

The following is a guest post from Brent Smith.


A tribute to Micky Hades

I'm sad these days as my friend and teacher in magic Micky Hades has passed away at the age of 97. I call him a teacher because he never mentored me but his door was always open for me and I could ask any question. They say to be successful in something you keep you mouth closed and your ears open and I did just that with Micky but I also asked a lot of questions. I enjoyed our time together especially because Micky would always ask me questions about magic, history and all about magic posters, not because he didn’t know, but to test me and see if I knew what I was talking about and I do :)

Micky Hades was a man who embraced all aspects of magic: Performer, publisher, collector, manufacturer, inventor, author, editor and a pioneer of the art of magic. He was born of Ukrainian parentage on a farm in Alberta. He got started in magic when he saw the magician John C. Green. Micky had mundane jobs but realised magic is what he wanted to do so he studied and learned all he could on magic. He then joined a travelling sideshow which featured not only magic but also fire eating. He then joined larger carnivals like Conklin Brothers Circus and then Clifford Entertainers Vaudeville circuit. Micky then quit show business for a while and went into Silk Screening and then went onto being a fire prevention Officer in the Army. Then for 13 months he worked in the Gold Mines in Yellowknife in the NWT. There in the Arctic climate he invented the Micky Hades finger chopper 2000 feet below the surface of the ground. Imagine just how many of those he sold. Micky Hades Enterprises became Micky Hades International and became a name recognized throughout the world of magic. 

Micky was behind the TV Show, Dale Harney's Magic Palace and Micky brought in all the top guys in magic at that time. Blackstone, Al Goshman, Paul Harris, Martin Nash, Slydini... the list goes on and on and on. I would get my dad to drive me down to Channel 2 and 7 TV Studios just to see Dale Harney with the worlds Top Magicians perform.

I miss that time in magic with no internet, without exposure on YouTube, magicians being babies online. Magic was real and everyone sacrificed and treated magic with great importance and value. When people don’t sacrifice much for what they have they do not treat it with great importance or value hence what some people are doing on the internet with exposure. Anyone who suffered for anything knows the value of what they suffered for.

Micky said to me once that you cannot make someone into a magician but they are born and that being a magician is a state of mind and a way of life. Micky never taught anyone magic, he never taught sleight of hand but he taught them the state of mind to make a living at magic. The only one I know of who Micky taught this to is John Kaplan.

Micky had many stories. How he told Martin Nash that he should call himself  "The Charming Cheat" and that he should wear big gold rings and fancy suits. He had a great ZIG ZAG lady Illusion story, How he gave Doug Henning a job and he accepted the position of editor of the Young Magicians section of the Hade-E-Gram MagiZette and performed his first professional appearance at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary in 1965.

Micky had three Magic Shops, Vancouver, Seattle, and Calgary. They were eventually closed or sold off.

In 2015 Micky sold me his 500 piece magic Poster collection which some I will treasure forever. They are framed in my house and I still enjoy everyday.

I will miss Micky and the coffee time we had together, I will miss going to visit him and seeing what magic he still had for sale all of which the props I grew up with, I will miss the jewels and treasures I would find when Micky let me look through boxes. I will miss talking to him about illusions and I will miss talking to him about Magic Posters.

Micky once said to me that if you really want to make a living at something have NOTHING to fall back on that way the fire under your butt stays lit. We both laughed at that for a long time.

The Micky Hades story is too incredible for this short newsletter so look for this book coming out of the Magical Life of Micky Hades in the New Year by his daughter Brenda.

Rest well Micky you are the reason I am what I am today and I have cherished every last second I had with you.

Thank you!!




Thank you Brent for sharing this heartfelt tribute to Micky Hades.



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