Racherbaumer, Jon: In a Class by Himself, The Legacy of Don Alan
1996, 2000 Jon Racherbaumer, L&L Publishing, CA
Hardcover, w/dj, 269 pages
Racherbaumer: In a Class By Himself, the Legacy of
              Don Alan
Image from Magicref

Comments: This book could almost be entitled, "Don Alan, the Video Companion." The majority of the book contains blow by blow descriptions of Don's routines as performed on The Greater Magic Library Volume 28 (abbreviated here as GML V28) and some from William McIlhany's Magic Ranch Videos (both available from Stevens Magic). The pictures used are frame video captures from these videos, so some details are lost. There is a lot of additional material as well, including selections previously published elsewhere. Includes a great essay on the theft of magic ideas. Recommended.

Contents (from book):

vii Contents
ix Publisher's Acknowledgments
xi Author's Acknowledgments
xiii Foreword by Eugene Burger
xv Preface by Ron Bauer
xix Snapshots: Biographical notes about Don Alan
xxvii Prologue: about the book, the routines, underlying themes. Includes performance information about environmental space, timing, control, and more.
xxxix In Search of Iconic Solutions: discussion of the use of frame captures

1 In a Class By Himself: The Legacy of Don Alan

3 Pretty Sneaky Act (All video clips from GML V28)
5 Lean Mean Chop Cup: Don's powerful, straightforward chop cup routine.
15 Devilish Devano Rise: Card rise
23 Knickle Head: Prelude to Cigarette Through Quarter. A gag in which a nickel is placed on your forehead. When handed to spectator, a large nail is seen attached to the nickel.
27 Burning Sensation: Cigarette Through Quarter
37 Invisible Deck: Don Alan's presentation of the Invisible Deck with special setup
43 Benson Bowl (Over): Bowl and sponge ball routine with large ball bearing climax
49 Benson's Visual-retention vanish: sponge ball move explained
51 Fanciful Flight: Don's ring flight routine
59 Micro-Macro Intro: Tiny deck of cards turns into regular sized cards with a Jumbo card climax.
63 Big Deal: Cards are dealt onto a Jumbo card, spectator says to stop at any time. Cards match.
69 Bagged Stab: card stab in a bag with fun knife byplay
81 Scotch and Soda Coda: Don's presentation of Scotch and Soda
85 Ranch Bird Deluxe: Mechanical bird finds selected card while cards are spread out on the table.
93 Darker Side of Malini: Chinatown dollar routine climaxing in a large lump of coal appearing under a hat

105 Don Alan's Magic Ranch
107 Don Alan's Magic Ranch by Bill McIlhany: reprint of MAGIC Magazine article on Don's television series

115 Just Good Fun
117 Stanley: Comedy puppet reveals a selected card. (Magic Ranch video)
125 Worm's Turn: Comedy "snake in the basket" routine using alphabet cards (Magic Ranch video)
135 Flying Eagles: Coins Across using 9 coins. (Magic Ranch video)
140 Cap and Pence: As performed on Magic Ranch using a plate to catch the coins. Uses leather cap. (Magic Ranch video)
144 Las Vegas Fairy Tale: Combines features of both of the above in a Cap and Pence routine with a die and Las Vegas story line.
151 Clyde: Don's presentation of Fred Lowe's "Christianed Reverse". Spectator thinks of a card, Magician names it: Clyde. Spectator says no, and removes named card from the deck. When the card is turned over, it says Clyde on the back! (Video clips from un-named video!)
157 Fido: An alternative presentation of the Fred Lowe trick.
159 Sneakily Stacked in Your Favor: Dice stacking routine, uses one gimmicked die and cup cover (Video clips from un-named video)
166 How to Stack Dice: short lesson
169 Pretty Sneaky Nudist Deck: effect for R.W. Hull's Mental Photography deck.
173 Invisible Card to Wallet: as written, doesn't use a wallet. Card to sealed envelope with Insurance Policy gag
177 Cutter: Cut no cut scissors effect. See Bert Allerton's close up magic.
179 Tweaking Marlo's Twee: Tree of Hearts with a Chicago accent
181 Blackjacked! (Eddie Fields): Comedy routine with no-lens glasses for the spectator to read "marked" cards, and a gag winning of Blackjack with a 7 of spades and 14 of spades.

187 Transcript 1
189 Don Alan Lecture July 5. 1975: essay on theft of magic ideas

199 More Sneaky Stuff: quick ideas
201 Corner Riffle Force By Timing: corner shave
203 Disappearing Cane, Using a Top Hat: comedy bit using a Walsh Vanishing Cane and collapsible top hat
205 Flying Medal: Comedy bit with a medal that flies back to your coat lapel
207 Hat Levitator: prop to "float" a brimmed hat in front of your waist
209 Production of a Dove from a Borrowed Purse: Milk is poured into a borrowed lady's purse and then a dove is produced from the purse
211 Mousetrap (a la Card Sword): a mousetrap is thrust into tossed cards and grabs the selected card in its jaws (gimmicked trap, not detailed)
213 Funny Vitamins (Close Up Sight Gag): self jumping vitamin capsules
215 Art Work on Playing Cards: use roughing fluid first
217 Money Roller Routine: comedy $10 to $1000 bill
219 Production of Flowers and Cards: Flowers from behind the knee, fan of card from the flowers (spring flowers)
221 Floating and Rising Billiard Ball: Billiard ball suspended in the air rises. Perform in middle of Billiard Ball routine.
223 All Thumbs (another sight gag): uses rubber thumbs and thimble holders
225 Dove Pan Tip & Microphone Stand Tray: two practical tips
227 Funny Birdcage Vanish: nice vanish using a paper bag as a distraction
229 Time-Card Gag: sight gag using a mock up time card machine
231 Cereal Bowls: comedy rice bowls with various bits of business
235 Choo Choo Train Prop for Kid Shows: general description
237 A Trick You Can Write Home About! Color changing postage stamps become affixed to an envelope addressed to the spectator

239 Transcript 2
241 Last Transcript April 30, 1990: discusses the Chop Cup, ring flight, and more

257 Final Loads
259 Sneaky Things to Remember: 23 one line tips on creating and performing good magic
261 Fun Scales: Time, Laughs, Magic Moments, Type, High Profile properties, Inter-hooks for 10 effects
265 Capsule Chronology: of the life of Don Alan
267 Bibliography & Filmography: missing Chop Cup routine in Lots of Lawton