Words cannot effectively express the intense shock and sorrow that I felt upon hearing the news. I was first introduced to the magic of Mr. Wonder in around 1998 or 99, whilst watching a broadcast of the World Magic Awards. Having never seen or heard of this man before, I had no idea of what lay in store for me. I sat motionless as he performed his exquisite stage act; luckily I had taped the show, and on repeat viewings the beauty of the piece was no less mesmerising. I had been studying magic for about five years at that stage, and nothing up until then had inspired me like that performance. It remains the single best piece of magic I have ever had the pleasure of seeing - the stunning combination of the Cups and Balls, the Orange, Lemon, Egg and Canary, and the Zombie Ball stayed in my mind long after the show was over; as I write this I cannot help but hum the music - that was what magic is supposed to be.
After reading (and re-reading) The Books of Wonder, the genius of this man's philosophies on magic, art and performance are forever entrenched in my mind. He was forever willing to strive for perfection in his work; that, and his attention to detail, will forever remain legendary. He was one of the very few who could make you believe that what you were experiencing was real magic; the only magical performer of modern times who gave the impression that he was the genuine article - a real magician, pure and simple.
Farewell to the greatest magician of his time, and indeed perhaps of all time... his influence and, more importantly, his inspiration, will I'm sure be felt for many years to come. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Perhaps I'm stating the obvious (something of which Tommy would hardly have approved), but he will be greatly missed. Farewell to my favourite performer, my favourite magician, and to a great artist.