R. I. P. Major Magic

Vero Beach South Posted July 20th, 2010 by

I’m not a military sentimentalist, but somehow, I imagine, the next Veterans day will not be the same since the recent passing of Major Magic and his ALL STAR PIZZA REVIEW.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, no one really knows which war her served in, but when he came back home, he befriended some animals, taught them how to play Jeremiah was a Bullfrog, and peformed randomly — MECHANICALLY, to those eating flat, cardboard pizza while always basking in the celebration of someone’s passing year.


The final Major Magics location closed this month in Sylvania, Ohio. There were rumours that there were more in Michigan somewhere, but as far as all of us were concerned, Major Magic was a household name in the Toledo area, and no place else. Most of all of you had Chuck E Cheese or possibly Showbiz — we had the Major with his Rock n’ Roll Rebellion band.

SDC10255Toledo was a strange place — still is to this day (notice how none of the kids smile in any of the pictures). What’s GOOD for DIGITAL is BAD for TOLEDO. In an effect, if there was a Toledo Industrial index, everytime Steve Job’s stock goes up, the GLASS CITY(toledo) cracks even further.

SDC10238Major Magic and his ALL STAR PIZZA REVUE — was as analog, mechinical as things get. ROBOTS who perform, can you imagine? No, they weren’t holograms, and YES, my favourite part was peaking underneath the curtain between performances to watch their dead faces. That of course was followed by chucking SMARTIES at them during their motion renditions — and their UNCANNY ability to keep a straight face despite getting WONKED. I never quite understood why they gave out SMARTIES next to these creatures.

We had a lot of local chains there for a town of its size, MM being one of them and while I lived there I’ll admit at the time, I longed for the national chains to come into town as some sort of connection to the outside world. For some reason, till I left for college in 1998, Toledo had no Starbucks or Wal Mart — we had Sufficient Grounds and The Anderson’s — locally owned and operated chains.

Increasingly national chains have come in — a friend of mine there bragged about how HIS chinese take-out place was P. F. Changs, (I told him mine was China Town)-IPOH or Jing Chauns, the local staples of our youth that made you wonder how Chinese people found their way to Toledo, were not on his list. So down the street from where the Major held his last stand, a Chuck E Cheese still sits(the other location in town, recently hosted a pistol whipping — they had to close for the rest of the day).

But this obituary isn’t totally about corporateness and how much expense it must have taken them to maintain an entire BRAND, COPPER(TOKENS), PAPER CURRENCY(TICKETS) & OTHER BULLSHIT for just one location — or where I can go now to redeem all the tickets I saved up for toxic plastic toys — MADE IN TAIWAN, that smelled chemical, but I used to eat chew on nonetheless.

It’s about something much greater. IN 1994 I believe, a meeting took place, one Monday afterschool with Duck Tales playing in the background in the SPORTS BAR section of Major’s. IT was a meeting of the loosely affiliated group of BBS owners and purveyors in the Toledo area. For those of you who didn’t know about BBS’s — before the internet was largely what it is today, people used to run BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS on their computers. In order for others to access this info, you needed a dedicated phone line — often the ‘kids line’ and people with their 1200 baud modems would call your computer up on a one-to-one ratio to figure out things like Black Boxes and Blue Boxes which made it so you never had to pay for a call at a payphone again.

Beyond the long distance, their was always a revolutionary undercurrent to it all. We were being opressed, WE wanted to fuck their shit up — but we were way too nerdy to do anything about it — and our FIRST and PROBABLY LAST meeting could have only taken place at MAJOR MAGICS.

I bring all this up because the MAJOR definitely must have been a revolutionary too — or maybe a Rock N’ Roll Rebellion. He didn’t care if he was the LITTLE GUY — against the odds of CHUCK’s bigger pockets or RAZZ-MA-TAZZ’s sharper focus on the mystics — when they built him, according to this guy’s blog — they spared no expense to make their creatures as creepy as possible.


So…”On behalf of Major Magic and his All Star Pizza Review, we would like to wish you, a very Happy The rest of your lives.”

The Major leaves behind one brother. Crunch, Cap’n (62) of Battle Creek, MI.

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