This is a monthly newsletter for communicating information about Then Came Bronson, Michael Parks, and related items of interest, to the general public. It is not affiliated with MGM, TNT or any other company or organization.
Below is a list of short-cuts to various sections of this page. Although you may want to read the page through from top to bottom the first time, I put these in so that, if you want to find something later, you can go right to that section (by clicking on the hyperlink).
This month marks Michael Parks's 60th birthday (April 24)!
And it was 30 years ago (April 1970, he was just turning 30) that Michael Parks's song "Long Lonesome Highway" was high on the record charts all over the country, rising to the twenties and even the teens in some locations (18 on WMCA, NY). Call up a radio station and ask them to play "Long Lonesome Highway" in honor of his birthday!
And it was 30 years ago (April 1) that the last first-run episode of TCB made its appearance - What's An Ark Without Centaurs.
Thanks to all of you who filled out the Columbia House Video survey, and recommended Then Came Bronson as the next tv show they should release on video. For those of you who haven't yet done it, it may still be running:
Columbia House Video Survey
And thanks to all of you who have been bugging TNT, TBS and the other tv & video companies to show your interest in seeing it made available. Please send them your comments every month (or more often).
And if you get the cable channel "Turner South" (which is airing TCB occasionally), please email them and thank them for airing it! Maybe your comments will keep it on that station, and might even convince them to show it regularly.
On a sad note, George Duning, the composer of the instrumental theme and other music for Then Came Bronson, passed away recently. The following message was posted on www.dejanews.com on Thursday,March 2:
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- George Duning, the composer nominated for
Academy Awards for scoring the movies "Picnic" and "From Here to
Eternity," died Tuesday of heart disease. He was 92.
Recently I got the following email from a TCB fan who was on a cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and he replied with more info on the TCB "sighting":
"Hey Jon...Just got back from a cruise and had to tell you a quick one. We got on the ship late so I turned on the TV and guess what was on...The pilot for "Then came Bronson" !!!! We were leaving from Fort Lauderdale at the time. My wife got sooooo mad when I told her to go enjoy herself for a while, that I was going to watch the show. She kept yelling "But you have it on tape at home!" Just thought I would pass the story on to you. TCB was probably being broadcast on TBS South since I was in Florida. I hope for the fans down there that they continue airing the episodes.
Well I'll close here, just had to relay that story.
Hang in there, my friend. Will write again soon. B.C."
"Hey Jon.......It was Sunday,March 19.....We were in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and I know it was late because the flight down was delayed for several hours and we didn't get to the ship until about 9:00PM"
"Jon......It was on the Grand Princess [Princess Cruise Lines] but I have no idea of what channel it was, as it was over the ship's TV system."
I contacted Turner Entertainment (TBS, TNT, Turner South) and they didn't air the TCB movie on the evening of March 19, nor could I find anyone who could tell me what independent / cable channels (or foreign / satellite channels) have the right to air the movie. So it seems possible that some other stations (local, cable, or satellite, that I don't get) have the right to air the pilot movie.
I put in a request at TBS for them to air the pilot movie, but it probably won't be for a few months or more, as their programming is set that far in advance.
So my best advice is to use www.clicktv.com on a regular basis to find out if any stations in your local area / cable provider are airing it. It is easy to use. Just enter your zipcode in the box beneath the words "basic listings" and click on the word "GO!", then click on your cable provider and click on the "Choose Lineup" button, and when the schedule comes up, click on "Search" (button on upper right) and type in Bronson in the Keyword box, and click "Search".
[From Don in Florida:]
What about a national petition drive to return TCB to the air? The plan would be to have a TCB petition signing booth or event at every possible biker gathering this season. We missed the big one for the season, Daytona, but there are hundreds more from Laconia and Sturgis to local charity runs.
Just the act of getting the signatures would attract media attention, and raise awareness in the biking community. A large crowd at the TCB table would also be noticed by the motorcycling's commercial interests, the ones with the financial clout to make something happen. It would get our cause beyond the small circle of us who have been lucky enough to find your web site.
All you would need to do is post a standard petition form on the web site available for download or printing. Nothing fancy. Just something directed to the proper party with lines for name, address, etc. for the signers. Those TCB fans going to an event could volunteer by e-mail to work it. One person for each event would step forward to contact the event organizers and to work out time and place details.
From the enthusiastic response I observe to your web site, I think there would be no shortage of participants.
What do you think?
Sounds like a good idea, Don. We could even try enlisting motorcycle dealerships and other shops/repair places. Get someone near the places to post petitions and collect the signatures every few weeks. I'll put it into the next newsletter and see if I can get some volunteers.
Thanks again for the idea!
[Any volunteers out there?]
Bus Riley's Back In Town has just been released on video. See the FIlMOGRAPHY section, below.
I should have new items on the auction page by the end of this month. I'll send an email to all those on my main TCB email list.
Good news for those in southeastern U.S.! Then Came Bronson is airing May 5, 2000, at 2:00 a.m. on Turner South! The episode is called "Old Tigers Never Die: They Just Run Away".
One thing about taping: a TCB fan said that Turner South isn't always exact about starting times, so you should set your VCR to start taping at least 15 minutes before the scheduled starting time, and set it to stop at least 15 minutes after the scheduled stopping time. And if I were you, I'd set it a half hour or more before and run a half hour or more after. Tape is cheap, and these showings are rare!
In March, I sent out emails to everyone on the TCB email list regarding the regional airing of a TCB episode on the southern cable channel called "Turner South", and emails in April regarding the release on videocassette of the Michael Parks movie "Bus Riley's Back In Town". If you didn't get these emails from me, send me an email with your current info (email address, etc.). A lot of emails were returned because the email addresses I had for some of you were no longer valid. So if you changed your address and didn't get the above-mentioned emails, please send me a new email with the new email address so I can update my list.
I should have new items posted to the auction page by the end of this month. I'll send an email to all those on my main TCB email list, notifying of the posting.
I've noticed that occasionally my newsletter pages don't open up fully. So if you don't see the counter at the bottom of the page (after the page has stopped loading), click on your browser's RELOAD button, and see if that works.
[From Tom Foulkes, 2nd Assistant Director for the TCB episodes:]
I'm sending off a few of the "Bronson" pictures from '69 and '70. Sorry I don't have any of the scripts from the shows. These are only a few of the pictures I took. Several of them are pictures of our crew: cinematographers, camera operators, grips, electricians, etc. Michael Parks is in several of these.
"Bronson" was the first film show I did (July 1969). I'd been on staff at NBC for seventeen years as a Stage Manager and Associate Director. I'd been doing almost exclusively music-variety shows (Andy Williams, Dean Martin, etc.) and specials (Elvis Presley, Perry Como, etc.), so when our two union guilds merged, Screen Director's Guild and the Radio-Television Director's Guild, I had the opportunity to go from electronic tv to film, 35mm. A close friend, John Wilson, had earlier gone into film and was to be Unit Manager on a new series out of MGM called "Then Came Bronson". So I interviewed with Bob Justman, the producer, and was hired as 2nd Asst. Director. So several days later our whole company was off to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for the first of 26 shows. We'd do four shows on a six day shooting schedule and then move on. After Wyoming, it was Canon City, Colorado, and so on. The only difference in remaining shows were six weeks in Mesa and Phoenix [Arizona] and two weeks each in Reno and Ls Vegas. All the other shows were one month (or four shows) on location. John Wilson was our Unit Manager when we started but did a short stint as Associate Producer when Phil Ferle, the original Assoc. Prod. was injured in a fall and John replaced him for a while. We had no Head Producer on the shows as Bob Justman, who held the position, remained at MGM. Bob, and sometimes Herb Solow [MGM Executive In Charge Of Production of TCB], would fly out to a location either to take a break from the studio or clear up some script discrepancies. Believe me there were lots of phone calls back and forth between star, producer and director. All of my production reports had to be enclosed with the Script Supervisor's script notes and that day's film shoot. At MGM it was processed and edited and all we got a few days later were 35mm film strips. I can still see the director and camerman holding up a strip to the sun and checking them, a crude way of looking at "dailies". I've got a snapshot I'll send you sometime.
Michael was fun to work with. As 2nd Asst. Dir., I was around him a lot, and that goes from waking and picking him up for the drive to the shooting location. We had a lot of fun and laughs together but when it was time to rehearse and roll the camera it was all business. They were a super bunch to work with and lots of memories in those seven months. It got me going in film and I went on for another thirteen years.
So long for now, Jon.
[From Janie, who was married to Tom Foulkes when he was the 2nd Assistant Director for the TCB episodes:]
I found your web site quite interesting. You have quite a bit of information as to the episodes, cast, etc.
Seeing the list of episodes jogged a little bit of my memory. You might find it a little interesting to hear about a happening that occurred on "The Mountain" with James Whitmore. I had gone on a Thursday (or Friday) to Canon City, Colorado. Flew in to Denver and a studio driver picked me up (along with some supplies, I believe) and drove me to where the crew was shooting. Elsa Lanchester was just finishing up her guest shot, so I got to see her. My own memory isn't the greatest, but somehwere in my mind I find myself laughing out loud for I visualize her riding on the back of Michael's motorcycle, holding on for dear life! Since you were apparently fairly young, do you remember her? Her mass of red hair, tightly curled, was blowing in the wind and she was laughing up to the heavens. I haven't talked to Tom about that visualization but I don't think it was a dream.
The crew was most all staying in a motel, and with the week-end then I was able to meet quite a few people. The Associate Producer, Johnny Wilson, was a friend of ours from NBC days so it was nice seeing him again. On Monday, the new episode of "The Mountain" began. I stayed most all week and would go out from time to time to where they were shooting. On this one day they were all up on a high mountain, taking a very narrow road going up and back down. Somehow, either the Honeywagon, Catering truck or some other big rig was trying to turn around when it got lodged (if I remember correctly) between the side of a mountain and a very deep gorge. I had ridden out to the set with James Whitmore, who had a later call in the day, we were setting at the bottom of the winding hill (mountain) with a driver when word came through about the mishap... telling us we would be delayed until the truck could get back on track. That delay seemed to last for two hours or more. Here I am with Mr. Whitmore, who was very much the gentleman, trying to be social with me, but all he wanted to talk about was his "wines". It seems he was a wine connoisseur, especially of foreign wines. Well my background was of cattle ranches, Hereford cows and Quarter Horses so we had a little trouble communicating with each other until finally he told me he had a son who wanted to be an actor. Tom and I had four childeren, all red-heads who were in the acting field, primarily at that time in commercials. Now that opened up a whole new subject - Stage mothers! It ended up, in my point of view, a very educational afternoon. It seemed, as we learned later, that the truck was really caught up in a very precariuous position and without the expertise action of one of the drivers, the truck could have tumbled quite a distance. If I do remember correctly too, we were finally summoned to come up the hill, at which time James Whitmore commenced his acting duties of the day.
On this first trip to visit with Tom, I met Michael for the first time. I soon found that Michael and Tom had a lot of fun together singing to pass the time away when not busy.
For seven months Tom was away on distant location with the Bronson crew. When the crew was shooting in and around Mesa, Arizona, I drove the children from Los Angeles to see an be with him for a few days. I didn't write down the episode we saw working at that time but I believe it was the one with Robert Hooks, whom I remembered being one of the best looking men I ever saw in my life...at that time! A lot of the show was being shot out on a deserted highway, hot and dusty, but the kids didn't seem to mind. Michael had some "lull" time and took some of it playing with our kids. Our daughter, a red-headed freckle faced kid, fell madly in love with Michael. I believe Tom has a picture somewhere of the two hitting it off real well. If I remember correctly, Michael liked children.
I might mention that the last time we saw Michael was probably in the mid-80s. My husband John [2nd husband], Tom, and all the kids and I had gone to an Italian restaurant in Studio City to celebrate one of the kids' birthdays. We were all laughing and cutting up as our family does, when our daughter spoke up and said "There's Michael Parks." Sure enough, it was. He was alone, waiting for some take-out, had just eaten or something of the sort. Tom went over to say hello and the next thing we knew Michael was at our table and we were all talking up a storm. Our daughter, by then a teenager, apparently still had her "crush", and she just sat and watched him. Possibly Michael didn't notice, but she was mighty flattered when he said to her "I remember you."
It is very hard to visualize just how many people it takes from start to finish... and how many people are affected, one way or another, to complete a film for an audience to see. It can be mind-boggling. I am sure you have become more and more aware of all this as you have been taking with the crew of Bronson. I am sure there are a zillion stories out there and a lot more interesting when talking about "bikes" and "hogs." I actually rode one of those when I was 17 years old. My cousin had a biggy. He put me on the front and said, "Let's go." Boy, was I dumb and he a mighty brave soul! We did ride about 50 miles that way (straight level road) between two little towns. Wow, that is one thing I have NEVER forgotten!!! When the kids were growing up, we did buy some Honda Trail Bikes and later, my son had a bigger motorcycle, but I can't think of the name of it. All I know is, as a mother, I was scared to death watching him ride that thing on the Los Angeles freeways. Now that I have you either laughing or shaking your head, I will close.
Is it possible that I miss "the Hollywood scene" just a little bit? Anyway, it has been enjoyable for me to reminisce a little.
[Note: the James Whitmore episode was supposedly filmed in Nevada, not Colorado. I am checking this out for a future newsletter location trivia blurb. - jonpf]
[More photos from the collection of Tom Foulkes:]
Michael Parks and Tom Foulkes in Monterey/Carmel area of California:
Jump scene near the end of The Old Motorcycle Fiasco:
Looks to me like James Hendricks and Michael Parks doing some pickin' an' singin' off-camera, maybe in Wyoming or Colorado:
In the shade during episode "A Long Trip To Yesterday" (the one with Robert Hooks - see photos from Bruce Graham, in the March 2000 newsletter):
Scene from Amid Splinters Of The Thunderbolt, with Bruce Dern (on right):
Bud Ekins on the Sportster (can't tell which episode):
Here are 5 more great behind-the-scenes photos from Bruce Graham. These are from the episode "The Spitball Kid", where Parks shows his baseball skills. Three are of him (the second includes Kurt Russell), the fourth is of Don Drysdale, who had a cameo role, and the fifth is of actress Stephanie Mann, who played Kurt Russell's character's girlfriend in the show.
[My reply to an email from a TCB fan in the San Francisco area:]
Being a resident of that area, you can see one of the problems with me trying to organize a fun TCB event while I'm 3000 miles away. Even if I look at a map, I can't tell if a ride from SF to Big Sur would be a doable thing in a day, and still get to Big Sur in time for activities there. It looked shorter than 5 hours, but I wasn't sure. It would be fun to visit TCB locations in SF, but not if it means a long, wearying and hurried trip to BS for a get together there, and some TCB location visiting there too.
Plus my trip to the doctor's wasn't all that problem-solving. I'm only on one kind of medication, and nothing for my arthritis (except over the counter stuff). I seriously don't think I could ride on a motorcycle for more than a half hour or so, if that much.
It might be fun to have a few hours in SF, either on Friday or on Saturday morning. I don't know which would be busier, traffic-wise.
One fan asked about me making a video of the event for the fans who can't make it. I could see meeting at Fort Winfield Scott (under the GG Bridge), then riding to the intersection, then up the hill, then up to Twin Peaks (with SF in the background), then around the curve at Cliff House, etc., with someone videotaping the bikers as they passed thru each scene location (recreating the opening scenes of the pilot movie). Depends on traffic, I guess.
So there's a few thoughts, off the cuff. I'll decide soon what to do and when to do it. At this point, it will be July or August.
For those of you who will be attending the TCB convention at Big Sur, if it comes off, I wonder if someone could videotape the highlights for those of us TCB fans who can't attend. It will be impossible for me to attend.
Anyway, I wish all of you that are attending the best of luck, and Have Fun!
Enjoy that barbercue!
I'm going to start a TCB 2000 Gathering email list. If you want to be on it, for emailings as things progress, click here, and mention the TCB 2000 email list. Otherwise, just keep checking back at the site.
[A heads-up from the good folks at Listen Recordings, Michael Parks's record company:]
A new magazine called Worldly Remains has published their issue #1. One of
their four feature stories is a 17-page interview with Michael Parks!!!
Yes, 17 pages, that's not a typo. Small print. Loaded with great
pictures. I'm still not done reading it and I've been working on it for an
hour. It's unpolished, but ever so interesting -- and it's pure Michael,
warts and all.
The subtitle of the magazine is "Music, Film, Tomorrow's Cult Media,
Today!". Their opening editorial deplores the impersonalization of the
internet. There is no advertising in the magazine. The entire back cover
is a glossy color photo of a young MP, possible from Wild Seed [actually from TCB].
The publisher said it is being widely distributed in LA and NY, and selectively in a few other places. She said it will be in
Borders and Tower [book, magazine & record stores] soon.
[I called the publisher and asked about it. The interview was done in late 1999. The magazine is presently available at Tower Records and Borders Book Stores and Virgin Megastores. If you can't find one there, you can email them at WorldlyRemains@aol.com
for purchase info (cost, postage, etc.), or snailmail them at Worldly Remains, PO Box 8008, Universal City, CA 91698-8008. Specifically mention that you are interested in the issue with the Michael Parks article. - jonpf]
(Anonymous, unless requested otherwise. I put these on because so many people asked me to make a fan web page so they could tell their "Bronson" stories. Also, some emails are in other sections of this newsletter, where appropriate.)
I might mention that TCB was most influential to me as a 15- and 16-year old. I bought my first motorcycle at 16 and at 17 began taking 3-4 month-long summer trips, camping across country. I've ridden coast to coast in the U.S. 4 times, through most of Canada, and even up to the Arctic Circle once, through the Yukon and Alaska. Trips lasted 9, 10, even 12 thousand miles each. I did most of this alone, wore out 3 bikes, and enjoyed truly living the solo "Bronson" lifestyle first hand.
The quiet, introspective, caring character on TCB really helped shape the kind of person I chose to become during those days. I dispair of the lack of such role models for today's teens.
Thank you for letting me know about the airing of the TCB show on Turner South... unfortunately, for the fans in the west (Denver-metro area) we are still currently out of luck. I taped several episodes many years ago but am lacking many of the shows, and would like to complete my collection. I also have the novels and record albums, as well as a few 45s sent to radio stations.
I am attaching photos of my "Bronson Replica" bike as it stands (I hope to have it complete and ready-to-go in the next few months). Since this photo the carb and correct round air cleaner are on. This conversion of a 1974 XLCH to '69 XLH with kick specs has been much more difficult than I previously imagined, however, so far it is looking great. I've tried to reconstruct it as accurately to his machine as I am able to, including converting the cam to the timer style from 1969, and using the 883 rocker covers. I hope you find it interesting. I will send you an updated photo soon and report on how well it runs. I will need to eventually repair the kickstart mechanism so will add the electric starter at that time. I can also provide some useful details should you be interested on the difficulties and differences among converting Sportsters of the 68-74 period!
I was all of 9 years old when the show originally aired, but along with my older brothers, it assuredly set the stage for our future love of motorcycling. This is the second Sportster I have owned, entirely due to Bronson! Harley-Davidson owes TCB a huge round of applause for the added influencial support! Imagine where Triumph might be had he ridden one instead (ahhh, the power of television).
Again, thanks for the great website and update, and hang in there...
[More from Don:]
The bike is simply awaiting completion, and is about as "Bronson" as I am able to get it (especially on my extremely limited time and financial budget). Special thanks to Dave Jicha Graphics for reprinting the decals for the tank (that alone saved hours of work). You are welcome to show it on the newsletter, and I will send more photos as soon as the foot of snow that hit us yesterday melts enough to roll it outside. I even have a California m/c license plate from 1968/70 I can set on it to look authentic!! I have a few more "conversion" problems to overcome, but it is getting close. It would have been much easier converting a 68-70 XLH but none came up at a price even close to what I could afford, and this one showed up at a real bargain, and had very solid mechanicals. I couldn't resist the challenge!
I will write to TBS and others to get it replayed. As I actually get the bike up and running I will start writing the nitty-gritty details and even some very good used Sportster parts contacts for serious-minded replicators! I am continually amazed that your website not only existed, but has successfully united those of us who were so influenced by a show which seemingly became entirely obscure, only to be reborn via your site. I will keep you posted.
Hang in there!
[Still more from Don:]
I slipped out after work and took these shots yesterday. They are more up-to-date than those I sent a couple days ago, and I included the vintage California license as well. Note the snow! we got a foot within a 24 hour period... not the least bit surprising for Colorado in March (March and April are the snowiest months here... heavy and sloppy!).
I sent my pleas to all the mentioned channels and companies you provided and filled out the Columbia House Video survey. Hope to sway SOMEBODY to replay the show out here.
Again, "Hang in there",
[From the guy who interviewed Parks and wrote a TCB 25th anniversary article in American Iron mag:]
Have you seen the March 2000 issue of Easyriders magazine? There is a nice piece on Michael Parks, a few color photos of him on a new Indian Chief, and a brief interview. In the interview, he reiterates what he told me almost six years ago about why "Bronson" only lasted one season in prime time. There is also a mention of a link to a Bronson related website and I assume that means your site.
The current challenge in my life is transforming my new 2000 Dyna Superglide into a Dyna Custom. The factory doesn't build a Dyna Custom, the customers have to figure it out for themselves.
By the way, in a recent issue of American Iron Magazine, there was a photo of a reader's bike. The reader restyled an evolution Sportster to look like the red Bronson Sportster.
As always, it is good to get e-mail from you. Keep up the good work on your website!
Hang in there. (Where have we heard that before?)
Thanks for this message [regarding Turner South]. It seems your years of effort are starting to payoff for the loyal TCB fans. I work in the cable/satelitte business, and I plan get a petition of all my interested subscribers to send to Columbia House Video (with copy to you). Maybe it could do some good!
Personnel note---remember the opening scene where Bronson is on the bike at the stop light and the tired businessman asks, "Where you going?" I had just finished college and was heading for San Francisco in my new sports car in 1968. Three months later, I bought a 750cc and spent the weekends on US 1 Coast Highway. Then, as a Nam Vet Marine, I did recognize this character's varied concerns as he traveled into different environments and how he could make even a small affect on the lives of others, while protecting his own space.
Put me on the mailing list, ASAP.
When I was stationed in Ft. Eustis, VA, we would gather around a bunk
with a small black and white TV and watch the show each week. Half the
barracks would push and shove to get a glimpse of the bike.
I just noticed that Michael Parks was the main character in the latest
"From Dusk to Dawn Part III, the Hangman's Daughter" movie.
Wasn't he also in a movie, years ago, where he played an undercover cop?
By the way, I ride a 90% original 1979 Sportster.
Jon--How wonderful to find this site! I have been a MP fan since first
viewing "The Wild Seed." It really appealed to my youthful romantic notions
as a girl--and called to my desire to 'waltz on the wild side.' I have all
of MP's albums and am ordering the new CD. I sang "Little Buckaroo" (Michael's style) as a lullaby to my sons when they were young. I worked as
a teen at my sister's book store on old Cannery Row in '69 and '70 (before the tourist development) in Monterey, CA. I was always hearing about MP about the town. It was disappointing that I never managed to see him. Big Sur was paradise to us all. Thank you for your great site. Glad to know that others are loyal to TCB and MP. I will always be! Please put me on your mailing list! Hope that Big Sur 2000 will be a reality! Good luck.
I have been following the site for several months and I emailed in my request to be included on the list yesterday. I fired off a letter to TNT this morning and I answered the Columbia House survey, just doing my part. I have an idea. SpeedVision has the "Lost Drive-in movie" every Saturday night. It seems to me that the TCB pilot movie would be a natural for airing on SpeedVision. Some of the movies they have aired have been pure crap. I know some of the guys at a production company that does work for SpeedVison. I'll give them a call and find out who could be contacted about programming.
Keep up the good work and "hang in there".
Please put me on your e-mail list for updates regarding Michael Parks and Then Came Bronson. I filled out the Columbia Videos survey. Hope it helps. I desperately want the albums re-mastered and re-released on CD's. Am so glad you are there. Thank you.
Hey, I just wanted to say thank you kindly for all the stuff you've done to help me find "stuff" that I enjoyed as a kid and still would like to find even more of it "today". Then Came Bronson was a *salt of the earth* type show that wasn't hokey or make believe. It was a show with "good morals" which is very hard to find now days that had a good guy doing good deeds to help others in many cases. I really enjoyed this when I was a kid of 12-13 yrs.old (1969-70) and tried my best to mock Jim Bronson on my red Honda SL-90 (SL90 wasn't the step through model either, it was a real motorcycle!) wearing my Navy watchcap. This was a good thing and I wish more
of the kids today had a hero that was the role model of Jim Bronson instead
of one of the wrestlers off the WWF series!
Just wanted to share my good fortune. My wife Nicola and I just had a son last monday the 20th of March and named him Bronson,
after the show. I also have a web-site at
where I posted a
picture of my son. As you can tell I`m a very proud dad. Check it out and if
you want we can swap links to each others sites. Take care.
My name is Shawn. I'm really glad you have a Web Page! I grew up in Maine in the 60's and 70's. The Bronson series really changed my life for the better. I bought a 69 Sprint, red of course! Traveled Me. NH. and Vt. with it. For a while I too was Bronson. If you or anyone you know has access to any videos of the show I would like to get any copies if possible. I have all of Parks records. I think it was four total!
The series changed my life for the better! I traveled out to Jackson Hole, Wy., to get a job at a summer camp but couldn't find any work. I ended up in Eugene, Or., because of a John Denver concert. I hitched around the U.S. and
Canada. It's been great! I've settled down a bit, but still having fun.
i fell in love with bronson when i was in high school. oh, the delight and magic of just driving around checking out the country. bronson was just the right thing during this time of destruction and protest. he did his protesting in a very low-key, understated, and personal way. the inherent freedom bronson portrayed is just still so inspiring. we needed/need that sort of vicarious living. at least i do!
jim was always so laid back--with his crossed legs and messed up hair. my little brother did a fab impression of parks then too. my local nbc affiliate usually pre-empted 'bronson' wednesday nights and aired the episode late nights on sundays. had a bed time established for me in those days, you see! unfortunately, i missed those eps. but the ones i did get to see, i wrote down the dialogue. i did that with some of my fave shows in those days. i have the dialogue to many of the eps! i still say 'really'--and think of 'jim' each time i say it!
was thrilled when tnt aired the series several years ago. got 'em all on tape. i even show 'the great motorcycle fiasco' to my intro to lit class in the fall semesters. theme: secrets can divide and destroy; honesty is the best policy. the kids love it! was thrilled too with the latest article in 'easy rider.' ordered the new cd last week. can't wait! i have the parks' albums. any hope of them being on cd ever? my copies are a bit frayed. i remember following my dad around in a discount house begging him for the $3 to buy 'closing the gap.' daddy finally gave in. thank the lord!
my only regret in life--never learning how to ride a motorcycle. if that's my only regret in 46 years--that ain't bad! my brother rides tho--since the '60's. i did pick out his first bike tho! he rides a harley now. i'm part owner as i helped him with the down payment! in that hd shop two falls ago, we looked at each other and he said that this was his and jim's dream come true! see? the show still impacts us! he loves to ride! an exec on a harley! now that's tcb material! i could ramble on forever! sorry to bore you. so glad i found you.
i'd enjoy being on the e-mail list.
thanks! take care!
I watched Spitball Kid, Sybil, and The Old Motorcycle Fiasco this week, and really got alot out of seeing these again after quite a while. Of those three, I really like TOMF best. Such great riding scenes...and the countryside!! It's just so awesome and beautiful! The helicopter shots of Keenyn Wynne & MP riding at the end with "Tie Me to Your Apron strings Again" playing, is just absolutely priceless. Classic, wonderful TCB. I believe it's motion picture work like this that inspires all us TCB fans to love and romance this series as we do.
Do you know any about the relationship between MP and Wynn? Just watching them work together in that episode, with their combined acting and motorcycle experience, makes me think that this was more than just another shoot for the both of them. You could just tell that it must have been a blast to do that episode.
In regard to the Sybil episode; The scene at the end, where Bronson tries to avoid the Black Cat (that appears out of nowhere) and ends up sliding the Sportster on it's left side and across the road and into a ditch. I ran that back thru slo-mo on my VCR a few times, and if Bud Ekins did that stunt, he's an absolute master at his craft. I could swear that it was Michael Parks, even playing over & over in SLP. You could still kinda see the riders face as he's slidin' down the road and into the gully, but the arms are placed strategically enough as to not really be sure as to whose real identity it is. Anyway, If I didn't know better, I would swear it was Mike. Great stuff!
I was looking for stuff for you out in the garage today. You know, the old issues of motorcycle mags that might have Bronson paint, seats, etc. The garage is a mess, but I did come up with this. But perhaps you already have it. I think I remember you mentioning it, but I'll send a scan along anyway just to be sure.
It's the Summer 1970 issue "Motorcycle Sport Quarterly." It has at least two brief bronson mentions in it, and two pictures. One is a guy playing Bronson, a shot of him riding, and the title is "Tuning for Touring." Another, near the end of the book, shows Bronson (Ekins?) hill climbing and the scoot straight up in the air and his hands still on the bars. (Pg. 189). Oops, just found another on pg. 128. 'nother guy wearing a "Bronson Beanie" under the title "Meat & Potatoes Man."
Also, there's a nice review of the 1970 Sportster. Cool pictures! A few minor changes, an "all seeing eye," and viola!
Anyway, if you have this magazine, disregard the scan. If you want me to send you good picas of the aforementioned pages, give me a holler.
OK Jon. Take care!
Thanks for the web pages. They are marvelous! I have been trying to locate these episodes on video for years. I was a teenager when the pilot aired and I was fortunate enough to see it. I never missed an episode after that. It's run was so short but I have never lost the images in my head.
I remember watching tcb as a child. It was my favorite show to watch with my dad. I thought I was probably the only one who remembered it. Until I became friends with a guy about my age who has a motorcycle. Anyway, I still have the original tcb theme song on 45rpm sung by Michael Parks. I have part of the theme song downloaded on my computer. Man I wish they would bring tcb back. I think it's what we need. My buddy and I are traveling to TN in May on our Bikes. Please include me on your mailing list.
"Hang in there"!
While noodling around in the system, I found some info concerning ERTL
model company; they're owned or are in partnership with an outfit named "Racing Champions." That website is
, and they have a
contact link web page.
I didn't have time today to make contact with the company, but I thought you might be interested.
Also, I got my winter repair of my Bronson model finished, and will send
[Racing Champions acquired ERTL one year ago, in April 1999. Send them an email and mention your wish to see the MPC Then Came Bronson model motorcycle reissued! - jonpf]
The 1965 movie, "Bus Riley's Back In Town", which starred Michael Parks and Ann-Margret, was released on video on Tuesday, April 18! I checked with Tower Records and they have it for sale at $14.95. You can also order it from Tower Records's web site for $10.00 (plus shipping): www.towerrecords.com
Go to their web site, and search for videos for name Bus Riley.
Here is a link that might work, depending on your browser:
Bus Riley video
You may be able to get it from other video outlets, and
www.Amazon.com is offering it for $13.99, on video. It doesn't seem to be available on DVD.
As soon as I get my copy and find contact info for the company releasing it, I'll organize a campaign to encourage them to release Wild Seed and Then Came Bronson on video.
Michael Parks guest starred on an episode ("George's Nephew") of the Real McCoys in the early 1960s. The Nashville Network cable channel is showing that series. I recently wrote to them about that episode, and got the following reply:
"We don't have a specific airdate for that particular episode at this time. Check in with the "Real McCoys" programming page for weekly updates": (click here)
Help get Then Came Bronson back on tv and/or on video cassette: Click here!
Columbia House Video is running a survey to see what tv show people would like to see them start offering for sale. Click on the link and take the survey (you don't have to fill out personal info), and enter Then Came Bronson as your choice (in Question 11): Columbia House Video
If the survey form doesn't come up when you click on the link, please email me and let me know, and I'll see if they have changed or moved it.