APRIL 1999

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).
Many of the small images are hyperlinked to larger versions, so click on them to bring up the big images.

CYCLES (and a special gift from H-D!)...


Well, I have to start out with a big word of thanks to Harley-Davidson Motor Company, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and especially to its Historian, Dr. Martin Jack Rosenblum, for the following photograph. When I talked to him, last year, and told him about the web site I was preparing as a tribute Then Came Bronson (and its H-D Sportster!), he was very encouraging and supportive. He also gave me a lead to a free-lance writer, who had written an article on Then Came Bronson for a motorcycle magazine, honoring the show on its 25th anniversary. The writer and I talked for over 3 hours, swapping TCB info on the show, its stars and its motorcycles. (A recent email from him is in the fan email section, below.)
Then, about a month ago, I called up Dr. Rosenblum again. I told him of how popular the site had become, drawing fans in from all over the globe, and even getting a story or two from Michael Parks. It seemed to impress him. I then asked if he had found anything of interest on TCB that I could share with the fans, and he mentioned an item, sort of a photograph/poster, that was hanging in the building where he worked. As we talked, he seemed to get more excited about how my research on TCB and its motorcycles was going. Then he asked me if I wanted a copy of the item he had mentioned. I told him I would love a copy of it! As we talked more, I mentioned that the TCB fans would love to see it on the site, and he gave his enthusiastic approval, with the reservation that it belonged to H-D and he could not authorize its copying, printing, or other form of duplication.
So, here is the item, with the permission of H-D. I think I can say, on behalf of TCB fans everywhere, that we are thankful for Harley-Davidson's generosity!

Click here Click here

If you think of it on April 24, wish Michael Parks a happy 59th birthday!

I'm sorry for not getting this newsletter together sooner. I just checked (9:00 p.m., April 4) and found that a hundred hits to the intro page had been logged since the early morning hours of April 1. However, there were things I really wanted to get into the newsletter, like the item above, and the TCB theme wave files, below, and some other stuff, and I have been battling a cold all week, too. I had bigger plans for this one than I have accomplished, but I hope it has been worth the wait.
Happy reading!


[No news, but here's their site address:]


These two web pages indicate that Long Lonesome Highway, recorded by Michael Parks, was released on CD compilation albums:
The Entertainment Company Catalogs / Classic Songs 1966 thru 1983 and... forever! / Disc 1 of 2

(Click here)

Sounds Of The Seventies: TV Themes

Some radio stations still play records by Michael Parks! Here's "Rix's Set Lists for June 2, 1998":

Here's the NYC area station's main page (with contact info):

Well, here's the opening theme to Then Came Bronson (in two formats; try the first one, and if that doesn't play, try the second one). So turn up the speakers, close your eyes, and imagine it's Wednesday night, 10 p.m., all over again...

(For Internet Explorer, click on the arrow icon; for Netscape, right-click on the icon and select from the drop-down menu. For WebTV, I don't know; if you have WebTV, send me an email on how to do it.)

(MP3 format?)

(regular Windows format?)

Here's the web site where this theme came from. (A helpful TCB fan and friend, Phil, converted one of them to regular Windows format for me.)
The site also has the closing theme, Long Lonesome Highway:

If you can't get the above wave files to play, send me an email and I'll try to help: click here!


Click here


Click here

If you like Ann-Margret, here's a poster from another one of her movies (the biker flick, C.C. and Company)...
Click here


To email me, click here!

See the fan mail section, below, for some cycle info.


To email me, click here!

[Email from a TCB fan:]

The issue of Motorcycle Sport Quarterly that had some Bronson stuff in it, was their 1970 Motorcycle Buyer's Guide published by Petersen. The inside cover has Bronson going up a sand hill riding the stunt bike "double", the HD Sprint. I believe it's probably Dave or Bud Ekins actually doing the stunt. The other pic is on pg. 15, showing Dick Hutchins placing an all-seeing eye sticker on a Sportster w/ a caption telling that Hutchins' dealership in LA. was offering the TCB replica. I can supply copies of both these pics.

[He sent them along, and here they are:]

Click here Click here

[Thanks, G.M., every addition makes the site better! - jonpf]


including comments on the possible 30th anniversary convention, Bronson scene locations, and Bronson motorcycle info.
(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.)

To email me, click here!

Hi Jon,
Just finished reading the March 1st newsletter, another great job! I read the letter about Bill talking about a Sportster that Michael Parks donated for a raffle. I remember seeing an article in the newspaper about this and it had a picture of Michael Parks standing with the bike in front of a school by the name of St. Thomas, a school the article said his children attended in California. The picture was black and white, but I seem to remember the bike was a black Sportster similiar to the one pictured in the February 1970 Cycle magazine (pg.60), the one presented to Michael by Harley-Davidson.
Anyway, I have made a few more changes to my 1999 883 Sportster Custom Bronson project bike and will send you pictures when I can. I changed out the handle bars, modified an original 1969 Sportster speedometer/tachometer chrome housing and mounted it on my bike, replaced the mirror with a round one, and am in the process of trying to change the exhaust system to look like the Bronson bike. Next is the rear fender and tail light and get the front fender chromed. I purchased rubber fork boots also and will attempt to install those soon.
Any word on the decals?
Thanks for a great web page,
Hi Jon,
I purchased a copy of the January 1970 Cycle World magazine.... I am now convinced that the tail light used is a Triumph unit. On page 73, there is a picture of a Triumph with the same tail light. There is also a Bates ad on the back of the magazine and the headlight looks correct for the Bronson bike, and the tail light looks similar. However I found a Honda Shadow A.C.E. tail light that looks close also, that I think will serve the purpose. Since I work for Honda I can get a good price for it. I forgot to mention I changed out the air cleaner for a round one, very similar to the Bronson bike, that uses a K&N filter. This made an immediate difference in how the bike runs, crisper throttle response.

Hi Jon,
Just wanted to let you know how my bike project is coming along. Since the last pictures I sent you, I have completed the following changes: new chrome lower fork legs, fork boots, chrome front fender, changed the handle bars to a similar shape as the 1969 Sportster, retro fitted a 1969 speedo/tach housing using the 1999 gauges, changed the air cleaner to the round style, relocated the foot pegs to the stock location, and modified the exhaust system to a similar dual set up as on the Bronson bike. I purchased a new headlight and tail light and plan on bobbing the rear fender next week. Once I have figured out how to mount the tail light, I will remove both the rear fender and gas tank for painting. Then all I need is the decals for the gas tank and someone to custom make a new sissy bar. I will be sending you new pictures that reflect the above mentioned modifications during the first week of April.

[Here they are...]

Click here Click here

[Coming along nicely, Tom! Keep me informed on the progress.]

Its getting to be decent riding weather here in Southeast and I've got several motorcycle trips already planned for this Spring and Summer. Any new initiative on a 30 year reunion?

I'm really enjoying your site. I was 15 when Bronson aired, immediately started wearing my cap down on my eyes just like Jim, and bought the first motorcycle I could afford, a very used Honda 90.
Hang in there.

Tell me more about the Reunion and put me on your e-mail list. I grew up on TCB. I would love to see the whole series again. I think the theme is as timely today as it was then. Just like the guy in the car at the light, we all wish we could be Bronson, because he represents true freedom.
Thanks for the memories,

I was happy to find your site. I watched TCB the first time around, through the re-runs and still try to catch the pilot any time it airs. Reading the episode guide brought back a lot of memories about the show. I was in my early 20's that first time around. I guess it had an effect on me since I bought my first Harley, a Sportster of course, last September. Now all I need is a watchcap.
The more I read here the more I'm glad I found your site. And I have to add that because of TCB, not only did I fall in love with biking but I fell madly in love with Bonnie Bedelia. Probably still am.

Thanks for the great website for us TCB fans. If you're planning on having a reunion/convention this year, you can count me in. Please let me know the time and place, and I'll be there. In regards to Bill wondering where that Sportster went. I saw it in the Petersen's Motorama Museum, in LA, but that was in about 1976. I don't know if Petersen owns the bike, or if MP only lent it to the museum.
Best Regards,

[From an article in a movie magazine, I learned that Michael's "Bronson Sportster" was raffled off long before 1976 (to help raise money for a school), so the bike in the museum may have been one of the other Bronson Sportsters - there were at least 6, plus the ones custom-made by a Los Angeles H-D dealer. Or I guess it could have been Michael's, and loaned by the raffle-winner owner.
Also, I called the museum and they don't own any of the Bronson motorcycles. - jonpf]

a few weeks back i was watching an old perry mason show on channel 56 (orange county, ca) and nearly fell off the couch when i realized the young man co-staring that night, opposite bette davis no less, was michael parks. he played a misfit (what else is new?) accused of killing his cousin and betty davis was his attorney. got off of course. raymond burr just had a cameo role that night playing his part from a hospital bed. i didn't catch the episode title or year made, but it probably would have been the very early sixties. just another tidbit to add to the mp files.
best regards,

[That was the episode entitled "The Case of Constant Doyle." Bette Davis had high praise for Parks' acting abilities! - jonpf]

I finally found what I've been looking for. I am a real BIG fan of Michael Parks "then came Bronson", but I very rarely get to find it anywhere.
Thanks for your help.

[From another fan about the convention:]

Hi Jon,
Just read your 30th ann. con. page and sent an email to Molly about it. I sure would like that thing to happen in Austin since it's only about a 7 hour drive from my house. At least somewhere in the central US to be fair to everyone. I hope you've got some readers in the Austin area that might pull it together. I met two Bronson fans through ebay this last week that hadn't heard about the new CD or your newsletter so I sent 'em in your and Molly's direction. Put that thinking cap on and let's find some way to get Michael to Austin!!
Take care,

[Email from another fan regarding the 30th anniversary convention:]

Hi Jon,
Well, that was kinda interesting [referring to a convention email in March]. It seems [Parks] doesn't really want to have anything to do with his old character, Jim Bronson, or the TV show. So what kind of 30 year reunion would that be? It sounds like he would be turned off if we wore brown cords, watch caps and brought any motorcycles or swapped stories of how Then Came Bronson influenced all of our lives. Is that the feeling you got? I hate to say it but we might be better off organizing our own event without him so we can enjoy what we all have in common, Then Came Bronson. Maybe we could get other folks that were a part of the film crew to make an appearance. Heck, we could just meet in some Holiday Inn, rent out the ballroom, play Michael Parks, records/CD and mingle with each other. Have a Bronson Bike contest, [and] individual look-a-like contest for best costume. Watch the Pilot movie together, sing along with MP's records/CD's, swap stories and share each others' experiences.

[Don't give up hope! We may be able to visit with him and have our TCB fun. We'll just have to see how it goes. It may end up as just a bunch of fans camping out in Big Sur, and having a group photo on Bixby Creek Bridge. Or it may end up as two gatherings, one in Texas, and one at a TCB episode location; no reason why not. But whatever happens, wherever it happens, and whoever does and doesn't make it, let's enjoy what we can, and not let disappointments get in the way. Hang in there. - jonpf]

Last night I watched A LONG TRIP TO YESTERDAY and it occurred to me that you once alluded to a story about the black stunt man who stood up on the saddle of the Electraglide. What was the scoop?

[Bud Ekins told me that they needed a black stunt man who could ride a motorcycle, and they found this guy in LA and hired him. Well, he apparently saw it as his big break into Hollywood, so he bought a nice white suit, and brought his whole family out to where they were filming the episode, and walked around like a big star. The whole family was beaming with pride. Unfortunately that was about all the good that ever happened to the guy - the episode appearance never lead to anything in Hollywood.
That's the best that I remember of the story, since my tape recorder malfunctioned. I'll ask him again, the next time I talk to him. - jonpf]

Please put me on the e-mail list for Then Came Bronson. I own both Michael Parks albums. I once had the MPC model kit of his motorcycle. I will write to TNT and TBS so they will know there is interest in the show.
It is great to know that there is still interest in the Bronson show.

Dear Jon,
I have just spent the better part of the last two and a half hours browsing your site. Like so many others I want to thank you for your time and effort in putting together this beacon that will bring all of us TCB and Michael Parks fans together and bring us home from the road. It feels that way sometimes, since Jim never came in from the road, it is almost like we are still out there looking for the way back and we have you to thank. I still kick myself, and have the imaginary scars to prove it, for having lost all my TCB memorabilia over the years. I, too, had the albums, the model, and may still have the books somewhere. I have some copies of the series, when it ran on a Canadian station out of Toronto some years ago, on beta. I agree with one fan who wrote that it would be nice to see an interview or some participation from MP on this site. Please sign me up for the newsletter and I will contact various sources that you mention to try and rekindle interest in reissuing the models, albums and a running of the series.
Thanks again and look forward to hearing more from you soon.

Man, the internet never ceases to amaze me, just came across your site and I didn't think anybody remembered this great show, please add me to your mailing list. I'd love to get a tape of the pilot, do you know if any are available or if it will be broadcast? Thanks

[One thing to do is send emails to TNT, TBS and Columbia House Video, to encourage them to re-air (or release on video) the show. There's an email function at the bottom of this newsletter to send them your thoughts. - jonpf]

[Got this email in March from a musician friend of Michael Parks:]

[I was] a steel, dobro, and harmonica player on the Then Came Bronson series and recordings. I lost track of my good friend. Hope he is doing well.
[I replied, asking him about his participation on the show:]

I played on all of the Bronson T.V. series and all the albums. I will have to look at the albums, then I can give you more details. As far as stories, I'll have to think about that. Good Web page, Keep up the good work.

Please include me on mailing list. Thanks!
The "music" in the episodes was really something! Don't you agree! Both the theme and the background music, and of course - Michael's nice singing! I'm one of the very few lucky ones to own the original "Then Came Bronson" MGM album, "Long Lonesome Highway", in perfect mint condition.! Has a great photo of Michael on the front, and a nice one of him on his Sportster, on the back.
Thanks so much for taking the time to put together this great website!!!!!

I have meant to write you and tell you about the CD. I finally got it, promptly, as I got it straight how to order. And a few emails from Molly. Gosh, those people are nice. Of course I LOVE it, but I never doubted that I would. :-) Actually, I like it better than I thought I would. And the rocking chair song I can identify with. :-)
I will give you a better review later. I still have a copy I need to mail to a friend.
Take care and God Bless,

I am tickled to find this site. TCB was my favorite show even though I was young and missed a lot of them because of the time the show came on. Bronson became my idol when I was a teenager, I could relate to his wanderlust and motorcycle interest.
I have a copy of one of the paperback books and also have the Long Lonesome Highway album.

I saw your update on the convention. I forgot to mention in my suggestions why I said anything about the Kansas City location. I picked that area because of the Sportster plant and because it is centrally located in the U.S. Also, I like your idea and Mark's about the Big Sur area. I would love to ride that same highway with the Bixby bridge!

[Kansas City is also where the new CD was recorded! - jonpf]

[In a previous newsletter, I posted a photo from a fan who recreated the Bronson Sportster. I recently asked him about the paint he used:]

Dear Jon,
The color I used was called SPITFIRE ORANGE which was the same paint used on a Plymouth Volare with the Roadrunner package in 1976, I believe. If I had to do it over I would choose a redder shade. At the time I painted my bike, it matched very well with the cover picture off of the model box. What I didn't realize was that the cover had faded slightly over the years.

Hi, Jon! --
Attached is a file that you might find interesting for your TCB website. It's an article I found in the archives while working at THE JACKSON HOLE GUIDE newspaper years ago. If it doesn't open properly, please let me know via e-mail, and I'll send a copy on paper to your regular mail address.

Anyway, I have lived in Jackson Hole for 18 years, coming here mainly after seeing this place on TCB while a senior in high school. "The Old Motorcycle Fiasco" is the episode that did it; made me a fan for life, watched every episode and am thrilled to have 24 of the 26 on tape, courtesy of TNT broadcasts. I noticed that my friend, Jimmy (my wife went to high school with him and was here during the filming, also), has corresponded with you, his family home being the one used in the "Fiasco" episode. Some good stories involving him that I will pass along later.

The article has some curious errors ("Here Comes Bronson"???; two episodes in the headline, four, correctly, in the story. But it's a relevant piece for us TCB fans none the less. I have some interesting trivia about the filming here that I have gathered and will psss along in a future e-mail for the newsletters. Keep us posted on the reunion if it takes place. And...THANKS!!

Click here

[A follow-up email from him:]

Maybe tonight when I have a lot of free time, I'll send along all the info I have on locations here and a few stories I've collected. The owner of the Americana Lodge mentioned in the article has a lot of good anecdotes about the actors (Jack Klugman was a great guy; Keenan Wynn was a hoot!). Anyway, more later...

By the way, feel free to use my name in the newsletter if you like.

A quickie about the reunion: saw the note about Parks suggesting Austin, TX. Fine with me based on whatever his schedule dictates. Although (for selfish reasons) I'd like to see it here [Jackson Hole, Wyoming], my real first choice is the Big Sur area. Why? We could talk about this at some length sometime, but I feel the definitive Bronson episodes were filmed there ("Still Waters"; The Forest Primeval" "99 Mile Circle", etc.) Besides, he was a California guy, wasn't he? Jackson Hole is hard to get to by air or car and it is expensive to stay here unless it's the Fall or Spring when lodging rates are lower.

Just some thoughts...more later, and THANKS!!
[Another one from him:]

Glad to help you out! It's my pleasure as I am as enthusiastic as you and the others who log in to the website.

Yes, the JACKSON HOLE GUIDE still is published, in fact it is one of, now, two weeklies in the valley. Very odd for a town, or area, this size, but things are very political, and politically volatile here, and have been for years as land-use issues evolve and more money constantly comes into the area. At the time I found the article, I had gone through the archives pretty thoroughly for anything such as a photo or other feature on TCB filming, but nothing else appeared. The other paper, THE JACKSON HOLE NEWS, was not being published at the time. As a quick trivia note, it was Jim's mother who started the NEWS, when she and a few others in town decided they didn't like the GUIDE's editorial slant! But that wasn't until late 1970 or so (I think).

Anyway, here's what I'm doing to gather some background info from that period, mid-June to late July, 1969. At least two of the motel owners who housed cast and crew are still here and I have contacted them for a meeting to recount some events, etc. One owned the Americana (now the Golden Eagle), which got most of the actors, and the other owned the Jackson Hole Lodge, which was in the background of the final scene of the "Fiasco" episode, and is still there. The former Americana owner, Ray, is a good friend, and I'm sure I can pump him for some good stuff. I'm also thinking of some other avenues; I'll keep you posted. Jimmy should be a real fountain of info, and I am sure he has provided you with much already. He apparently followed the production as it moved around the valley, or so he told me.

Speaking of Jim, here's a quickie about him (ask him about it next time you talk to him!): Bronson lived on in Jackson Hole after the production crew left. While they were here, [Jim] went to Rock Springs or Salt Lake City or some place and bought a new sportster. Then he had it painted up just like Bronson's, eye decal and all, bought a stocking cap and black t-shirt and ran all over the place pretending he was the "other" Jim. He got to know Bud Ekins, who was a good friend of Jim's father. Today he has a great bike collection including some Harleys, even a police full dresser. I'm sure he told you about it already.

I am taking one more look at my tapes of the Jackson Hole episodes to categorize all the shooting locations I can, but in the meantime....Much has been on the website about the locations in the opening sequence of each show, Seaside, Bixby Creek Bridge, etc. I have pinpointed the location of the ride Bronson takes over the closing credits and "Long Lonesome Highway". It was filmed while the company was here doing the four episodes in Jackson Hole. The highway coming into Jackson Hole from the south is a convergence of four different U.S. Highways: 26/89/189/191. U.S. 189 ends at the Jackson town square; the other three continue on north into Grand Teton National Park to Moran Junction, where they split: U.S. 89 and 191 join U.S. 287 and run north through Yellowstone while U.S. 26 joins 287 to the south and east to Riverton and Casper. It is on this section between Moran Junction and Jackson (26/89/191) that Bronson is riding, heading south with the Teton range to the west, on his right. Specifically, he is south of Moose Junction (south entrance to Grand Teton Park proper) and north of the Jackson Hole Airport. This is a long, straight part of the highway, just right for this type of shot. Just as he passes the scenic turn-out north of the airport, they switch to the aerial shot, BUT, not only has the sun suddenly come out, Bronson, still heading south, is back, far NORTH of where he was. Specifically, he is heading into the S-curve north of Moose Junction. Blacktail Butte, which sits across from Moose Junction, emerges on the left of the screen, just as the Tetons become visible at the top of the screen. Judging by the amount of snow still on the mountains, it was shot early in their stay, about mid to late June, which times correctly with the newspaper article I sent you.

When I get the rest of the locations sorted out (maybe I'll get Jim to look at all four episodes with me) I'll forward it all to you in time for the April newsletter.

More Later,

[Thanks for all your location help, Mark, and I wait patiently for the further info, which will go into the May newsletter. - jonpf]

[I recently found a site in Japanese about TCB, and sent an email to our TCB fan in Japan. Here's her reply:]

Hi Jon,
I hope this email will find you alright. I'm so sorry to be this late in getting back to you. Actually I went to the site you had told me about, but couldn't read it since my Netscape was an English version. I have downloaded the Japanese one and now I can read it alright. :-)
It's not only about "Then Came Bronson" but the American TV drama series between 1970-1981.
My memory was wrong; it says TCB was on here in Japan in 1974, 5 years later than it had been on in US. It explains like it is the adventure story of a former newspaper person (I didn't know that, was he?) who is hanging around by motorcycle all over the US looking for the meaning of life....hhmmmm....only 2 lines on TCB.

going thru my old albums, i found one of my favorites that i thought was lost and gone, "closing the gap" by michael parks. i can sing every one of these songs to this day for i used to do just that to the three little babys i had back in 1975. let me take you back a bit farther. when "then came bronson" aired it's first episode, i remember begging my parents to let me stay up and watch it, i was 13 or 14. this program changed my life. each weds nite i was really looked foward to this 10:00 event. my parents used it to there advantage for good grades and chores.

i remember lying awake those nites dreaming of traveling around the country, pickin up a job here and there, meeting people on my motorcyle. when i graduated from high school i saved up my $$ for a sportster. the $$ went as far as a honda 750 but it felt great anyway. my only intentions were to travel around the country to "where ever i end up, i guess." ready to leave in 1971 i asked my girlfriend if she would wait and she said she couldn't guarantee this large request. so i asked her to come with me but she said she could not morally do i made her my wife within 3 weeks...then off we went to the west.

4 children, 4 grandchildren, and our 25th aniversary in hawaii (which we rented a fatboy harley for 2 of the islands to go "wherever we would end up") we are back at looking at an old album that i just used to treasure. just for the fun of it i sat down and punched in "then came bronson" and here you are. you appear to really be into this.

can you tell me how to get another copy of this album which i raised my kids up with? my jacket is still readable but the lp is kinda rough.

hey...thanks for taking the time to listen to this, i don't think anybody else would give a flip.

(p.s. i finally got that harley, but i decided to get a heritage classic which i travel on alot. i still think of ol' mike too)

I just love the [new Michael Parks] CD. "Rockin Chair" is just about my favorite, but I love all of them. I love the back-up musicians and the choice of songs. Just great!!!!!!!!
And the thought of a reunion is great and I can dream but don't think I would be able to attend. Still thinking--maybe. Will see how things are by then. It would be a dream come true, that is for sure.

For some reason I was recently compelled to type in "then came Bronson" on my search engine. I was shocked, but pleasantly surprised, to find your web site. I never knew there were so many people affected by TCB like I was. I guess I've been a closet TCB fan for many years. I recorded several of the episodes which replayed on TBS or TNT several years ago but lost track of them. After reading several of the newsletters, I felt like weighing in with my story.

In 1969 I was a 12 yr. old kid in love with motorcycles, and TCB just fueled the fire. After owning a lawn mower engine powered mini-bike (which I rode around the yard), my parents scraped together the money for a brand new Honda SL 70 which was given to me on Christmas Eve 1970. I forced them to carry me to a shopping center parking lot at 2 am on Christmas Day to try it out. From there I got into the moto-cross scene and raced several models through the early 1970s. I later got a bad case of asphalt rash from an encounter with a taxi cab and my interest in riding faded, but never left me.

Over the years I always kept the dream of riding like Bronson, but wound up more like the guy in the station wagon. I still have the dream of hitting the road and hope to do it before I'm too old. Then Came Bronson has helped me to hold on to that dream over the years.

Keep up the good work.

[Regarding the TCB convention:]

The thing that seems to make the most sense, is to tie into an event that is already happening. Something like one of the major bike rallies. Have [Parks] be a feature at one of these. Let someone else lay out the cash. If Michael ends up a no show, just some disappointed people, not a trip to bankruptcy court.
People expect Bronson. And they will want the songs of the 70's.
You do remember what happened with Ricky Nelson years ago?
I'd love to see Michael Parks live. But, he's not Bronson anymore. He doesn't want to be. People are not going to understand this.
I'd like to see people help him find motorcycle-type songs to record.
I have planned a state rally for our national motorcycle organization. This kind of stuff takes a year (at least) to plan. It's really too late for this year. You can't even get a committed yes from Michael. Please think about this.

[From Italy!:]

Nice site !
I believed to be the only one stupid in the world remembering Bronson, but, obviously, it's not true !
In '71 TCB appeared on Swiss TV (I'm in the Italian Alps, close to the Swiss border): the "well, hang in there" - "bene, allora perche' non viene" hit me so strongly that I consider my passion for motorcycles and related feel of freedom started from there.
Sorry, actually I do not own a Sporty but a Honda, 'cause of wallet -troubles, but I like it anyway.
Could you please put me on your e-mail list ?

I noticed in the updates that there is some interest in having a 30 year anniversary get together in Austin, TX. I am definitely in if that is the locale. I live in OKC and this would be ideal for me. If I can help, let me know.

[From a guy who wrote a cycle mag article on TCB 25 years ago. I mention him in the section, "FROM MY DESK...", above:]

Your site is great! Last week I rented the video, "Niagara Niagara". Michael Parks had a large role in it. In fact he was the only "name" performer in the picture. Bus Riley and Wild Seed remain unavailable [on video].
Regarding the new CD "Coolin' Soup", during the interview I did with Mr. Parks in April of 1994, we spoke briefly about the musical side of his career and he said someone once said he had a, "good voice for coolin' soup". Well, I guess that's where the title might have come from.
Regarding the interview, I still have the transcript and the tape recordings I made while we were on the phone. It's hard to believe it was five years ago that I was working on that article for American Iron Magazine. About those other bikes in the series, there was a Yamaha and a CZ for some of the off-road shots. According to Parks, there was also more than one Sportster. One of them had a magneto. Some of his biographers put his birthday in 1938 instead of 1940. According to Parks, he began his career by using the 1938 birthday in order to, "get my card". I assume he meant a Screen Actors Guild card.
Well, I've rambled on long enough. Keep up the work on the website.

And here I thought I was the only one who ever enjoyed songs by Michael Parks. My old 8-tracks of him were purchased around 1973 from a bargain box. If I could I would still listen to them. Looking forward to someday having all his songs on CD. Will purchase Coolin' Soup.
Thanks for the web page

Re: Bronson what else?
This site has generated a lot of interest in people wanting to recreate the Bronson motorcycle. I am in the process of documenting all the non-stock parts used on this bike as to be able to supply them to interested parties. I have found sources for most of the obvious parts, but I still need better photos of things like the seat and sissy-bar and tail light. If anyone can E-mail me good photos it would be greatly appreciated.
Sporty Specialties
(714) 879-0500

[I'll put your email into the next newsletter. I'll also see what I can do, though I don't have alot of stuff on the bike that isn't already on the site. There was more than one seat (already on the site, with photos). The tail light might be a Triumph, from an ad in a 1970 cycle mag (and from the fact that MGM said it was an "English" part. Do you have a Bates catalog from 1968-69? I think Bud Ekins used some Bates stuff (at least the headlight) to customize the bike. - jonpf]

[From a TCB fan and researcher:]

Did you know there was a REAL Nick Oresko? At least the name, anyway. Apparently, [the author of the movie script] found [the name] among the list of Congressional Medal of Honor winners from World War II. Seems he was a sergeant in the army and won the medal at the Battle of the Bulge.

[Thanks for the tip. Based on your info, I located the man and asked him about TCB. He knew nothing about it, nor did he know the author. But he was pleasantly surprised to find out his name was used in a movie.
I asked him about his medal, and he said that, even though seriously wounded during the battle, he still managed to take out two enemy machine gun nests! - jonpf]

[The fan's reply:]
AMAZING, Jon!! I bet ol' Nick was wondering, "what was THAT all about?" (lol). I can't believe you actually called him...wait a minute...yes, I can (!). Once I found the name, I suspected [the author] couldn't have made it up.
Speaking of the pilot movie, I caught the Pretty Boy Floyd movie last Sunday with Parks and Martin Sheen. Was made not too long after the Bronson pilot.
Hope all is well; I'll be looking for the April newsletter...
More later,

What a great site! TCB was a big part of the formation of my personal philosophy while growing up. I got my first motorcycle at 14 years of age and have met a lot of people and learned a lot from the seat of motorcycles, ever since. Bronson was my hero. An attractive female cousin of mine once said I looked like Bronson. It took me years to come down from that compliment. I have not seen an episode since it ran originally and would love to find some to share with my kids. If anyone would like to make copies of their recordings and sell them to me I would be most grateful.
Thanks again for the great website!

I was looking at's section on Forgotten TV Shows, and sent Billy Ingram a note requesting that he do Then Came Bronson. He wrote back asking if I would do the article (for free). I did. Then I discovered your site. I thought I knew a lot about the show, but you have the definitive source here!

I was wondering if you would like to contribute some pictures for the article (it has not been put out on TVparty! yet). I added a link to your site in the article after I discovered you. It's all for no pay (of course!), but it would get your site noticed by interested people. My own site is regional in interest, but I've had a surprising number of folks find it around the country.

I have attached a rough draft.

I have made a RealPlayer sound clip of the Bronson opening, but it would be great to have it in video for TVparty!, too! I don't have the equipment for that at the moment, but maybe someone out there on your mailing list does.

Please sign me up for your newsletter, too!

My dad, brother and I all watched the show religiously. My brother still likes to ride in the Mena, Arkansas area almost every week. I loaned my tape of several episodes from TNT to him last week. He said he got lots of little shocks of recognition while watching, that he had a lot of attitudes in common with Bronson. He also noted the amazing ability of the Sportster to morph into different bikes depending on the situation.

Thanks for creating your's great.

[Look for the article on's web site in the coming months. I'll post a notice as soon as I hear it is ready. - jonpf]

Just checked out the website. Thank you again for doing it.
Books that might be of interest:
California and the West, Edward Weston and Charis Wilson. Written just before the war (WWII) it is an account of the travels and camping that the authors did during the two years of his Guggenheim grant to take photographs. I'd been to most of the places they went by the time I read the book. One review I read described it as prototype of On the Road, but that's silly.
Through Another Lens, is a recent autobiography of Charis Wilson. It sheds much light (so to speak) on life and travels in pre- and post-war US. It is another good road book.
America Day by Day. Simone de Beauvoir. An account of her visit and travels in the US in early 50's. A wonderful road book, and gives an interesting take on the US at the time of the popularization of the beats. She was romantically involved with Nelson Algren, author of Man with Golden Arm, etc., so de B got lots of exposure to hip America, but was, apparently, not in touch with Kerouac, et al.
It is important that we (somewhat) younger folks keep in mind that by the time On the Road was published, Kerouac was bored with the scene and much that was portrayed in the book had passed into commercial culture. My point in the paragraphs I'll try to attach is similar the impulse and sensibilities portrayed in TCB were already in eclipse by the time the series aired.
Anyway, I hope some of this resonates somewhere.

[A third fan from "Down Under":]

G'day Jon,
I am an Aussie fan of TCB. After watching the series I couldn't wait till I was old enough to buy a motorcycle and particularly a Harley. I have been riding motorcycles for 27 years now, the past 15 years on Harleys. My first Harley, a 1984 Shovelhead SuperGlide carried me right around Australia on a 2 year working holiday. TCB inspired my motorcycle travels. I now own a 1985 SuperGlide and it is my prized possession.


The Bronson and Tennille??? Now we know what happened to The Captain! (That red Harley was a babe magnet, for sure! Click on the images.)
Click here Click here

[Apparently, MP was in a stage production of Gypsy, with Jack Klugman and Lane Bradbury, two future guest stars on TCB. I'll see if I can get a scan of the item:]
Playbill from week of August 31st, 1959 for Gypsy with picture of Ethel Merman on cover. Cast members: Ethel Merman (Of course!), Jack Klugman, Mort Marshall, Willy Sumner, Johnny Borden, Jody Lane, Karen Moor, Jacqueline Mayro, Erv Harman, Bobby Brownell, Gene Castle, Steve Curry, Billy Harris, Joe Silver, Sandra Church, Lane Bradbury, Paul Wallace, David Winters, Ian Tucker, Michael Parks, and Loney Lewis.

Here's a real find - a lost episode of Then Came Bronson! This is from the TV Guide for March 28 thru April 3, 1970; look in the second column, 2nd or 3rd entry down from the top. Kind of makes you wonder...

Lost episode (file size: 125Kb)


To email me, click here!

See the fan email section, above, for TCB scene location info (including newspaper article) for the Jackson Hole area, where the first four episodes were filmed.


To email me, click here!

Michael Parks trading cards!!! Sorry, but this small scan is all I have. (I wonder if it gives his batting average?)

Have you sent emails to TNT, TBS and Columbia House (from my site)? If we can get TNT/TBS to show it again, we can all see it again. And if we can get somebody like Columbia House to sell it on video, they might get better copies of it (from master tapes, and no commercials)! Anyway, if you haven't already sent emails to TNT, TBS and Columbia House, here are their addresses (for most browsers, just click on them):

Here are the web address and email/feedback page address for ERTL Toys, which owned the rights to the Bronson Motorcycle plastic model. (Even if ERTL has sold the right to the model, they might get it back if enough people show interest in it!)

(Write to them and tell them you would buy at least one if they released it, and you would tell your Then Came Bronson fan friends about it.)

To email me, click here!

Click here to go to the beginning page of the site: tcb.htm ; or click on the following to go directly to these pages: main_page ; pilot_movie ; episodes ; records ; cycles ; plastic_model ; Bronson_paint ; TCB novels ; newsletter_start_page.

This page created April 4, 1999 . . . . . . . . . this web page copyright 1999, except for certain copyrighted images and text