EMAIL FROM THE FOLKS PUTTING OUT THE NEW MICHAEL PARKS CD:
[Date: Wednesday, April 01, 1998]
I have always been a fan of Michael Parks' music. I was able to contact
him about a year ago and learned that he had a half finished new album that
he had recorded in Kansas City. He is going to finish the album this month
and it will be, in part, marketed over the internet. I've heard the first
half and believe this album is going to be his best yet. Would you be
interested in having a link to the site where the CD will be sold? I will
be getting a copy of the finished DAT tape in about 3 weeks. Can't wait!
[Date: Friday, May 01, 1998]
Just a quick note.... The new CD will most likely contain 18 songs. I
went to KC to listen in on two of the sessions and I now have two CD's with
24 songs on them, but we are going to cut 4 songs. Even so it will be a 72
minute CD because we want people to get there money's worth. I'll write
again once we actually get the pressings done.
[Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998]
Thanks, for writing. Of course you can use the previous email on your
web page. Here is some additional information that may interest
people. The title of the new CD will be "Cooliní Soup". There is an
interesting story in the liner notes that Michael wrote about the
title. It will have 17 songs including:
"Big River" (John R. Cash)
"Iíll Never Be Free" (Bennie Benjamin, George David Weiss)
"Moulin Rouge" (Georges Auric, William Engvick)
"I Gotta Have My Baby Back" (Floyd Tillman)
"Rockiní Chair" (Hoagy Carmichael)
"Iím Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" (Fred E. Alhert,
"Make Love To Me" (Bill Norvas, Allan Copeland, Leon Roppola, Paul
Mares, Ben Pollack, George Brunies, Mel Stitzel, Walter Melrose)
"Itís Such a Good Day" (Jan Crutchfield)
"Basin Street Blues" (Spencer Williams)
"On the Street Where You Live" (Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe)
"Just For a Thrill" (Don Raye, Lillian Armstrong)
"Easy Street" (Alan Rankin Jones)
"Donít Go To Strangers" (Arthur Kent, Dave Mann, Redd Evans)
"Down New Orleans Way" (Michael Parks)
"Texas Plains" (Stuart Hamblen)
"Together Again" (Buck Owens)
"But Beautiful" (Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke)
The CD will be available at www.michaelparks.com. Iím not sure yet if
we will have an 800 number but Iím working on it. The release date
looks now to be early November. I was shooting for October but there is
still quite a bit to do. Once we send the master to the pressing plant
it takes about six weeks. We are close to sending it in, now that the
song list is finalized (I hope!!!!!!).
I have been working on this project off and on for over a year, and am
very excited that it is near completion. I have also been listening to
the music during that time and still love it. I hope the response to
our efforts will be favorable because we really want to do another CD
after this one.
Jon, thanks for your interest. Please use any of this information that
you wish. I really enjoy your web site.
The Holy Grail (of TCBdom, that is... sort of; click on the image for a larger view):
However, it is rather disappointing. It is not the version from the show; it is a sort of hokey 70's version. It starts out with a motorcycle starting and revving, then some brass intro that makes no sense, then sort of a James Bond theme intro (So weird! Why?!?), then a weak version of the theme music from the show for the rest of the recording.
I did hear that MGM wanted the theme song on one of Michael Parks' albums, and Michael refused. If it was the version on the above 45 that was in question, I can understand why MP would have refused. It is just a pale (and odd) version of the uplifting theme that we all remember from Wednesday nights.
But, from my point of view, it is TCB memorabilia and needs to be included in any study of the show. However, if you go looking for a copy of it, don't spend alot of money on it if you find it.
By the way, the flipside has the theme to the tv show, "It Takes A Thief."
Correction to the second line of the lyrics for the song "Mountain High" (in the May newsletter):
"Summer breeze, winter snow"
should be "Summer green, winter snow"
LLH on a compilation album: http://www.bsnpubs.com/arch07972.html
Name: Stephen Elders
From: Orange, CA
Time: 1997-07-14 22:21:00
Comments: I have the track info for Lost Hits of the '60s: 40 Solid Gold
AM Radio Classics, as requested by Richard Klakowich. I got it from
Sound Exchange a few months before it went out of business. The label
also says Warner Special Products, so you might contact that company to
see if any copies remain. The two-disc set has 40 tracks, all but eight in
stereo. Unfortunately, of those eight mono tracks, some of them have been
in stereo before, including on CD. One person wondered about "Next
Plane To London" being in stereo on the set; alas, it's one of the mono
tracks. Here is the rundown:
DISC ONE: Lazy Day - Spanky and Our Gang (S)/The 59th Street Bridge
Song (Feelin' Groovy) - Harpers Bizarre (S)/Master Jack - Four Jacks and
A Jill (S)/Western Union - Five Americans (M)/Morning Girl - Neon
Philharmonic (S)/Brand New Me - Dusty Springfield (S)/Turn Down Day -
Cyrkle (S)/Shame Shame - Magic Lanterns (S)/Baby, I'm Yours - Barbara
Lewis (S)/I Got Rhythm - Happenings (S)/Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty
Springfield (S)/Bowling Green - Everly Brothers (S)/Don't Just Stand There
- Patty Duke (S)/Sweet Inspiration - Sweet Inspirations (M)/Goodbye
Columbus - Association (S)/Pied Piper - Crispian St. Peters (M)/Best of
Both Worlds - Lulu (M)/Will You Be Staying After Sunday - Peppermint
Rainbow (S)/Next Plane to London - Rose Garden (M)/Bottle of Wine -
DISC TWO: Games People Play - Joe South (S)/Baby the Rain Must Fall -
Glenn Yarbrough (S)/I'm a Fool - Dino, Desi and Billy (S)/Apricot Brandy -
Rhinoceros (S)/The Crying Game - Brenda Lee (S)/And Suddenly - Cherry
People (S)/Malibu U - Harpers Bizarre (M)/Alice's Rock & Roll Restaurant -
Arlo Guthrie (S)/D.W. Washburn - Monkees (S)/Classical Gas - Mason
Williams (S)/Indian Lake - Cowsills (S)/Action - Freddie Cannon (S)/Mr.
Bojangles - Jerry Jeff Walker (S)/Nashville Cats - Lovin' Spoonful
(S)/Come On Down to My Boat - Every Mother's Son (S)/I Love You -
People (S, with intro)/Little Arrows - Leapy Lee (S)/Mr. Dieingly Sad -
Critters (S)/Long Lonesome Highway - Michael Parks (S)/Let It Out (Let It
All Hang Out) - Hombres (M).
FOR WILD SEED FANS...
A still from the movie (click on the image for a full view):
FOR BUS RILEY'S BACK IN TOWN FANS...
A scan from the pressbook (click on the image for a full view):
What year(s) Sportster(s) did Bronson ride? Interesting thing about the photos of Bronson's Sportster, compared to photos of the 1969 and 1970 Sportsters from cycle magazines (photos of the left side of the engine): at least two different years of Sportsters, and maybe three, seem to have been used. The photo (used on the plastic model box) of Bronson's Sportster is clearly a 1970. But the Then Came Bronson photo from the January 1970 Cycle World is definitely not a 1970 Sportster (based on left side engine case cover). Nor does it match the one of the 1969 XLCH Sportster from the December 1968 issue of Cycle magazine!
I've also included some scans of the right side of the engine - from the TCB pilot movie, and another from a tv magazine, but clearly the same cycle. Maybe some Sportster fans can help identify the Bronson cycles.
Just for fun, here is a scan of the '69 Stock Sportster from the Dec 68 issue of Cycle: Stock 1969 XLCH
For Harley-Davidson history buffs, check out the book "Harley-Davidson, The Milwaukee Marvel," by Harry V. Sucher, 4th Revised Edition, published July 1988, by Haynes Publications. (You can probably get it through your public library.) Almost 400 pages of history and photos, and even a mention or two of Then Came Bronson (though no index entry for it). This isn't a coffee table book on H-D cycles, this is an extensively researched and documented book.
Found this trading card in a record and memorabilia store the other day. Kind of interesting mostly in that it is a 1969 Sportster, with a Cobra-style seat - like Bronson's. Click on the hyperlinks below the thumbnail:
Photo of a 1969 Aermacchi H-D Sprint 350 from Todd (click on the thumbnail photo, below):
(Mine was a '70 Sprint, and red, but close enough! Still brings back memories.)
[From a newsgroup posting on the Aermacchi motorcycles; Aermacchi was bought by H-D about 1961 to challenge the smaller-size imports:]
After WW II, the Harley lighweights were American made versions of the German
Zindapp 2-stroke which was also the source of the post WWII BSA Bantam.
Eventually the 125 became a 165 and there were also some 175 versions.
In 1961 HD wanted to expand their lighweight line and bought 50% of
Aermacchi in Italy. By late '61 or so, the 250cc Sprint 4-stroke was coming
to the USA in essentially Euro market dress. By 1968, HD introduced a 125cc
street 2 stroke (Rapido). Somewhere around 1965 the American made 2-strokes
ceased production. HD also made a golf cart and a motor scooter in this
time frame and some of the engine parts for those American made items were
made by Aermacchi. By 1973 HD attempted to update their lightweight line and
due to Fed Regs needed directional signals.
Thus, in 1973, all Aermacchi-Harleys were 12 volt, had directional signals,
alternators and much improved electrics. The Sprint was increased to 350cc
in 1969, secondary to AMA short engine rule change. In Europe, the Italian
factory kept up a tremendous road race program with a 125cc Gold Wing (based
on the 125cc Rapido) and the Sprint CRTT 250 and 350cc Road
Racers. Interestingly, the Italian Aermacchi street bikes were DIFFERENT than
the USA version with bigger fuel tanks, better seats and the cafe racing
syle. The street version of the Sprint in Europe was 350cc in the '64-'65
time using a dry clutch, etc., which the USA didn't get until 1969.
By '73 the 2 strokes had an injection pump, so premixing was not
needed, except for the 100cc BAJA dirt bike which continued to be pre-mix.
In 1974 they introduced the SX 175 to try to compete with the Yamaha DT 1.
The 1973 Sprint was updated with the 12 electrics, double down tube frame,
electric start and really a gourgeous seat-tank configuration. The new frame
was very heavy although it reminded one of the Norton featherbed and the
off-road 250 and 350 Sprint the Factory scrambled in Italy in the early '60s.
The '73 Sprint's elctric start was reliable if you didn't use it. If the
machine flooded and backfired, the starter gear assembly self destructed; there was no provison for it to freewheel. The factory had a fix, but you
had to buy it, and by the time they came out with it in Dec '74, the damage to the market was done. But, an extremely fun bike to ride.
The SX 175 was truly a GOOD bike that needed some suspension and tires
tuning if you wanted to be serious about off-road. The SX 250 came in '75
and had gear box problems but the factory fixed it. The street version of
the 175 SS came in 1975 while the SS250 was introduced in '75.
The really big problem with the post-'73 2-strokes was the Harley Dealer.
Most hated two strokes and dirt adventures. Thus, no one knew to change the
air filter after every dirt ride or even to change the gear oil after
every ride or maybe after every 4-5 rides (super cheap insurance). Owners
also failed to add oil to the oil injection tank; thus the machines seized and with the 175 and 250 having a chrome bore, both the cylinder and piston
needed to be replaced. The cost was close to what the bike was worth so lots
of the machines were abandoned.
Parts are available - for the most part. 250 gears and cylinders and pistons
are rarer that the 175 because less were made. Current cost of a new
cyl/piston is $200. So if a machine is locked up, has rusted
chrome, and maybe missing stuff, they're worth no more than the cost of the
Every year my son and I take our street Harley 2 strokes to Daytona:
Me; 1976 SS 175 with over 10,000 miles, Mike with a 1978 SS250 with (I think)
about 2000 miles on the clock.
2 places in the USA (CA and IL) have a bunch of parts plus me - I bought out
about 6 dealers and search the swap meets and buy homeless machines. I also
fix them on the side - which supports my Vintage MX racing habit. To completely restore a non-runner will cost more than it's worth, but you own an Italian bike so you understand - it's LOVE.
[A posted reply message:]
You left out the most important part. On the old NBC-TV show "Then Came
Bronson," (from the late '60s, a surly loner off on a cross country to
see old friends on a Sportster) the opening credits always featured him
frolicking on the beach, purportedly on his Sportster, but in reality on
the 350 Sprint. Until I knew one bike from another, I really thought you
could take a 600 pound iron Sportster in the sand, until I tried it
(desert racers notwithstanding). Nevertheless, that show got me back
into biking, a curse I still suffer from.
[The bike on the beach in the intro scene to the episodes was a CZ; the scene was from the pilot movie. The Sprint wasn't used until later, not until the second episode: THE GREAT MOTORCYCLE FIASCO. Not hard to mistake the two, if you haven't seen TCB in almost 30 years - jonpf]
Flip (1970 - Jan., Feb., May and Oct. have articles on "Then Came Bronson"; March has a pin-up of Michael Parks) L.A. Herald TV Weekly Magazine: 1970-01/04-Michael Parks in "...Then Came Bronson" L.A. TV Times Magazine: 1969-12/21-Michael Parks of "...Then Came Bronson" Modern Movies: 2/1/70 (Article is Michael Parks: "Did I Kill My Wife?" - 1 picture; 3 page article) Modern Screen: 1/1/70 (Article is Michael Parks: "I Got a Girl in Trouble" - 5 small pictures; 3 page article) Modern Screen: 6/1/70 (Article is Michael Parks: "His Own Worst Enemy" - 1 full page color picture (he's actually smiling and clean-cut looking); 10 smaller; 4
page article) Modern Screen: 5/1/71 (Article is Michael Parks: "Victim of Yet Another Tragedy" - 1 picture; 2 page article) Photoplay: 6/1/70 (title of article on Michael Parks unknown)
FROM TCB FANS EVERYWHERE...
(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.)
Viewed your Web page...pretty cool. i remember watching then came bronson
when i was 14 years old in 1969. the show was very influential to me in
some respects. i also have two of the paperback books. sorry, do not have
the red paint for the motorcycle!! well, just wanted to drop this
message...it's great you set up this site for one of the best shows ever on
great site ... i'm a big fan of that old series "then came bronson" and just
bought my first sportster last year!
i too have put in requests every month for TNT to re-run their show or movie
... i didn't realize that the
show only ran one year ... but, then again ... back then when i was only 14-15
... years were a lot longer! i remember my mom loved the show too ... in fact
i think the whole family enjoyed it (even with me being the only "biker" in
the family) ...
yep ... i even remember making Mom go out and buy me pants like Bronson's
(remember those gold corduroy things) ...
i got major mid-life crisis last October and went out and got me a brand
spanking new 98 XL1200S Sportster Sport (95th anniversary) ... my excuse was
that my old bike was/is on it's last legs (83 Yamaha Venture ... a bit
different than the sport!) ... I LOVE IT!!
let me know if you ever hear of the show being on ... i live in san diego ...
[From a fan in San Francisco:]
Just when you think you're the only one out there!!!
Just happened to search then came bronson to see how extensive the info on the web really was and here was your very cool sight!!!
Thanks alot. Now my girlfriend really thinks i'm crazy!!!!
Yes, put me on the list.
Hi! Did you know that SF is not far from the pilot movie locations? I put some stuff in the second newsletter, and am working with a fan from Stockton to add specific locations and photos of then-and-now to the site, so check back from time to time.
As to your girlfriend, give her time. One fan whose wife thought he was going nuts about Then Came Bronson - well, he came home one evening and found HER listening to a Michael Parks' record! So, "hang in there."
I share your fascination with Michael Parks and the "Then Came Bronson"
series. I'd read a little bit in "Cycle World" magazine (back in the '70s)
about the tragedies that seemed to follow Michael Parks (the deaths of both
his wives and his daughter) and was quite moved by this. I still have all
his albums (LPs, for crying out loud) and actually taped some so I wouldn't
wear out the vinyl. I was pleasantly surprised many years ago to see him
appear on the wonderfully bizarre "Twin Peaks" television series. If I
recall correctly, he played a character named "Jacque" or something like
that. I hadn't seen or heard anything about him for years, so it was good
to see him still working.
Anyway, I've e-mailed TNT to try to get them to run a Michael Parks or Jim
Bronson special week. It would sure be a welcome change to the WCW trash
that they seem so bent on.
Thanks for the web site. I enjoyed it.
P.S. Yes, I ride a Harley because of my exposure to Bronson and the
freedom of the road he portrayed. In fact, I used to have a red Sportster.
I still intend to build a replica of the Sportster Bronson rode in the
Wow! Thanks for the quick reply. I really didn't expect to receive
anything back so soon. Ref the "Cycle World" article, no I don't have a
copy of it, but I'll hunt around the Internet and check with some "pack
rat" riding buddies to see if they might have a copy. I'll relay my
results as soon as possible.
I was elated to hear that Michael Parks is putting out another album! I
just about grew up on that music and my teenage daughters still like me to
sing them to sleep with "My Little Buckaroo" from the "Closing the Gap"
album. I expect THEIR children will be sung to sleep with that old tune as
I like the idea of the EYE being reproduced in various ways. I'm toying
with the idea of an EYE window sticker for a vehicle so all of us TCB fans
can identify each other on the road. It would at least be a conversation
piece for those so inclined.
Again, thanks for the reply. I know we'll be in touch through e-mail or
the newsletter. Thanks again for the website! Warm regards,
What a nice thing it is to have found this site.
Read you bio, TCB made a life-time impression on me too. Except I was
only 14 at the time. The Bronson character became something of a role
model for me. Not that my father wasn't, in fact it was my folks that
made sure I watched the pilot movie. I became hooked and watched the
series religiously. I still have Michael Parks' albums and know every
song by heart. Had the Sportster model and the paperbacks.
In 1980 after having left the Coast Guard and finishing 2 years of
college, I could not put it off any more. I bought a '76 Sportster and
with one of my best friends rode our bikes from Des Moines, IA to
Seattle to visit a mutual friend that had moved out there years
earlier. Then we rode up into Canada through Banff and Jasper parks and
down through Calgary and back home. It was a dream realized.
Sold the Sporty when I got back, though. It had broken down on me 3
times on the trip! But, what the hell!
Hang in there!
Feel free to put my comments into the newsletter.
My name is ___ and I just wanted to thank you for having something about
Michael Parks and "Then Came Bronson" on the web. My friend and I were
watching a recent video called "Niagra, Niagra" and remembered Michael Parks
and started vaguely remembering the series starring him. I was 6 years old at the time this series aired on NBC....but eventually the name came to me. To verify this I had to get online and double check to see if I was right. Thanks to you, I can sleep well tonight knowing I was right....haha
[Remember the email from the guy who met Michael Parks on a riverboat in New Orleans? Well, he sent me a scan of the photo. Click on the thumbnail photo:]
"Attached is the photo taken of myself with M.P. in May of
'91 in New Orleans. The quality is not as good as I'd like, the lighting was
poor. But at least it proves that I met him.
I listened to "Blue" the other day in the car. Got goose bumps when he sang "Sally Was A Gentle Woman". It's the same effect I got when I heard it nearly 30 years ago. I'd like to get ahold of some of his albums which I haven't heard; I have Closing the Gap, Long Lonesome Highway, and Blue.
I really enjoy the web site. It's great to know there are other fans of
the show out there. Wouldn't it be great if there was a 30th anniversary
convention and he came? I would definitely try to attend.
Take it easy,..."
You sure found a Then Came Bronson fan. Since I was 12 years
old at the time, my late mom used to let me go to bed early at
about 7:30 p.m. and then get up at 10 p.m. EST to watch the show.
It had a long lasting effect on me. At age 17 I rode my Honda
250 dirt bike across the country and back (N.J. to California
to Florida to N.J.) under the auspices of visiting my proposed college in Greely,
Colorado. There have been many,many motorcycle camping trips
since then. After college went back east and took my new wife out
west for the first time on my Beemer. We moved to N.M. shortly
thereafter. Next weekend I intend to take her off into the
desert again since her folks are visiting from New Jersey
and can watch my daughters. When they raised the interstate
speed limit here in New Mexico, I traded my '71 Yamaha XS 650
for a '80 Honda CX 500. It's happy at 80 m.p.h. all day,
the '71 650 wasn't. They let us get away with 80 even though
speed limit is 75 m.p.h.
Yeah, I really thought I was Michael Parks during that trip
in the spring of 1975. Had a week off for Easter break,
then cut two more weeks of high school to do it, visited
old girl friends and grew up along the way.....
Thanks for the TCB site address......Too cool.....
Man, either you are or ought to be committed! ;^)
Thanks for the email... brings back fond memories. I never saw any of the TNT
reruns. Hope they show them again!
This is great. I was so upset because Michael Parks main homepage was removed. I had it saved. I have a few other ones--- not as good but with films -- would you like them???
More-- more -- more - please!!
Is there a way to purchase some of his albums?? I have the first 3, didn't know there were any more.
He has been my favorite --- and only one I have really stuck with for 30 some yrs.
Guess I am a fan. Thank you for your site. I will check often.
I recently rediscovered the show from a rerun of the pilot movie. I've
managed to track down 5 episodes only. I always knew someday, somehow,
someone would come up with a web page. Way to go! Thanks for the effort
and keep up the great work. Much appreciated...
I checked your site and am very impressed. I wonder where you heard/read about
my love of this show? -- Since a young boy I have always considered this show
one of the best offering tv ever made. -- I have 5 Michael Parks albums and am
very pleased to say I also have a copy of the pilot movie off tv several years
back. Sadly the copy is badly edited and the quality of the airing was poor. I
will further investigate your site and wish you all the best maintaining an
archive which is as much a part of Americana as rock and roll.
All the best,
I don't know how I got on your e-mail list, but thanks. I was a fan of
Michael Parks many years ago and enjoyed both the Then Came Bronson
series and his movie roles in The Happening and Bus Riley's Back in
Town. He just seemed so cool all the time riding his hog. He was
something of a babe magnet as Bus Riley. That also helped his image with
Thanks for your reply...........still hard to imagine how people get
seemingly insignificant information from deep inside one's
website.........a fleeting mention and it's in a database........
I would be glad to chat with you about the show.........it has always
held a special place in my heart as well..........I got into riding late
in life, but the dream to ride was kept alive by Bronson.
I worked for Said Productions/Cinemobile Systems. They provided the
"studio on wheels" that allowed for all the location work to be done at
a reasonable price. I was the Operations Manager at the time of
Bronson, and escorted the first bus-size Cinemobile from Burbank to
Jackson Hole, where the location work began. I spent some time in
Wyoming as they filmed the first few episodes, and flew there later to
deliver some equipment.........
That was a story all by itself, that trip to deliver the first
Cinemobile ..........I left with one hour's notice, drove straight from
Burbank to Nephi, Utah...........quite an adventure.
The story of the Cinemobile is quite interesting, and I'm sure they
couldn't have made the Bronson series without it. I can give you a
complete history of that company, as well. The man who created it was an
old friend of mine, Fouad Said.
I still love and play the song, "Long Lonesome Highway" by Michael
Parks. Great stuff!
Great site! Then Came Bronson was a major factor in my adolescent years (I was the guy in the black stocking cap that rode the Honda 305 Dream customized to look like Bronson's Sportster). I built the Bronson model motorcycle with care (I remember even scuffing up the tires with sandpaper to make them look "ridden on"). The model even had tiny little rubber cables for the brake and clutch. My brother still has my two old Michael Parks albums, including Long Lonesome Highway. They've been played so many times they're really scratchy! Thanks for the memories -- you've obviously put in a lot of time and research on your site.
"Then Came Bronson" was one of my all-time favorite television shows.
I now ride a red 883 Sportster, and though its quite different from
Bronson's, I still think of the show often when I ride. I would be
very interested in knowing of any upcoming showings of the movie or
First, thank you for putting this page together. Back in spring '89, I was working midnights and stumbled across reruns of then came bronson
airing at 3am. I was awestruck and changed. As soon as the weather
changed I bought a used bike and took off across the country for three
glorious weeks....all the while hearing the theme and music in my head.
I haven't passed a season without one long solo trip since. Is there
any where I can find videos of the series/pilot or albums or posters? I
am thrilled there are others out there like me.....my wife was starting
to worry. Please add me to the mailing list and keep me updated......I
know its a long shot but are there any talks of a new movie or even
Just droppping a line to say thanks for the TCB website. Great memories and great info!
It was my favorite show back in the 70s when I was about 10 years old. I wish it had continued
for more than the 26 episodes. Do you have any idea about where I might be able to purchase
copies of the television show, the movie or the movie "The Wild Seed"? I'd like to own all of them.
Any ideas please e-mail me. I also own the Album "Closing the Gap", but I've about worn it out.
Any places I might find some of the other albums? Once again, thanks for the info. I'll visit
the site often for any updates. (and yes, the show got me interested motorcycles and I now
own my own Sportster!).
This is an excellent site!! I can't believe all the info you compiled on TCB!
I liked the show so much, I bought a 1970
Sportster (though the bikes for the show were supposedly '69 Sportster
Anyway, GREAT website!!!
Great Site! I really liked the series... and thanks for the e-mail letting me know
it was there. With your permission, I'd like to link my sites tcb reference to your site.
It was such a thrill for me to find information about TCB after all these years!
It has been my favorite tv show of all time. It was such an influence on me that I have owned 4 Harley-Davidson Sportsters and I have been known to wear a black stocking hat and leather jacket. In fact one of the Sportsters that I owned was a 1969 XLH, the exact same model Bronson road, and I made a Bronson replica out of it right down to the chromed chain guard and the eyeball on the gas tank.
Years ago I heard a rumor that Harley-Davidson had made a limited number of replica sportsters and these were sold as a special edition "Bronson Special", but I never ran in to anyone who really knew if this was true or not, so I wrote a letter to Harley-Davidson and they were kind enough to write back to me after checking with Willie G. Davidson. Apparently there never was a "Bronson Special" produced by Harley, but they did photo copy some old ad-slicks from back then and some copys of the bus that the film crew used on location and pictures from a couple of the episodes.
Also a couple of trivia items: I read in a motorcycle magazine written in about 1980 an article about Bud Ekins and it said that the original bike for Bronson was to be a full blown chopper (as in EASY RIDER) but that with a chopper it would significantly limit the stunts that could be done so they settled for a sportster. Secondly, if you can believe what Hollywood says Bonnie Bedelia was born in 1952 which would mean she was still a teenager when the pilot was filmed and aired. Makes you wonder?
Thanks for all your work on this site . WELL, HANG IN THERE!!
I have just found your web site. About 20 years ago, I had 2 of the Michael Parks albums on cassette and lost them both. The 2 albums I had were on cassette and were purchased that way. They were "Closing the Gap" and "Long Lonesome Highway." Can you tell me where I can get all 6 of the albums? I don't care if they're on cassette or record or 8 track, I plan on having them put on CD. Any leads you can give will be greatly appreciated. Sincerely,
Really love your work and dedication. I also had a bike back in the sixties
and seventies (triumph chopper), and truly miss this series. If you hear of
any releases of tapes of the shows, I would be very interested. I will
continue to check your page for TV replays. Thanks for your efforts ! P.S. - I have a Harley now.
WOW! I can't believe you actually have a web site dedicated to this
show! I didn't think anyone would remember it! Yes, I'm a fan of the show. I once read a cartoon in Mad Magazine or
some publication like that which interviewed Michael Parks, the star of
Then Came Bronson. The interviewer would ask a question and the
response would be, "mumble...mumble...mumble...." I was madly in love
with Michael Parks and watched the show religiously.
I am 99.9% certain I saw Parks in an episode of Walker: Texas Ranger in which he played a bad guy, former Marine, arms
dealer & mercenary, who was out to get Walker for killing his brother in a
It was some of the best acting I have ever seen on 'Walker'.
Thought you might be interested.......
Man, the site is really shaping up! I think a few letters to the major
bike mags announcing the site would have your webpage counter climbing steadily.
I'm gonna dig up that letter from NBC explaining the show's
cancellation. You'll get a kick out of it.
I just wanted to thank you for putting up a web site about Then Came Bronson.
I was just 8 years old when it first aired, but remember being fascinated
by the character and his motorcycle.
Do you remember The Smothers Brothers parodying the show on their variety
show? They put deadpan comic Pat Paulsen on a ridiculously extreme chopper
(I remember the handlebars being especially angular and odd-looking) and
called the recurring segment "Then Came Paulsen." It was very funny, with
Paulsen's deadpan the perfect flipside to Parks' cool demeanor.
Younger (and sometimes older, even) friends of mine just look at me funny
when I tell them about this great show. Bronson (the show and the
character) was the coolest.
Why is it that our only "travel around and get involved in other people's
lives" shows today are set in outer space? It's time for another Bronson or
Route 66 or Run For Your Life.
[Here's the email that started this fan feedback idea:]
Here's an idea: I suspect there are lots of recovering "Bronson
wannabes" out there (like us!). I think it would be cool to have a
page dedicated to people's individual "Bronson Experience". I bet
you'll get some true stories that will rival the plots outlined in the
episode summaries! Whaddya think?
I really like your web site. I have been looking for a good "then came
web page for some time. I saw the pilot show in 1969; I was 12 years old at the
time. Drove my family crazy trying to absorb the weekly series; no one
was allowed to talk during the
show!! Been in love with Harleys since then. I purchased my first
Sportster in 1976 , it was an 1973 XLH; a friend of mine
had a 350 Sprint, and we used to ride all over the Bershires (Mass). Sure do
miss those days!!!! Just sold my 1973 Sportster and purchased a 1977 Big Twin Harley. I
still ride all the time but it sure is not the same as riding in the
mountains of Mass., but at least I don't have to sit out the five months of
winter anymore. I don't think I could survive life without it. It is my sanity
Thanks for taking time to create the site. I, too, was a major fan of TCB.
I was 14 or 15 years old at the time & dreamed of someday doing the same
thing on a Harley.
I have a new bit of trivia for you! I was looking at the pictures of
the Bronson books when I remembered that the one with the blue cover "The
Ticket" has the picture of Bronson and his Sportster printed backwards!
The side shown should have exhaust pipes and round air breather but
instead has the horn shown and also he is driving with one hand and it
appears to be on the clutch side not the throttle. I guess the printer of
the book wasn't a Harley rider.
So glad to learn there is another human being who so enjoyed the Then Came
Bronson show! I can still recall entire episodes even 27 years later! And
get giddy with nostalgia when I accidentally encounter an episode on the
Turner Network or some other obscure cable outlet.
Well, I want you to know that you made my day. Your note came as a
real surprise. I didn't know that anyone else even remembered or knew about
the show. You did a good job. I loved the section about the first show and
the pictures with the man in the car.
I used to have Long Lonesome
Highway, but got rid of it along with all the other LPs. I regret it a bit
More fodder for the "WANTED" page... In your search for Bronson trivia,
don't forget the "Bronson Sporster" tags that adorned new H-D XLH
Sportsters of the era. The tags had the poster image "ghosted-in," and
there was an overlay of sales/marketing messages like "electric start,"
"900cc," etc. The dominant headline, though, was a bold "THIS IS THE
BRONSON SPORTSTER." The tags, which were laid out in "portrait" mode,
were about the size of a no. 10 business envelope, and attached to the
handlebars of the new bikes. It sure would be cool to get one of 'em,
How about a Bronson "faux pas" section? There were lots of sound
dubbing mistakes, for example. In the opening sequence, and, of course,
in the famous movie scene when he's in traffic with the harried
businessman, Bronson's twisting of the throttle is out of sync with the
motor's revs. Also, in the climactic hillclimb scene in the pilot, the
sound made when Bronson reaches the top of the hill is that of the
Sportster's starter motor turning over. What did the sound technician
think it was, I wonder? Screeching brakes?
You e-mailed me at my home address asking if I was
a fan. I did take a quick look at your site, but as my home computer is
a 386 with a 2400 b modem, it was painful.
Now I am at work with my screaming pentium and dedicated net hookup and
I must say I like your site.
Your feelings about being on the road are exactly what I am talking
about. With summer comng, I am getting psyched for my road trips. I
attend a lot of organzied events, but y'know, the best trips I have is
where I just take off and travel, not caring where I end up that night.
Your comments about the Sprint and the Northeast rang true with me. I
am a born-and-raised New Yorker (Seneca County - Finger Lakes) and I was
18 when TCB aired. While all my buddies had moto-X and enduro bikes, I
spent my bux on a 250 CC BSA roadster.
Later in college, my best friend had the 250 CC
version of the Aermacchi Sprint.
[I looked at the BSA 441 and the Triumph 250 - nice cycles. But I was very happy with how I felt on the "Aermacchi" - something abut the length,
wheelbase, seat type (long, flat, one level, so I could stretch out or sit
close) just meshed with me. - jonpf]
Love your site. That was the show that got me riding a motorcycle,
almost 29 years ago. From what I had read at the time, it could have
been renewed, since it`s ratings were in the middle of the nielson`s,
but Michael Parks insisted if he was to stay with the show, that it had
to be filmed with him riding his bike in Europe, and NBC wasn`t about to
come up with that kind of cash. Also, in his interview with Cycle
magazine at the time, he didn`t have many good things to say about
riding a Harley. I think he contributed in his own way to the demise
of this great show. p.s. I had a heck of a time finding anything
about this program, then your site finally popped up on Yahoo.
I do remember the original NBC airing [of the pilot movie], where they
got a flood of complaints because Ms. Bedelia was shown in her
underwear. From what I understand, the NBC censors permanently removed
the scene from the master, which is why, to this day, no matter what
media shows the movie, the beach scene is always, and obviously, clipped.
p.s.....I still have the "Closing the Gap", and "Long Lonesome Highway"
albums I purchased in 1970. A bit scratchy, but I still listen to them
occasionally. I`m surprised you don`t mention Parks' return to Harley
in the made-for-USA-cable movie "China Lake Murders", a must see for
The rainy weather of the past few days broke for an afternoon
yesterday, so I took four vacation hours and went for a ride on my
Sporty, wearing my watchcap and shades and thinking about the stuff I
have been reading on your homepage. If this is a mid-life crisis, it
appears to be a relatively harmless one.
P.S. After watching that show during my high school years, I went on
to be a reporter. When "cruising the loop," a popular strip through
my hometown, I would often run into my buddies. We'd stop and go
through the entire opening scene of Bronson. When traveling, I often
think of Bronson episodes. I wonder how much of my own future
lifestyle was shaped by that too-short-lived program?
[Here's the email that started me thinking about a 30th anniversary gathering:]
Just had a thought... March of next year marks TCB's
30th (!) anniversary, right? It sure would be cool to throw together some
kind of bash/convention. I know it's a load of work, but I'm talking
about something fairly loose. Maybe pick one of the more noteworthy
Bronson episode locations, throw a few ads in some bike rags, and see
what happens. That would be loads of fun... A bunch of aging boomers
shuffling around in brown corduroys and blue watchcaps mumbling to each
other! But seriously, folks, maybe it has potential. Maybe I'm nuts.
Whatever... But what better way to spread the word than through your
Well, hang in there!
Enjoyed your website alot. I, too, was affected by the show TCB. I was in high school when the show was on, and thought it was one of the best shows ever on TV. I've owned several motorcycles (no Harleys so far) and had lots of little adventures along the way. Feel free to add me to your TCB list. When are they going to show the pilot on TNT again.?
[From a memorabilia collector:]
Thanks for your inquiry. Sorry, but I have nothing on the titles you listed. I really liked the movie "Wild Seed", would like to see it again sometime.
I might try to send you shots
of my Bronson look alike 1991 Sportster 1200. I worked very
hard to match the instrument cluster including locating the
1970 behind the bars setup that was used on TCB. [Another fan]
emailed me and said he is looking for a 1970 900cc Sportster
to restore. I have looked for 10 years with no success. I hope
he knows the shift and brake controls are reversed on that
year. That was before it was made a standard to have the
shift on the left and brake on the right.
Jon, I appreciate all of the work you put in on the updates
and info. Time to crank the Harley for an afternoon escape.
Thanks for your Then Came Bronson pages. I watched this show as a
youngster, I was 11 in 1969. I just bought a Harley (1992 FXLRC) and have
had this image in my head ever since.
THEN CAME BRONSON NOVELS...
This is from a Dejanews posting, from a search for the phrase Then Came Bronson. He has books for sale, including Then Came Bronson: http://x12.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=367997153&CONTEXT=901928455.2019819630&hitnum=66
"All books are $5 each
unless shown otherwise.
Please include $3 for postage and handling and, if possible, a list of
alternates in case any books are sold.
Conditions vary with most from very good to near mint."
This site is from The Equalizer tv show, and has a comment by Michael Parks (who was in an episode of the show):
Question from audience: "What projects (in addition to STAR TREK)
have you enjoyed working on?"
Robt. Justman: "I really enjoyed doing the first season of the Original
Series, and most of the second. I enjoyed being a part of the first
season of the Next Generation. I worked on McCLAIN'S LAW in the
early 'eighties. And there was THEN CAME BRONSON [an action-
adventure series that aired 1969-1970; starring the talented and
uh... er, ..uh, talented Michael Parks - mqs]. ... THAT one
nearly sank my career."
Question: "Why did you retire -- stop producing?"
Justman: "I wanted to live."
Question: "What are you working on now, if anything?"
Justman: "I'm working on two different books. One is non-fiction,
called FEN MAIL, and is based on a long correspondence that I've
had with a couple of fans. The other is a comedic novel set in
WW II. .... I
don't know if they will be. I haven't got a publisher yet for
either of them."
Some young stock-car drivers want to race on property designated for the
rodeo. The town officials want the kids out, but Stoney feels there is
room for everyone. He goes up against the officials and one of the
fathers to help the kids out.
Gene Lyons, Denise Alexander, Bill Gunn, Curt Conway, Ford Rainey, John
Duke, Kim Hamilton, Michael Parks
Produced, Written and Directed by:
Contact Dr. Ron Evans - firstname.lastname@example.org
Review of the Werewolf of Woodstock movie, with Michael Parks:
Ellery Queen show
"The Adventure of the Wary Witness"
Michael Constantine, Dwayne Hickman, Sal Mineo, Michael Parks, Cesar
Romero, Dick Sargent
One of the most serious episodes of the series, and one of the best. Can
Ellery help the accused find the missing witness who can prove he didn't
kill the mobster? The clues are discreetly, but fairly, dropped, and the
twists nicely devhelp the accused find the missing witness who can prove
he di [Note: the web page text is jumbled and incomplete here - jonpf]
This site has movie posters and stuff. The following will bring up the page with material on films starring Michael Parks:
Some thoughts on the 30th Anniversary Gathering:
Meet in Jackson Hole, where the first four episodes were filmed, for a weekend, then (for those who have time) travel the Bronson route south, through Colorado, Nevada and Arizona, visiting places shown in the episodes, then meet in Big Sur, California, for a second gathering and retracing of the Bronson route (from the pilot movie) a few weeks later.
Probably would be best for people to make their own accomodation arrangements (motels, campgrounds, etc.), though it would be nice for everyone to be nearby.
People would need an enclosed place to gather, for meeting, and swapping stories and memorabilia.
Send me your thoughts, ideas and suggestions! - jonpf
Looking for new email addresses for the following old & defunct ones:
Does anyone remember a satire on TCB on either The Smothers Brothers Show or Laugh-In? I'm trying to verify a fan's memory of the satire.
And does anyone remember appearances by Michael Parks on other shows at the time? One fan mentioned he was on the Johnny Cash show once or twice. There were a number of variety shows on tv at the time. Maybe Parks appeared on them, also. - jonpf
(Reply from a fan:)
"I remember the Smothers Brothers had guest appearences by Pat Paulson. He had a show called "Pat Paulsons Half A Comedy Hour." There was a recurring skit called "Then Came Paulson." Pat wore a leather jacket and a red helmet and rode a motorcycle with training wheels in these short skits. I don't remember the type of bike though."
Did any of you get to the showing of Then Came Bronson at the Guggenheim? If so, how was it? Any surprises? Send me an email! - jonpf
Just found out that there was sheet music for Long Lonesome Highway. I found it on the internet, but it was already sold. Oh, well. - jonpf
A request from me for your benefit only: if you will email me and let me know what state (and/or metropolitan area) you live in, I can email you directly if I find something happening locally to you. For example, the showing at the Guggenheim Museum on July 31 - I didn't know of any fans in the NYC area, so all I could do was post to the site and hope people checked in before it had gone by. And I couldn't send off hundreds of emails to all the people who have responded to this site, most of whom probably don't live anywhere near NYC - that would have been pointless. But it's up to you; I don't want you to think I'm prying. And no one sees the email list but me!
Have you sent emails to TNT and Columbia House (from my site)? If we can get TNT 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 and Columbia House, here are their addresses (for most browsers, just click on them):