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).
Don't forget to pick up the March issue of either V-TWIN or EASY RIDERS motorcycle magazine with the Michael Parks article (p. 107-109; same publisher so same article). Three great photos of him, and some glowing praise for the show and for Parks and his new CD on Listen Recordings.
[Just a heads-up/caution: EASY RIDERS has some nudity in parts of the magazine whereas the V-TWIN is tamer (bikinis only). However, the Parks photos are fully clothed. Sorry, ladies.]
I called TNT the other day and spoke to the folks about getting the show back on the air (my two previous contacts in Programming and Public Relations have left). Interestingly, their computer only shows the 2-hour pilot movie; it has no mention of the 26 1-hour episodes (which may be part of the problem of why TNT hasn't been airing it). They also mentioned that, since the company was bought by Time-Warner, there may be some technical change of ownership of the rights. The person I spoke to said that she would follow up on why the episodes don't show up in their inventory.
The person did suggest that fans of the show send in a letter showing their interest in Then Came Bronson. She said that the company pays attention to significant viewer interest. Here is the address:
1010 Techwood Drive
Atlanta, GA 30318
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE send them a letter, and mention that this is the 30th anniversary of TCB - a good reason to bring it back for at least one more showing!
Remember the book by Gary Paulsen that I mentioned in the last newsletter? I started searching the internet to see if he had published anything else on travels or motorcycles, and here was this book by him entitled "Zero to Sixty: The Motorcycle Journey of a Lifetime" (there's another title by Gary Paulsen called "Zero to Sixty: A Motorcycle Journey Through Midlife", but this may be an error). But rather than buying it sight unseen over the 'net, I went downtown and found a bookstore that had a copy. Strangely, it seemed almost identical to Pilgrimage on a Steel Ride. So I got out the library copy (I hadn't returned it yet) from my knapsack, and the clerk and I compared the two. Word for word identical! I don't know what's going on, but it's the same book. So order one title or the other, but not both, or you'll be disappointed. Unless you know a biker friend who has a birthday coming up.
Also on the book front, I found, at the same store, a copy of "Hog Fever," by Richard La Plante. I just started it but I like it already. Similar writing styles. (Separated at birth?) It's in paperback for $15. The caption above the title reads, "This book is the bible for the first-time Harley rider and anybody else who's ever dreamed of a life in the wind." He starts with a Sportster and works his way through the Harley line, along the way traveling through Europe and America. 224 pages, plus b&w photos. (Funny thing: when you type in Hog Fever into Amazon.com's search box, it also brings up a book entitled "Classical Swine Fever and Related Viral Infections (Developments in Veterinary Virology).")
There's also a book called The Adventure Motorbiking Handbook, by Chris Scott, which I ordered (although it's a bit pricey at $25).
Other books on motorcycle travel are "Alaska by Motorcycle," by Gregory W. Frazier (which I haven't read yet), "Desert Travels, Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa," also by Chris Scott (which I also haven't read), and the classic "Jupiter's Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph," by Ted Simon (which I read many, many years ago). And there's also "Against the Wind," by Ron Ayres, about the legendary Iron Butt Rally, and "10 Years on 2 Wheels," by Helge Pedersen, about his quarter-million mile journey around the world on an on/off-road BMW motorcycle. Two more titles by Gregory W. Frazier: "New Zealand by Motorcycle" and "Motorcycle Sex: Or Freud Would Never Understand the Relationship between Me and My Motorcycle."
If any of you know some others, let me know (and include a description and review, if you want).
More TCB memorabilia for sale! Check the intro page for the link (there's a link at the bottom of this page).
This web site will be moving to www.thencamebronson.com sometime this month (just working out the details), but I will leave a full copy of the site's pages and graphics at this old location for a month or more, just in case.
A clarification about the info on the movie "The Straight Story": it is a David Lynch film, not a Dennis Hopper film. (My mistake.)
Here's a thought. The place in Big Sur with the gas pumps where Bronson meets Temple Brooks (Bonnie Bedelia), in the pilot movie, is called Fernwood. It is located 10 miles south of the Bixby Bridge and a couple miles north of the beach where Bronson first sees her (first in her wedding dress, and then in her birthday suit). It has over 60 campsites, plus a general store, restaurant and bar (with live entertainment), and a weekend barbeque that a TCB fan says is great (for $10). There are other campgrounds all around the area, public and private, some in Redwood groves, and there are some motels and lodging facilities. We could meet there on a Saturday, and do whatever (TCB location sightseeing, etc.). And for those who stay overnight, there's Sunday, to do more of whatever (TCB episodes were also filmed up a couple dozen miles in Monterey and Pacific Grove).
It won't be an "organized" "convention", although I may try to put some more structure to it as time goes by. And some of the activities will be weather-dependent, obviously.
More thoughts in the March newsletter.
Feb. 1970 issue of 16 Magazine has the following "centerfold" of Michael Parks (looks more like David Hasselhoff to me!):
TV GUIDE review by Cleveland Amory of Then Came Bronson (Oct. 11, 1969 issue):
From the July 31, 1977 edition of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL (in the Sunday TV section), an article with TCB photo:
for the scan! (However, it is a 175 Kb file, so it may take a little while to download, depending on your computer.)
An article in a Salinas, California, newspaper (129 Kb): CLICK HERE
(Anonymous, unless requested otherwise. Also, some emails are in other sections of this newsletter, where appropriate.)
I can not believe this, I didn't think anyone remembered this show. I couldn't have been more than 7 years old when this show aired and it was my favorite. I thought he was so cute. Just glad to see he is not forgotten.
Please add me to your mailing list. I'm a 30 yr. rider & a 30
yr. enthusiast of TCB music, movies & tv episodes!! And I have a
lot of friends who are interested also.
I would like to ask other Bronson fans how they deal with being tied down.
Anyone that has kept the idea of Bronson alive this length of time is by
nature a wanderer. It is our nature to resist being shackled. We have and
do value our freedom. But alas, for most of us reality is wife, kids, jobs.
We are loners, but not necessarily introverted. I married young, ending my
Bronson days early. The flip side of that is my son is now grown, my pension is close at hand, and I will soon no longer be encumbered by working, and I am only 44. I have to give in to my instinct to wander 2 times a yr. I deal with this by taking several long trips a year. I just take off, alone for 2 weeks, and just see the country, of course checking in every night, but it keeps my sanity. I see some of you channel that energy into other things, like bike restoration, etc. How do the others do it?
Hey! Please put me on your mailing list. Discovered your site from the TV
Party link. Always thought this show was special and unappreciated, but
didn't know anyone else felt that way.
Partner you have a wonderful site.
then came bronson was my favorite show when i was a kid and i never missed a show. i was disappointed it was only on for a couple of years.
i had a triumph bonneville and spent years traveling the country trying to live up to the man. that was over thirty years ago!
i have been looking at the yamaha road star motorcycle lately. if i could only get my wife to hit the road with me i wonder if it would be as much as it was then.
thank you very much. you have made my day.
I found your site thru a harley sportster e-mail page i am on...it was great
to go back and relive a great memory and a part of what has made me a
sportster owner and rider.
I was 14 at the time of the series and we waited everyweek for the new
episode...tell me what got u into this bronson...did u watch the original series...i wanted to know what happened to the original bike or bikes.... and also did u ever find out parks' feelings on the bikes or the riding of them?
again thanks for a great page it made my day!
As a fan of Carla King's travels
(http://www.carlaking.com), we wanted to
let you know that Carla is winging her way to India right now to begin her
Indian Sunset adventure (
). She will arrive in
Delhi on Saturday, January 8, 2000.
You'll be able to follow Carla, author of 1995's "American Borders"
) and 1998's "China Road"
) dispatches, through ancient and sacred India as
she visits temples and ashrams and the forgotten hippie havens of the
sixties. Scheduled stops include the computing center of Bangalore where the
juxtaposition of new and old, of hi-tech and low-tech merge and clash. Read
interviews with women in technology, with pilgrims in some of the world's
most sacred sites, with spiritual tourists and gurus, and game park rangers.
Experience the sights and sounds of the Indian highway, of beaches and cool
mountain hill stations, jungles, yoga centers, temples and more in this
multimedia documentary of a wild ride in the exotic near east.
If you're interested in following along on her trip, we'd like to invite you
to subscribe to Carla's Indian Sunset newsletter by sending a blank email to
(if you haven't already). That way we won't bombard you with unwanted email.
If you would prefer to just check in periodically, we invite you to stop by
the newly launched "Indian Sunset Dispatches" website at
, which will be updated throughout the India
trip by Carla in conjunction with artist and filmmaker MD Dundon
). "Indian Sunset Dispatches" is a beautiful site
already beginning to grow with the amazing combination of stories,
connections, personal tips, and informative links that Carla is known for.
I'm handling PR for Carla's trip, so if you have any questions and/or would
like to receive a copy of the press release, please don't hesitate to
contact me. Several media organizations have already signed on to provide
updates or stories tied to Carla's trip, including Women.com, ZDTV Internet
Tonight, AsianConnections.com, Journeywoman.com, WomenAsia.com,
Asia-Links.com, motoworld, and MCguide. Links for all of these sites can be
found in the "Media Index" area of the "Contacts" section of the Indian
Sunset site. If you don't subscribe to Carla's newsletter, be sure to stop
back periodically for the latest additions. Carla's pre-trip interview with
ZDTV Internet Tonight is scheduled to air on January 13, 2000.
We hope you'll join Carla on her Indian Sunset adventure!
Great site! I'm not bragging, but I might be the #1 fan of TCB.
At age 16 I would sprint home from a local Sears warehouse at
10 pm. and arrive before the 1st commercial. I saved and bought
the original albums, also the 45 single of Long Lonesome Highway.
(MGM records k14104 ,L1160 , 2:00) Flip side - Mountain Hi. Watched
all the episodes and movie. Started riding that year and still am
31 yrs. later. I take out the albums now and then and still
know the words. I play the guitar and sing. If a gathering ever
takes place, my buds and I could be the TCB band. If I could
play and sing with the man himself, it would be a once in a
life thrill. I also built a Bronson sporty which I never got to
ride, that's a story for another time, as is an oil painting I
did of the model box cover, with the whole bike (without part of
the front wheel missing). When I pick out a scanner, I'll send a
photo. I'll also send pitures and story from a 1982 Custom Bike
mag. which has M.P. on an 82' sporty. I happen to ride an 82'
sporty myself that I bought before I found the afore mentioned
mag. at a flee market, wierd huh.
I'll write again, keep up the good work and stay away from the High Side.
Tom from Philly.
I was just looking at the tcb site again and noticed part of an interview with Terry Southern and he mentioned Michael Parks. That got me thinking... Back in the 80's (early to mid) someone showed me a book called the "Handbook of Cool" which was a book of supposedly all cool things and things that were not cool.
I remember the author said Terry Southern was cool. I didn't know who Terry Southern was (so I guess I wasn't cool). But in this book it said Terry Southern likes to hang out in Texas and drink whiskey with Michael Parks.
After remembering all this I tried to do an internet search for this book and the closest thing I came up with was Cool: the Complete Handbook" by Harry Armfield.
I'm the guy who wrote you about seeing a comic book with a TCB parody back in the days when the show was on. I guess I should have hung on to these early sightings.
you contacted me a while back after i posted something on the joan osborne page about a song she was preparing called wayfaring stranger, that sounded much like a lyric i SEEM to remember as the title track to TCB, used to be played over the open you discuss on the title page-if you have a copy of the song or know any of this info to be correct i'd appreciate if you could let me know-and here i was thinking that i was the only one in the world excepting joan osborne that knows TCB (possibly)-my recently deceased pops and i were large fans of the program and i find it hard to believe in retrospect that the show lasted for only one season-it still weighs in my memory banks every now and then and wayfaring stranger's few bars i remember constatntly pop in and out of the soundtrack in and out of my head-anyway thanks for the note and i've dropped by the page a couple of times-cool
peace and may the road rise up to meet ya
I was 14 when Then Came Bronson first aired in '69 and I watched each
episode faithfully. I have never seen a re-run of the pilot movie or
one of the shows but would sure like to.
I just found your site today and have read through much of it and will
finish it later. Please add my name to you email list.
I've often wondered why Harley-Davidson doesn't strike a deal with TNT to release at least the pilot movie on VHS and sell it through H-D stores. I believe they would sell thousands of copies. I ride a Harley and the guys I ride with and I have often talked about Bronson. We would all buy the tape the day it hit the store, and an H-D store would be the logical outlet for it. Every H-D store I've ever been in has the movie Easy Rider for sale on VHS and Then Came Bronson would fit right in beside it on the shelf.
Anyway, thanks for all your hard work on this site. I thoroughly
I was recently in a movie with Mike and he gave me his new CD. I enjoy it a
lot. That's how I came across this website. Mike is a great guy and we had a
cool time in Texas. A favorite state of his. Well, be cool man.
Well, just hanging around with Mike was an experience. The film was The "Bullfighter". Willem DeFoe, Jarred Harris and a few other notable actors were in it. Mike is a lead in it. It should be out sometime in spring. Take care.
Please put me on the mailing list. That was & is a good show. I would like
to see reruns or possibly buy the series on tape if they become available.
Hi, I was driving my car the other day, wishing i was out riding my
Harley when I remembered the series (Bronson). I was one of the people who
were VERY hooked on the series when it was playing. I have had many bikes
but now have the BEST one of my life. It is a 97 white & blue Heritage
Springer. I ride a lot. I live in San Jose Ca. and ride as often as
possible. I have read many articles and books about the feel of riding a
Harley but I think the series captured the essence of it all. A freedom and
a NOT caring about where you end up...somehow it all works out.
Was catching up on my motorcycle mags this winter when something triggered in my mind about the old Then Came Bronson show. I thought I would try an internet search and I found you!! I am 47 years old and remember the series when it originally aired. Thanks for bringing back some memories. I remember the Bronson rock, Bronson's cap and the brown slacks.
I have the record album of Closing the Gap and put it on cassette to listen to as I cruise on my Electra Glide. I also taped the movie years ago and still watch it occasionally. I remember putting together the Bronson Sportster plastic model years ago but lost it somewhere along the way. DARN!!
Thanks again for the great site and if you would please put me on your update list for newsletters etc.
Rocky from Iowa
i appreciate your efforts... i loved the show ... I have the pilot movie on
videotape when it was reshown many years after the show went off the air... my favorite memory is the show's intro where the family guy in the station wagon asks "where ya' heading?" Bronson says "wherever, I end up, i guess." Family man says "Wish I were YOU.!"..............
Came across your website on Saturday morning and I could not believe what
I found. I thought I was the only maniac besides my brother 3 years younger
that still remembers that show, I loved it. In fact prior to the show
coming on, I saw Easy Rider and I thought to myself that I have to get a
bike, then TCB started airing and that definitely did it for me, at that time I couldn't afford a Harley, so I wound up with a BSA 250 Lightning, that I loved. Living in NJ I frequent several flea markets. I think it was late 1998 that I found a copy of the "TCB" album and it was in really good shape and best of all it cost me one whole dollar. I brought it home and taped it on cassette. Playing it all the time. Anyway that's my story and I'm still riding, but now I have a '91 Sportster and I'm 'hangin in there.'
I have been swamped starting several new businesses and haven't done a
thing. I expect to start on the [TCB replica bike] project in the next couple of weeks. I have taken detailed pictures of the bike from all angles. I have found that with my previous restorations, (3), that pictures save a lot of anguish because HD manuals are fairly incomplete. I have found the original exhaust header but I am having a difficult time finding the mufflers and hanger. I am going down to Daytona in March for bike week and they have a huge swap meet where I might get lucky.
My wife thinks I am crazy with five different Harleys: 1969 XLCH, 1978
XLH, 1962 Duoglide, 1978 FLH, and a 1999 Ultra Classic.
The 1978 XLH has been restored to its original state, the 1962 has been
restored as the original Cleveland Police bike it was, the 1978 FLH was a
Cleveland Police bike and I made it into my everyday rider, and the 1999 is
a fully accessorized Police Officer's Special.
I too am a big fan of Michael Parks & "Then Came Bronson". I really
appreciated your web site and all the information on it. I saw an article on
Michael Parks and the new Indian motorcycle in the March issue of
"Easy Riders" Motorcycle magazine just out. It is three pages long with
several nice pictures. I you will enjoy the article and pictures. Thanks
again for all the hard work. I would also love to obtain copies of the TV
shows if there are any sources. I keep looking, but have not been able to
find them on my cable system. I would really appreciate being kept up to date if they are ever shown on any of the Turner stations. I have a copy of the movie from TV. It is a decent copy with all commercials edited out, but I would really like to have the TV episodes also.
I recently got to drive the stretch of the Coast Highway and up through Big
Sur. I must admit I always wanted to do it on a motorcycle, but that will
have to wait until another time. In school I was nicknamed Bronson as I rode
a large motorcycle for my age and I loved the TV show. A Harley Sportster had always been my dream and I finally got one three years ago. I must admit
being a Bronson fan it is never far from my mind of taking that trip to
wherever I end up. Thanks again, and if you can send any info my way, I would be greatly in your debt.
Just got my March 2000 issue of Easyrider magazine and there he was (if you haven't already seen it), Michael Parks on a new Indian motorcycle! He was lookin real good, watch cap, shades and all. Time warp for sure...
keep me updated on TCB, Michael Parks. my little bro. and i never missed a
show..!!, that`s where it all started for us, we`ve been into bikes ever
since. my new march issue of easyriders has an article about mike and the
new indian motorcycles, nice little piece and damned if mike don`t look like
he aged not one year!!!!! i got a real kick seein`and hearin` `bout him
thanks and ...HANG IN THERE !!!!!!!!!!!
The first Harley run I went on was on one of the bikes that was used in the
show. The owner was a real estate agent named R__ from Temecula. The ride was from Temecula, CA, to Yosemite about 11 or 12 years ago. I never forgot it and just bought my fist bike this winter. A Sportster, of course. Here is its picture the day I got it. It was fun happening upon your site. Brought back some great memories.
I like your site a lot. Watched the show all the time. Remember the show when Jim's bike crashed down a hill. And he crawled into a hollow tree and cried. One of the best.
As far as riding, i was riding then. THEN CAME KIDS.
We now own a '98 dyna wideglide, thanks to my wife who loves to ride also.
HANG IN THERE! maybe you will ride again.
Please put me on your TCB list. I have been a fan for years. I even got Michael's autograph about 10 years ago. I was at a Holiday Inn in L.A. with my family, and I just happened to see Michael in the lobby, and asked him for his autograph. In fact, I think it was more like 20 years ago.
I would like to be added to your TCB list. I check on your site every month and read the newsletter. I wrote to you about a year or so ago with the now familiar story of watching Then Came Bronson as a 15 yr. old and being "marked for life" by the idealology of the show.
Now as a 45yr. old, married, father of 3 boys, and very avid motorcyclist, I would certainly welcome the chance to share any of the series with my family.
As a side note: Just watched D to D # 3 [Dusk Til Dawn #3] last week and although I didn't much care for the movie, it was good to see Michael Parks again.
Well, Hang in there.....
i am new to the computer and one of the first things i looked into was things from my past..days gone by my youth etc... i decided to see if i could find out anything at all about one of my all time favorite shows... then came bronson... never did i imagine there would be anything about it. the show was on when i was ten. i got to watch it in reruns when i was 18 years old. i had a 1963 triumph bonneville chopper, purple with a sportster tank. i would watch tcb then go out riding...feeling like i was him... i miss those days...i miss the show...i will check back in later
wow what a deal ... here i set with the new copy of easyriders. as i was reading away i find a story on michael parks. i get online to check out the website and man i got tears in my eyes, that show was the best, when i was 9 years old my dad got me a honda mini trail 50 for my birthday. i used to tie my sleeping bag to those fold down handle bars, put on my black stocking cap, black shades and cruz the back yard, sometimes i would get really wild and cross the street and head down the sidewalk to my grandpa's gas station for a quick full up and back to my backyard highway. i have the movie on tape from a late late showing one nite. its not very clear and has way to many commercials, i had the models of that bike, not sure where they went now, i got a golden retriever named bronson but he ain't nearly as cool, my mom and dad still talk about how i used to dress up and tell people about me now that i am 40 and ride a harley of my own, sometimes i still think about that show when i am riding around. mostly when i am sitting at a stop light with people looking at me, i really had a good time reading all the stuff from your site and would like to be put on your mailing list. thanks awhole lot for making this site i'll be out in the shade looking for that old model just as soon as the snow melts....
happy trails to ya
Jon, I was searching through the web the other night, and came upon Michael
Parks. I was fascinated to learn about all of the subject matter I came
across. You don't know how long its been since I've come across some of the
items mentioned. I've based my whole lifestyle around what Michael Parks in
"Then came Bronson" was all about. Freedom, travel, meet new people and
places. I've traveled around this "Great Nation" on my motorcycle for
thirty-five years now, feeling and seeing what he has seen and done. I'm on a new "Plateau" now, after discovering your web site. Thank God for miracles.
I was drafted into army right at the start of the show, saw maybe 5 or 6 episodes. It was one of the things that got me riding and traveling by Harley!
Boy would I like to see the rest.
Hi! I noticed they imploded the
Mapes Hotel and Casino
in Reno over the
weekend. I haven't gone back to check the tapes, but it reminded me of an
episode filmed in Reno which I think was entitled Lucky Day, where
Bronson's female cousin goes on a gambling spree. There was a scene where
they are in a bar/casino on an upper floor, with windows all around
overlooking the city & the mountains. It looked to me like the Mapes had full glass walls on its top floors. Wonder if that's where the scene was filmed?
[I got on the email horn to the wedding chapel folks in Reno, and they sent back the following info. - jonpf]
then came bronson had many episodes [scenes] in the mapes hotel, she was a
beautiful showplace. the hotel has been closed for 17 years, and the
city has been footing the bill for the taxes, asbestos removal, etc. we bought bricks from the demolished building.
the final scene from lucky day was filmed from the roof of the mapes looking at the riverside [casino & coffee shop].
thanks for your email. we were going to contact you.
Barry and Peggy
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):