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).
A quick comment: any text in brackets - [ ] - is usually an addition by me. They are used where I wanted to add clarification (or other info) to what others had sent in to me, or reply to an email question/comment.
By the way, if anybody has trouble with any of the pages, images, links, etc., on this site, please let me know, and I'll try to fix it or at least let you know what the problem is.
[From a recent email from the folks at Listen Recordings:]
Listen Recordings is planning to add a 'Reviews' page to
www.michaelparks.com, the web site for "Coolin' Soup." We've gotten very
good feedback, and would like to share it with others who visit the site.
It will also be a place to post reviews from publications as they become
Anyone who has heard the CD and would like to contribute to the 'Reviews'
page should send their comments to: email@example.com
and please state whether we may use your name or if you want to remain anonymous.
[From another of their emails:]
While I don't have a good story [from Michael Parks] this month (busy month), I did run across a couple of interesting bits of information. In episode #1 "The Runner" the boy in the story (actor Mark Lester) had just finished making the movie musical "Oliver".
Also, I learned from Michael Parks that the phrase "Hang in there" originated in the pilot episode of "Then Came Bronson". This phrase has become so commonly used, I was surprised to find its origin in one of our favorite TV shows!
Jon, I'll try to get both some old and new tales for you next time. Michael is working on a screenplay as well as finishing up about three different movies.
(See also the fan mail section, for info on the Sportsters.)
I've checked out your web site, and have nothing but GREAT RESPECT for you and your efforts. I'm greatly appreciative of anyone dedicated to TCB, and its
followers. The original Bronson bike (1969 Harley Sportster) has been mine for about 17-18 years now, and it's unfortunate that I rebuilt it to its current look before I found out what its origin was. What's good though, is that I have kept all the parts that were on it before I decided to rebuild it, call me a packrat, I guess. I'm enclosing a picture of it in its rebuilt state, and you have my permission to add it to your web site, or any other non-commercial avenues concerning TCB info. I might eventually restore the bike to its original look, but I'm waiting on a large job which will afford me the luxury of building another Harley to ride, while the original is restored. At that point, I would save the "Bronson bike" for display only. Please feel free to print this e-mail, including the picture, on your web site.
P.S. If you have any real good close-ups of the right side of the bike,
you'll notice that the scar on the cam cover is STILL there after all these
years (second fin down, about 5 inches behind the beginning of the fins).
All the best to you
[Click on the thumbnail images for larger size versions:]
[A lightened, cropped version of just the bike:]
[The following emails are from Mark, who has been helping with cycle info, especially as it relates to TCB and Sportsters.
I had emailed him the following comments: "One thing I noticed, while watching the TCB movie, is that there may have been one XLCH bike used, or else it was an XLH with a working kick-starter. If you check out the part after they have pulled the bike out of the river, and it is night time, and Bronson is working on it out on the dock, under the light, he pushes down the kick-starter and water jets out of the spark plug holes."]
It would not be that hard to add a working kickstarter to an XLH; in
fact there are kits available for the older Sportsters. The real giveaway,
in the scene [from the pilot movie] where the water comes out of the spark plug holes, would be the oil tank, if it is shown. The tank on an XLCH is directly under the seat, which is where the battery is on the XLH, and the oil tank on the XLH is mounted on the side of the bike. I will have to look at the scene again to see if I can tell for sure one way or another.
This evening I watched the pilot again, paying special
attention to the scene where Bronson is working on his bike after it was in the river, and even when the water shoots out of the spark plug holes it is still identifiable as an XLH model because you can see the top of the chromed battery cover which is located under the seat, even though there was no seat or gas tank on it at that time. It makes sense to me that all the Sportsters used in the show were XLHs because of the electric start feature, because the XLCHs were known to be rather tricky to start, what with the spark advance adjustment and all. In fact, I had a friend who actually looked like Michael Parks, only shorter and heavier, who had a '69 XLCH, and I probably tried to kick start it literally about 100 times and was only successful once, and that was after he had it warmed up for me.
So I would suppose that a production company wouldn't want the chance of a
filming delay in case a bike wouldn't start.
One little bit of Harley info regarding a letter you posted a couple of
newsletters ago. Someone stated incorrectly the year that the Sportster
went from 900cc to 1000cc. The correct model year of the first 1000 was
1972. The Sportster and I both started life in 1957. The displacement
was 883cc actually, but was always referred to as 900. Then in 1972 it got
bored out slightly to increase it to 997cc I believe, which was referred to
as simply 1000. 1967 was the first year for electric start and there are
some '67s which have both kick and electric start from the factory, the only
year it was offered that way. 1979 was the last year of the kick start
(Anonymous, unless requested otherwise. Some emails may be in other sections of this newsletter, where appropriate.)
Hi, Enjoyed your page, and have a question. Do you have a Bronson kit (original)?
And if so, what is it worth? My wife was cleaning out the house and found
my old Bronson bike I put together 30 years ago. Wow! It is in a
Plexiglass case with lights around it that light up and flash. Kinda
forgot about it, as I recall it was late 1969 I put it together. I
cleaned the case off and the bike is still like new, and clean. So I
thought I would check the 'net for the latest info, and found you. Are
there a lot of them still around or do you think I have something
special? There is a bike show in Davenport IA, in Feb., and they have
a model class I might put it in. In real life, I still ride and have
a FXSTC show bike, $34.000 in it. And lots of trophys. Well that's all
[Here are some images of the model he owns. Click on the thumbnail images for the larger images:]
Jon, it was a big suprise to see a site for TCB. As kids, we used to
ride our Schwinns to the local Honda dealer and dream of owning a Honda
trail bike. When TCB was aired, I couldn't believe anybody could be as
cool as M.P. in TCB. By the way, my dad used to target shoot with Robert Justman [producer of TCB]. I got
a still [photo] from the show, saved my paper route money and bought my own
Harley after I got out of high school. TCB was tv's version of Jack
Jon, thanks for your response. Feel free to use the story. The Honda
dealer was Steve Allen Honda, yes that Steve Allen. It was in West
Hollywood. There were a few chopper shops right out on the edge of
Beverly Hills! My dad used to shoot with Robert Justman at the Beverly
Hills Revolver Club, which used to be in the basement of the Beverly
Hills Water Dept., and was open to the public on wednesday nights to club
members. It was the police practice range. Sorry, I don't have that
picture. One of the guys that used to shoot with Justman was a man named
Racer Brown who used to build race motors with his own brand of cams. I
think Justman was part of the Star Trek gang. Best wishes.
Just am a die hard fan of MP. Have been since Wild Seed. Would love to know
where he has been? I got to be his most devoted fan. I had the pleasure of
actually meeting him at the Texas Tea Room in Dallas back in '80 or '79. I was
the lovelorn fan. I got his autograph and even stepped out and asked for a
kiss from him. It was the biggest pleasure. I am thrilled by the CD [Coolin' Soup]. Love to
see him perform again someday. I am glad he never gave up on his talents.
In reply to the info you asked: Michael was playing with Ray Wyle Hubbard. I may have the name spelled wrong. It was in Sept. of 1979 or '80. I can't
remember the songs at this time. I do remember sending him a note back stage
and asking for his autograph and did get it. I followed him all around after
his performances waiting to get his beer cup to take. I talked to him after or
during his performances. I was in such awe at the time. I was married at the
time and with my husband who encouraged me to go on and talk to him and go
forth in letting Mr. Parks know I was a fan.
I walked up to him while he was at the bar and asked him for a kiss and
believe me I received a kiss. My husband came out of the rest room at the time. He wasn't too thrilled by what he saw. He offered to leave me there if I wanted to. I declined in order to not make matters worse, but it was a hard decision to make.
Anyway, I have pictures of his performances, not a whole lot but do have a few.
At the time of his performance, now that I think of it: I think it was Sept.
of '79 that he performed at the Texas Tea House. The local station here in DFW area was
Magic 102 and had stated on a Sunday night that he was to perform with Ray
Hubbard Jr. I have been such a fan of this actor, as you know, I had to see
Anyway, what was sad was a few ladies approached him and did not know who he
was. And today not many people know who he is. I am impressed at the fact that
he still goes on and on with his career. I enjoy him best when he plays
himself and I think the character Jim Bronson was him. When he plays the
villians I am not impressed. Could be that I just remember him the way I like
him best. Back in 1979
or '80 he had a pilot, I thought it was, and he played a detective. Think it was
filmed in San Francisco at the time. I have
all his albums even the last one he had out in '80. One song stands out that
he might of done [in Texas]: that was Melancholy Baby,
which is on, I believe, the last album I know of that he did.
Anyway, I can go on and on about him. For I am a fan and it is great to know
there still are fans of him out there. I didn't know he got married. Oh, well.
Thank you for your reply
In reponse to printing of anything I wrote feel free to do it. The pics are not that great. The one I did have,
and framed it at the time and put it on my desk at work, turned up missing when
I left the job. Oh, well.
I did order his new CD, yesterday and heard part of it online. I got to say he
still has the voice and all.
I would love to see the movie Wild Seed [starring Michael Parks] again. Was the first time I got a
glimpse of him.
I would like to hear of any airings of TCB, if it ever happens. Thanks,
Yes I was a fan. Probably still am. I love to
see anything about motorcycles on the tube. I have an FXEF, and have had
it since new. Can't ride that much anymore, but usually make Laconia and a
few other local runs. I ride to work most every day in the summer but what
I'd like to do again is what this Bronson guy was doing; just meandering
along and meeting people.
Happy New Year! Jon;
Great January newsletter!
Because of your web page, you have inspired me to go for it! I will soon pick up my 1999 XLH 883
Custom Sportster and begin converting it into a 1990's version of the Bronson bike. I gave considerable
consideration to purchasing a 1969 or 1970 Sportster. However, because it was difficult to find one in good
condition, and also hard to find replacement parts, especially cosmetic items along with concerns about the
reliability factor of a 30 year old motorcycle on a long trip, I decided to go for a new one.
The 883 Custom comes standard with a 21 inch front tire, like the Bronson bike, as well as a speedo mounted on
the gas tank side of the handle bars, similar to the Bronson bike. I have the dealer adding a tachometer, sissy
bar, horn kit, chrome belt guard, battery cover, igintion module cover and oil tank cover, all similar to items
that where chromed on the Bronson bike. I had the rear wheel changed out to a laced spoke unit to match
the front wheel.
The next things I want to change are the handle bars, rear tail light, chrome the front fender and bob the rear
fender. The last thing I will do is change the color from Cobalt blue to Bronson Red. I will probably buy a
new gas tank (not sure yet if I should get the smaller original size 2.25 or the larger 3.3) and rear fender to
paint and save the originals. I have made a list of 25 items that I plan to change. It won't be an exact replica,
but it will definitely have the flavor of the original Bronson bike, only a 90's version.
Eventually, I would like to have the sissy bar reproduced and find the "All Seeing Eye" decals for the gas
tank. Any help from you or fans would be appreciated.
P.S. I would like to send you pictures of the bike as I complete the project. I would like to see other TCB fans' motorcycles. What do think about
having a section dedicated to TCB fans' bike pictures?
Keep up the good work,
[See the email, below, regarding the "All Seeing Eye". Also, here are scans of the two photos he just sent to me. Click on the thumbnails for the full-size images:]
I have a 1982 Sportster in the same color as Bronson's. A friend of mine
is a graphic artist and made up the "all seeing eye" decal for me in a soft
detachable magnet, which I put on both sides of the tank.
[Click on the thumbnail image for the full one:]
I would really like to this series back on the tube. Can you tell me
where I can find a copy of the Long Lonesome Highway album?
[Try used record stores in your area. I've notices some places on the internet that have them for sale, but some of them charge quite a bit.]
I, too, am a die hard fan of TCB, although I haven't seen an episode for many,
many years. I was in my early twenties when the show was on and I used to
watch it with my father, a very conservative type who absolutely loved the
show. He especially related to the opening [scene] when Bronson was asked by the
businessman in the suit, "Taking a trip?" and then said, "I wish I were you". I didn't realize, until I was much older, what that line was saying to my father.
Besides the new CD, do you have any information on what Mr. Parks is
up to these days? Would be interesting to add to the site. Please add me to the newsletter. Regards,
[See the email from the CD folks, near the top of the newsletter. There are also a few items in previous newsletters.]
Wow! I can't believe that there's a web site for Michael Parks. My brother and
I loved the movie as well as the series. We've been checking around to see
where we could purchase the movie for at least 3 years now. It's good to know
that there are a lot of Parks fans out there.
[From the guy who met MP on a riverboat in New Orleans - see previous newsletters:]
Subject: Coolin' Soup
Happy New Year. I got my copy of the new CD and listened to it
while on a road trip and am listening to it now. It kind of grows on you. I
got pretty attached to the first 3 albums, and I think there's a subjective
element to music that you relate to it during certain phases of your life. I
was in high school at the time and was going through all those issues. Has it
really been nearly 30 years since I first heard them? It makes me a little
melancholy that so much time has passed and neither MP nor I are young any
more, but then again, we're still doing ok. Sure makes me wish they would
reissue the earlier ones, my old albums I made tapes from were pretty
scratched up. Do you remember the close-ups of MP singing in the bar in [the episode called] A
Pickin' and a Singin'? I think he really had some star quality there; perhaps
he could have been a singing star if he'd been promoted differently, or
pursued a different musical genre.
The new feature of stories from MP is really cool. Are you in direct contact
with him by mail?
P.S. Kansas City [where the CD was recorded] is in my sales territory and I get there frequently. Wouldn't
it have been a kick to run into MP in a restaurant, hotel, or at the airport?
But I guess you're only allowed one of those serendipitous occurrences per
[See the above newsletter about his music gigs in Texas. I'll try to find out more about his performances. But, unfortunately, I'm not directly in touch with Parks.]
Thanks for the memories. Where can I find the old albums? Any ideas?
[See the reply to one of the above emails.]
Greetings from Calgary, Canada.
What a great site you have made. THANK YOU!! I watched the show
from the start and would love to see it aired again. Please add my
email [address] to your list. I sent out requests to Turner, etc. [to re-air TCB].
You must get tired hearing about yet another young motorcyclist
influenced by TCB. I and a 76 honda 750 blue, traveled across Canada
and to Key West, great miles on a bike. I would camp and motel it some
of the time. I almost stayed in Key West and worked on the shrimp boats
for a winter but thought I would have problems without a green card.
There truly is nothing like being out on a bike. Just going through
your site brought back a lot of memories. I have his first LPs,
remember those? I'll have to dig them out and see how they sound.
I look forward to any monthly updates you may have.
I, too, remember seeing Michael Parks on the Ed Sullivan
show. I believe he sang "My Melancholy Baby". It would
have been about 1969 or 1970. He sang the song very
well, but he looked like he was having a bad day. Perhaps
he took the red-eye in from the coast. Ed did his usual
thank-the-artist after Mike's performance by shaking
hands with him in front of the curtain.
I also remember that he was wearing moccasins instead
of boots which would seem to be more in his character's
image. Strange what sticks in one's memory after all
TVLand is showing some of the Ed Sullivan shows, but
I couldn't find Michael Parks listed for any of the
Thanks for the TCB page. I really enjoy the stuff I've found there.
P.S. Please add me to the mailing list.
Was quite excited to find your web page. Am not too computer savvy and couldn't
e-mail from the site so am trying from here.
When I try to "explain" the sixties to people I tell them to watch TCB. It
matched what I saw and experienced: ordinary people having ordinary
experiences - Smoke Signals has the same quality of exquisite, special,
The bike should have been British or a BMW R-50. Didn't everybody wear watch
Where was the opening open highway scene shot? I've always thought it was along
Hwy 395 in eastern California.
Are there any books or ms on the series? Has anyone approached Turner about
access to files for purposes of doing a book?
Please put me on e-mail list.
Hang in there.
[No books that I know of, though I did hear that a graduate student in a California university did his master's thesis on TCB. I'm trying to track it down. Will post the info, if I ever find out the details.]
Hi , Jonpf
I am so glad someone is trying to get the Bronson shows aired
again. As a young boy, 13 or 14 years old, Michael Parks had to
have done more for the motorcycle industry across the board, whether
it was American or Japanese, British, etc.... I couldn't wait till the next
week's show came on again.
Maybe this is something Columbia House Video Library, 1400 N.
Fruitridge Ave., Terre Haute 47811, might consider buying the
rights to sell the weekly episodes.
Thanks for all you're doing for Michael Parks.
What a trip down memory lane! When I was a senior in high school I had a
used, 1964 405cc Honda Dream. At the time it was as close to a "Hog" as I was
going to get. At any rate, that's when Then Came Bronson came on the tube. A
friend of mine and myself would ride all over the place on our bikes. We used
to sing "Long Lonesome Highway" as loud as we could when we were toolin'
around. Folks must have thought we were nuts! I remember watching it every
week with great excitement. I remember a great episode that involved an
Indian Chief (or it may have been a scout) and a hill climb. In 1976 I was
able to purchase a Bicentennial Harley FXE Super Glide. God, how I loved that
bike! Unfortunately, the bike had a lot of admirers, one of which decided he
deserved to have that Hog more than me. In the summer of 1978 my one and only
Harley was stolen and hasn't been seen since. I sure did love that machine.
It's nice to know that I'm not the only one out there that really enjoys the works of Michael Parks. I even had a couple of his eight tracks and I
really loved his singing voice. I've truly enjoyed your web page. Thanks a lot!
My name is [name]
and am 40 years old and saw the movie TCB and all the series, I still have
my model and the box is in great shape! A question, is a copy of the movie
I e-mailed Turner movies and was told it was not out on video and no plans
to release the series.
Like many of the other letters say, TCB had a profound effect on me as a
youngster and still occupies my memories today as an adult.
Greetings, Now with the formalities out of the way...MAN OH MAN!!
I can't believe after months of being on the net I stumbled onto your
TCB page. From the letters I've read on your site, I see that I was one
of the many who thought I was the only person who watched, much less
remembered TCB. I was 12 years old back in 1969 and did all my Bronson
ridin' on a bicycle, dreaming of the day I'd have that Harley. In the
late 80's I finally bought a fairly stock 69 Sportster. No, I didn't
recreate Bronson's bike (I wanted to, but just didn't have the nerve),
but I did do my best to return it to factory stock. It was a kickstart
only model that was magneto driven (no battery). I did have some
pleasant rides to my hometown from where I was living at the time to
visit an old timer who ran an H-D repair shop. We got to be good friends
and talked about bikes, women, and politics. My buddy passed away last
year and I sure miss him. One summer at his shop I spent about 45
minutes trying to kickstart that grumpy old Sportster in 95 degree heat
and almost killed myself doing it. I got a ride home from another friend
and the next week sold most everything I could and bought a new 1990
Sportster. What a wonderful bike! Unfortunately both bikes are gone now
but I kept pictures and some memories. And I gotta tell you, about 75% of
the time I was riding, TCB was on my mind. I defy anyone who was raised
in the late 60's watching TCB to climb on an H-D and not have the same
thing happen. Today I'm a 42-year-old police officer and believe it or
not, a lot of my laid-back style of dealing with people comes straight
from Jim Bronson! Who would of ever thought that anti-establishment Jim
Bronson would be a role model for a cop? I've managed to pick up
Michael Parks' first four records, three TCB paperbacks, and a mainly
unbuilt Bronson bike kit in a rough box, through the years. I also taped
about a dozen or so TCB episodes off of TNT years ago that I guard with
my life. I have two TCB pilots, one from TNT and another from TBS that
have some different scenes at the start. Never could figure out why.
Looks like I've got a reason to dust off my Bronson stuff and look at it
again. It's good to know you guys are out there. Please add me to your
email list for updates. By the way, I'm sorry this letter turned into a
[Here are photos of his bikes. Click on the thumbnail photos:]
Not only back - but Coolin' Soup!!! I am driving the guys nuts at
work singing and hummin' all day. My wife even loves the new CD! I got
my copies and can't thank you enough. If I write to Listen
records, will they forward it to MP? I just want to say "Way to go - you
still got it."
I loved the story about the guy who wrecked his bike and woke to
find "Bronson" tending to him.... Hopefully there will be lots more
tales in future newsletters.
I'm currently redoing my gameroom/bar and desperately need some TCB
pictures suitable for framing, any suggestions? I've checked ebay and
some other sites to no avail. I'm going to the Cycleworld Expo in
Cleveland on the 30th and hope to find something there and also to put a
bug into some ears about this being the 30th anniversary of TCB.
Hope things are good up your way and thanks again for the CD's - Its
kind of special to have something like these.
Hang in there,
Thanks so much for your web site. I was 13 years old when TCB went on
the air, and it rocked my world. Then, in the summer of 1970, my
family moved to Monterey [Calif.], and I became intimately familiar with
Highway 1 and the Bixby Creek Bridge. I spent a lot of time
backpacking around Big Sur, and will always remember one scene of
Bronson out amongst the redwoods near there--staring up through their
high canopies. Almost 30 years later, I feel as if the episode ran
just days ago. It was a blast, by the way, to see Michael Parks get a
little work on "Twin Peaks." Hang in there and thanks for keeping the
[I got an email from a fan, asking, among other things, about my web site host, "thecia.net". His email has ">'s" in front of each line, and my replies are in brackets:]
>Is this the CIA? =)
[Yes, so don't make me angry. (Only kidding. It stands for Complete Internet Access.)]
>I have lots of questions and I am very grateful that I finally found,
>somewhere on the net, info about Michael Parks and Then Came Bronson!
>It was needed!
[I know, I searched for a year and found nothing before I decided someone had to do it, and it might as well be me. It is a show that needed its own site!]
>Anyway, I have been a big fan of Michael Parks and his albums
>especially, after discovering him through old albums here and there.
>I grew up listening to his music (I'm in my 20s now). Can you tell me
>was "Closing The Gap" intended to be his last album (by the
>title), or was this actually his 1st album w/ MGM? Would you also
>have the date when this was recorded.
[Closing the Gap was his first album, and was advertised in TV Guide in October 1969 - so it must have been recorded sometime in that year. I haven't yet found out how it came about, but Parks did sing on the soundtrack of the pilot movie (a song called Wayfarin' Stranger, with co-star Bonnie Bedelia). Someone must have realized he had a voice.]
>On "Long Lonesome Highway" album, would you happen to know when this
>album was recorded also.
[The album was released early in 1970, so probably very late 1969 or early 1970.]
>And, I noticed on the back cover where the
>session musicians are listed, it reads "James Burton-lead guitar"
>Was this the same James Burton who played for Elvis or someone else??
>If you know any information or know someone who might know about this
>guitar player on this album please let me know! I'd like to know what
>guitar this guy was playing and amp (yes I'm a musician).
[It's the same James Burton. How he got involved, I don't know, but the album producer and song writer, James Hendricks, was well known in music circles (he played in the Mugwumps with Mama Cass Elliot). But I don't know anything more than that about Burton.]
>Also, why is it I cannot find any of these 2 albums by Michael in
>print, nor available on CD?? (especially not listed in those big fat
>books that list available artists/albums in music stores) This is
>very disturbing. Again, if you know of any info about this or where I
>can find old original vynl or new CDs of his music, let me know.
[His early albums have been out of print for decades. They were in the cut-out bins by the late 70s. The albums are still findable in used record stores, which is where I'd recommend you looking first. They are also available from places on the internet (but at rather expensive prices). CDs didn't exist until after the records were out of print, so don't bother looking there (though the songs Long Lonesome Highway and San Antonio Rose do appear occasionally on compilation CDs. The people who just released his new CD are looking into re-issuing the old albums on CD, so visit their site and send them an email showing your interest.]
>One more question. A few years back, I made a trip to Summerville,
>SC. I was told that all or most of the then Came Bronson TV series
>shows and/or the movie was filmed on the beaches of the Atlantic there
>in SC, and in Summerville, SC, or other towns in SC. Is this all, or
>partly true? That was so cool to happen to be in that town where he
>worked on the makings of the movie/series by accident (if it is true).
[Sorry to let you down, but the pilot movie and all episodes were shot out west (Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and California). Nothing was filmed east of the Mississippi, although the plan was to move east for the next two or three seasons (which never happened).]
>Thank you for your webpage and info and any info that you can help me
>with or have would be greatly appreciated!
[My pleasure. Check back every month (usually on the first or second day) for the monthly newsletter.]
Just a short note to tell you how much I enjoyed the TCB web page. Sure
brought back lots of memories. Thanks for taking considerable time and
effort to put it up.
I was in the service at the time, completely addicted to the show, and used
to dream about doing the Bronson thing with a motorcycle under me and the
open road ahead of me. To this day, whenever I cross Bixby Creek Bridge in
Big Sur on a motorcycle, I always flash on Bronson, and break out into a
big SEG when I realize I'm now living the dream.
It has brought back many memories. I am 43 and distinctly remember the
show, in fact I would draw
the gas tank on my school notes. I had the model and still have the
first book. Are the other two
still available?? Currently I tour on a 95 BMW R1100RS, but my first
bike was a H-D Superglide.
If they [TNT] can bring back CHiPs , I'm sure they could do Bronson. Keep up the good work.
What a great show, what a great site, please keep me posted regarding any
releases of TCB either on TV or video.
THANKS SO MUCH !
[From another TCB fan in Australia:]
I remember watching the program about that time but do you know when it
actually showed on Australian TV?
[Sorry, I can't. Can any of the Australian visitors to this site give the answer? If your local library has newspapers on microfilm, you could go thru the ones that would have the tv listings, probably the Sunday paper. I'd start looking in the issues for the fall of 1969, and check in one Sunday a month, until you find it. But I don't know if it ran at the same time as US stations - Wed. nite at 10 pm - or some other time slot.]
Thanks for a great site and please put me on the mailing list.
I dig your Bronson site! I watched most every episode before getting my first bike at age 17. When I wore my watch cap and took my first motorcycle trip, I must have sung "Long Lonesome Highway" a hundred times while riding down the road. I built the model kit and was disappointed that it didn't have the 21-inch front wheel as Bronson's bike did. I'd pay big money to get another model or even parts. Please let me know what's available. I emailed the proper folks and asked them to re-air the Bronson shows. If only Blockbuster had the pilot movie! Ha!
Well, Ya hang in there,
I think we should all contact The Franklin Mint and bug them until they agree to offer the Bronson Sportster. They have a 57 model (which I have in my collection) so most of their tooling is already done.
You can reach The Franklin Mint at 1-800-THE-MINT. Ask for customer service.
Their snail mail address is: 2405 Franklin Center, Franklin, PA 19091. The
artists who create the precision model motorcycles are in the Design and
Development Dept. The Franklin Mint is building a web site. Their address
will be: FMINT.COM. They don't yet have an email address. Let's all contact them concerning building the Bronson Sportster. I'd also like to see Evel's XR 750 become available.
[I think they did the Easy Rider bikes last year, in honor of that movie's 30th anniversary. I bet they'd consider TCB's 30th as a suitable reason to issue the model! But their models usually run about $120.
There's also a cycle model company called Maisto (?), that has a couple of really nice pre-assembled models out (including an Indian), for reasonable prices - about $35, I think. Maybe they would be interested in doing the Bronson model; one place they sell thru is Sharper Image, which appeals to us baby boomers, and could be a good selling strategy. - jonpf]
I just found your site! I just loved the show when it was on. I would like to know when it will be on again, if you could let me know. I still have alot of Bronson stuff from that era. Hope to hear from you.
Taking another look through newsletters, and web page brings to mind the
episode with Keenan Wynn (I think) who portrayed an old motorcycle rider who
helped Bronson fix his Sportster and then got his own old bike going. He kept following Bronson around saying "hey fellah." A bike riding friend from those days told me that Wynn used to tear around the Hollywood hills on an old BMW.
One of the most moving episodes was the one which opened with an elderly lady pushing her car over a cliff and then hopping on the back of the Sportster for a ride home. The scene where she has a heart attack and our hero rides off to get the doctor as the woman collapses and drops the emergency (short wave?) radio, is still vivid in my mind.
The series resonated with me partly because it portrayed counter-culture life as I understood it, and partly because I'd just moved to the Hudson Valley from northern California and was feeling quite displaced. I knew bike people who wore blue watch caps prior to the tv show. Many of the stories resonated with my experiences and sensibilities.
I highly recommend Smoke Signals as having a similar feel as TCB, in that the characters and events are ordinary and quite within the realm of normal,
somewhat homely people, and there is a nuanced depiction of non-mainstream
Where was the episode filmed in which Bronson's cousin gets married? I always thought it was Reno or Carson City.
Thanks for the web page.
Thanks for having this great, and I mean GREAT page! I was so
melancholy recently, thinking I would never see or hear anything about TCB
again. I guess it is a mid-life thing, wanting to be young and free again. I remember discussing each episode with friends in high school the day after we saw them. Another reason I probably got into Jim and his adventures was that my father died the month the series started, so I probably wanted to be like Jim, able to escape from something and find new places and people.
Here's an interesting note: I am a NYC bus driver. I was working the night shift a few years ago, and one of my passengers was the overnight disc-jockey on a radio station. We had some great conversations, and somehow we got onto TCB, and he's a die-hard fan, too. His sign off from his show everyday and for many years has been "Hang in there," in tribute to Jim and the show.
Thanks, and it's great to be here. I feel like I've found a new home!
I found your Then Came Bronson page and really loved it. I loved the
show and Michael Parks. Still have his albums! I would desperately
love to get a VHS copy of Wild Seed. Can you help me in any way? I
appreciate any help you might offer. Thanks.
[Has anyone ever seen Wild Seed on video (VHS or Beta)? Let me know. - jonpf]
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):
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 sold rights to the model, they might get it back if enough people show interest in it!