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).
I finally hooked up with a host for the internet address "www.thencamebronson.com" and am waiting for the technical data to allow me to start transferring over the pages and graphics. They tell me it will be finalized this coming week (March 6-10). It will still take me a while to transfer the 20 megs of files over, so I will keep the old address active through March, and will put redirection pages on the old site when the new address is fully functioning. I will also put an announcement on the intro page of the old site as soon as I know it is active, and you all can start giving other fans the easy to remember name of the new site, rather than the old one.
And feel free to post an announcement anywhere in the world (ie, motorcycle shops, library and supermarket bulletin boards, roadside restaurants, etc. - anywhere that TCB fans might hang out or visit) with the new info, to spread the word about the site. I may even put a web page with a TCB photo and the URL that you can print off for easy thumbtacking to bulletin boards.
Well, less than three more weeks and I see a new Rheumatologist. If he puts me on some medicine that works, I'll definitely be working on organizing a Big Sur "get-together" for this summer. Might even be able to take a few rides. And it would be a good way to raise consciousness for the show, because alot of cycle mags have write-ups (with photos) of various cycle gatherings around the country. It won't be Sturgis or Daytona, but ya gotta start somewhere!
With this spring-like weather in New England, the bikers are emerging from their cocoons. Like cicadas, I can hear their buzzing, near and far, almost every day. They even beat the crocuses this year.
There are several new TCB images in this newsletter (and more in the upcoming newsletters). Hope its a feast for the eyes.
In the March 2000 issue of Cycle World magazine, there's an article on tracking down Fonzie's Triumph. It's a great article, with a good write-up and lots of photos. They did some good sleuthing, so I called up the writer of the article to see if she could help locate the Bronson Sportsters. However, when I told her all that I had done to find them, she said that's exactly how she would have done it. Well, maybe she will give it a shot with the magazine's connections and come up with some new info, or at least put in a blurb to ask if anyone out there has seen the Sportsters lately, perhaps in some museum or private collection. (She suggested that Planet Hollywood, which is buying up motorcycles used in movies and tv shows to decorate their restaurants, might have one of them.)
More books to consider...
Email from a fan:
"If ZAMM [Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance] is one of your favorite books then the Guidebook to ZAMM by DiSanto and Steele, (1990) William Morrow & Co. Pub., is a must read."
Just a quick note to say I read a good one many years ago that's not on
your list. It is a book called "I See By My Outfit" written by Peter S.
[I was in a used book store a couple weeks ago, after I finished Hog Fever, and found Beagle's book! It's great. And incredible for it being a journey across country by motorscooter, not motorcycle. Really puts my Sprint 350cc wanderings to shame!!! It's no longer in print, so you will have to look in used book stores. Try looking in the Travel Essay section, if they have one. - jonpf]
Many years ago, I was in a video rental store and I'm sure I saw a copy of the Michael Parks movie (actually a tv pilot movie) called Hunters Of The Reef. Does anyone else remember seeing a video of it? I've checked video catalogs, old and recent, but no indication that it was out on video.
Norton/Symantec antivirus web site search page for virus hoaxes and other scams:
Another web site with info on email hoaxes and phony viruses: (Click here)
Check out the above sites before forwarding emails that you get. Most emails that mention horrible viruses, free stuff ($$ for forwarding emails to your friends, chain mail, free Taco Bell dancing dogs, contests, dangerous viruses), etc., are hoaxes.
I recently contacted Harley-Davidson's historian, Dr. Martin Jack Rosenblum, about loaning some of my TCB stuff to their new museum in Milwaukee. It sounds like a good possibility. But the museum won't open for 2 years (March 2002). In the meantime, maybe I can find another museum (or two) to display some TCB stuff, until it opens.
Dr. Rosenblum offered to let me put a link to his personal web site, so take a look:
It turns out that TNT didn't renew their contract (which expired in 1996) to air TCB episodes, due to "lack of interest". But keep sending them emails and letters, and we may convince them that there IS significant interest for it. Feel free to mention that when they last ran it, at 5 a.m. Saturday morning, even the insomniacs had gone to bed, and us normal people weren't awake yet. That could explain the apparent "lack of interest," and maybe they should try to schedule it for later in the morning or another day/time that more people would be awake.
A Ted Turner Entertainment division that does have a contract to air it, Turner South, only airs in a few southern states (but not Florida). But if you live there (or have a friend or relative who could videotape it for you), you may want to bug them about showing it. They don't have it on their schedule yet.
Send email to Turner South:
REMEMBER to try clicking on the thumbnail images on this web page; many of them are linked to larger versions of the image!
I'm trying to get more TCB jpegs to you. I want to get these out to you for the March newsletter, or whatever you want to do with them. Hope I'm not too late.
I got the March 2000 Easyriders with the MP story and pics. It's about
time they had something about TCB in that mag. I have almost all of them
and NEVER have seen a mention of Then Came Bronson. It was a really
enjoyable piece. I just wish there was more. The end of the article
gives us some hope!
Anyway, the following is from "A Long Trip to Yesterday," with Robert Hooks. He's in pic # 4. (His bike in that episode COULD be my Black Electra-Glide. It's the same year I think, and is a match except for the windshield and the "bad coil." *grin*. I'll get more of this series to you if you like these. The original pics were small, so the quality isn't the best, but what the hey...
Just before Christmas, I got an email from a son of the 2nd Assistant Director of the TCB episodes, Tom Foulkes. What a thrill to potentially be in touch with someone who was right behind the camera, so to speak. Even more amazing, we share the same last name! I've been corresponding by email and snail mail with him and his family since then, and they've been providing important material on the show. I plan to go into much more detail in the future. For the time being, here are some images that he sent to me.
From the episode, The Mountain, a conference on the set with Michael, James Whitmore, Melindy Britt and Roger Kay...
From the episode, A Circle Of Time, a candid of Elsa Lanchester...
At the catering truck on location in Mesa, Arizona. Three of Tom's children (Ted, Karen and Greg), Michael Parks (with his helmet on backwards), and an unidentified child...
On location, probably in Colorado, Tom's wife Janie, Michael, and Tom...
Where'd my horse go? (The mystery of the "unreleased album", MY HORSE CAME BACK):
In my conversations with Jim C. of Oklahoma, he mentioned an unreleased album, by Michael Parks, called MY HORSE CAME BACK. Jim said it was mentioned in an article in the Los Angeles Times around 1977. The story I got from Michael Parks's record company a few weeks ago was that there was no album by that name. I then went to the public library and found the newspaper article [L.A. Times, Calendar section, Sunday, July 10, 1977, p. 35]. (Click here for the image.) It even mentions a song from the album - Pennies From Heaven - that Parks really thought he had sung well. As I mulled over the possibilities, I wondered if MY HORSE CAME BACK was in reality an early title for what was released as YOU DON'T KNOW ME.
I called the San Francisco jazz club restaurant where the interview had taken place. The owner and his wife were a good friends of Parks, and might know something about the mystery album. However, the owner had sold the place years ago.
I got out my copy of YDKM, and started trying to track down the musicians on the album. Thumbs Carllile had died some years ago. Most of the others were either not findable or had names that appeared too frequently in the phone directories to identify specifically. But I was able to track down the musician, named Byron, who played fiddle on a few of the YDKM cuts. So I called and was directed to his shop. We talked for several minutes about YDKM and Michael Parks. He told me that he even appeared in a movie with Parks, called Can Ellen Be Saved.
We talked about the possible unreleased album. When I mentioned that the album supposedly had the song Pennies From Heaven, he said, sure, he recalled recording the song with Parks and James Burton for the album YDKM, and was surprised to learn that the song hadn't been included on the album. We talked for a while longer, and he agreed to check through his papers and see if he could find anything more on the album sessions.
He did tell me about another band member, Chuck Cowan, who I then called. Chuck doesn't remember the HORSE name for the album, but does remember another working title that Parks was used briefly for the album: NOBODY'S PERFECT. He said that the album took a couple of years to finish, and that Parks might have suggested other titles for it along the way. He said that Stan Getz was also brought in at one point to record on the album, but apparently the cuts weren't used.
(Interestingly, the newspaper article came out in July 1977, but YDKM wasn't released until 1980.)
So that may be the answer: YOU DON'T KNOW ME may have been the final title of the album originally called MY HORSE CAME BACK. And, as good as "Pennies From Heaven" may have been, the song is sitting on a reel of tape of unused songs from those sessions. If I find out anything more, I'll let you know. And maybe the good folks at Michael Parks's record company, Listen Recordings, can release YDKM on CD, possibly with the unreleased song!
I'm going to make a separate web page for possible TCB gathering(s) this summer. You'll find a link to it on the intro page to the site, and I'll be putting the same link in this and upcoming newsletters:
Little bit of trivia: when the movie was made, it was titled "Daffy" after the main character (Daffy Simms), the girl who is running away from home. This info comes from a newspaper article dated March 22, 1964. Later it was retitled "Fargo" after Michael Parks's character. By 1965, it was called "Wild Seed".
[A big thank-you to Molly and Sean for the stash of articles and photos!!! I'll put some on the site in the future. Lots of stuff on Wild Seed, Bus Riley, Between Friends, Sidewinder 1, and later movies.]
Just found your site after reading the Easy Riders magazine article and looking up the Michael Parks site. I still think TCB was pretty cool. I remember watching each one of them. The next day I would ride my bicycle to school with my watch cap on. Now I have a Harley, but last year I was so busy with stuff that I hardly rode it. Bronson would definitely not approve. Maybe there's a lesson here, 30 years later. Think I'll go dig out my Bronson record. Pretty scratchy. I would be interested in a CD. Don't remember what happened to the books or model.
Hang in there.
Just read the article on Michael Parks in Easy Riders magazine. What did you think of the article? I thought it was pretty good! I was hoping for more and was surprised they did not have an earlier photo of Bronson and his bike for reference; it may have helped some people to remember. I was pleased with the reference to your web site through Michael Parks site. Please let me know if you have an increase in traffic with the number of hits going up and new E-mail letters from fans.
The article mentioned "Bronson 2000" and Parks said, "Hey, you never know..." Maybe we could E-mail Quentin Tarantino to see if we could influence him a little. Anyway, I wrote a letter to Cycle World in regards
to an earlier article on Bud Ekins and the fact that they left out his contributions to the TV show TCB. The reason I did this is because the latest issue of CW had an article about the TV show Happy Days and
Fonzie's motorcycle. In the article they mention Bud Ekins. So I wrote suggesting they do an article on the TV show TCB and Michael Parks and BUD EKINS since they left him out before! Anyway, any time I write a motorcycle magazine I always mention your web site for additional information etc. It sure would be great to receive some just recognition for TCB and your web site and the possibility of a Bronson 2000 and a TCB reunion!
Best regards and HIT
Couldn't believe my luck in finding your site. And all along I thought I was the only one who was so touched by this show. I'm 43, and purchased a 99 SuperGlide last spring (the Sporty was just too little). Much to my wife's chagrin, I think I'm being called more and more to that famous lonesome highway. Dog gone the bad luck!
Enjoyable page that brings back some great memories. People living in central Vermont often spoke of Michael Parks living near Randolph some years ago, but I never saw him or heard of anyone who knew him even though I lived nearby. There was lots of talk about him, though. I don't know if he still has a home around here... there is no phone listing, although Charles Bronson is listed in the phone book, and its really him...something you wouldn't expect.
TCB influenced me more than I thought...I've been riding motorcycles for the last 30 years, and got a new Sportster last year. The time is right for at least an updated "TCB" made-for-TV movie...Harley Davidson would be well served to get behind something like that.
...Bronson was unknown to me in the summer of 1969. I had just graduated
from UC Davis, and was working as an Ironworker in Northern California,
near Eureka. I had a Sportster I bought new in '66, and a navy watch cap
I got while I was in recon in the Marines.
I stopped at a Harley Shop in Arcata, Ca., for some parts. Several
people said "Hey, its Bronson." I said, "No, no, the name is Holmes." I
had no clue what they were talking about till later that week when I
saw the program.
Once I tried riding my Sportster on the beach, like Bronson. I sank up
to the rear wheel hub, and almost didn't get out.
I still have that Sportster. It's a big bore stroker now, 76 cubic
inches. Kick start. I also have an '89 Sportster, electric start.
If you don't have a Sportster yet, it is not too late. And you won't be
Recently I got an email from a woman who went to school with Michael Parks. Here are some of her emails...
Michael was a nice guy, he was a year behind me in school.
He played sports - football, basketball and baseball.
I remember he dyed his hair black (he was blonde) and when it grew out his hair roots were blonde. It looked funny then in the middle 50's.
There were only about 80 kids in the whole high school so every one knew
every one. When "Then Came Bronson" started on TV, I knew his name was
Michael Parks and he looked familiar but did not know he was the actor until
someone in my home town told me it was him. I liked the show and was sorry it went off. I have seen a number of his movies. Thought it was Cool when he played Adam! That show left an impression on a lot of people and they did not forget it, like "Route 66".
That is all I know about him. I liked him. I have a 1956 high school yearbook with his picture in it. If you send me your mailing address I will send you a copy of the pictures. For some reason I decided yesterday to see if there was anything on Michael on the 'net. I am going to get his CD and send the info to other school friends who knew him. You may hear from them also.
Hi Jon, me again! Just listened to Michael's CD, got it this afternoon, that was fast service. I really like it, lots of really good old songs, he does a good job on them. Very pleased! He would be good in a small jazz club.
I sang with a country band in Sacramento, Ca., when I was 18-19-20. It turned to Rock and Roll during that time as Elvis had hit the airwaves around that time. I loved it, but got married and had 3 kids in a row and never went back to it. It is a hard life, lots of smoke-filled rooms. I sang on the same stage with Johnny Cash.
FYI: There is a wonderful article (titled: "Bronson Rides Again" about TCB
with pictures, interview, history of the program, future for the
actor/singer in the March 2000 issue of EasyRiders, an internationally
distributed motorcycle magazine. Enjoy!
[Got my copy, Dave, and the same article also appeared in V-TWIN magazine, same month. If anyone missed it, you might be able to find it on the newsstand somewhere or get a "back issue" from the publisher, Easy Riders. - jonpf]
I e-mailed TNT, TBS, and Columbia, begging them to get the show back on and
get the original albums back out.
As a youngster, I had all of his albums, and regret now having ever got rid
of them. If you should find out that any of the above are being
re-released, PLEASE let me know.
I'll continue to check your website daily.
[Thanks for your help in letting the companies know of the demand for TCB and MP! - jonpf]
I just spent last night watching old tapes I made from shows on TNT. It
was my birthday and my wife said we could watch anything, Then Came
Bronson was it.
It's good that someone is keeping the Bronson spirit alive.
I just found your site. I used to watch TCB when I was a kid. Ever since
then I wanted a Harley. After almost 30 years of waiting I finally got one. I
got a 98 Sporty for my main means of transportation. I ride it 99% of the
time; the only time I don't ride it is when the weather is bad, and living in South Texas that's been maybe a total of 2 weeks in the two years I've had the bike. I also have a Michael Parks LP (A least I think I still have it).
I haven't had the time to completely check out your site but I plan to as
soon as I get a chance.
It's great to finally find a Bronson site. I thought it was the greatest
show ever and from the time I started watching it till now I couldn't wait
to get a Harley. I now have a 1200 sporty which I've owned for 10 years. I
have a copy on tape of the pilot and a few episodes I got off TNT with
commercials unfortunately. I also have the original 45 of long lonesome
highway. Let me know of any news relating to the show. It would be great to
see it again or to be able to buy the videos.
Found your web page on Bronson. I`m a big fan of the series. I`ll be getting a 2000 Sportster soon. Even though i`m 44 years old, i can pretend to be Bronson (we all have a little kid in us). Anyway i liked your site and look forward to more info. I have e-mailed TNT, Columbia House. Maybe they will release the series.
I'm a diehard fan of TCB. I really wish they would bring the show back.
It's funny that Easyriders did an article on Parks and his new Indian. I was thinking about the show and how much fun it would be to take a year and live it myself just a couple of weeks ago.
My husband was 14 and watched TCB religiously. We both love to ride. I have tried unsuccessfully to locate the movie or copies of the series. I would love be able to relate to my husband when we are out on the Long Lonesome Highway. Please include me on your mailing list. I have send mail to several TV stations in regards to TCB.
been a motorcyclist for the better part of 30-odd yrs. man, like out of
nowhere came your site. my sister Molly, a big fan of TCB, has articles &
interviews about Parks. if you're interested, pass on your mailing address &
i'll send them on.
all the BEST into the triple 000's.
[Thanks, guys! I really appreciate the excellent reading. I put one blurb from the clippings above, in the Wild Seed section. More to come in future newsletters. - jonpf]
Just about every book you mentioned in the February newsletter (and several dozen more) are available from an outfit called Whitehorse Press. They also sell motorcycle related VHS movies, posters, tools and camping equipment. Since Turner bought MGM's archives, Whitehorse doesn't have anything related to TCB, which is something they would love to remedy, by the way.
Speaking of books, you haven't yet mentioned the granddaddy of all introspective motorcycle books, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. In the 70's this book was taught as serious literature in a lot of college English classes and was even compared favorably, at the time it was first published, to Moby Dick. Time has not been kind to the book's reputation and it probably has less of a "cult" following now than TCB. Robert Redford bought the movie rights and Pirsig thought the actor, Peter Coyote, should play the lead, but anybody who knows the book, knows it could never be made into a satisfactory film. It would be interesting to know Michael Park's opinion of Pirsig's book, the down-to-earth-intellectual-artiste, that he sometimes appears to be.
On a personal note, I am now bikeless, having sold the Beemer last month. The fact that I am lusting after Sportsters again (for the third time) I will not blame on your newsletters.
Hang in there,
[Hi Jim! Thanks for the tip on Whitehorse Books. They have a web site, and sell books and posters on line.
I did mention Pirsig's book (one of my favorite books of all-time) in a
previous newsletter on the site (March 1999). And I'm glad it hasn't been
made into a book. In "Lila", Pirsig talks about Redford's attitude toward
the book - he would use parts of it, but it didn't seem like he would be
true to the whole book.
Maybe I'll work Whitehorse into the site soon. Maybe I can swap a link with
them - as soon as I get www.thencamebronson.com up and running (so to speak).
Anyway, thanks for stopping by again! And "hang in there" in your
bikelessness. I know how it feels. - jonpf]
Just had to say hi. Love the show and the web site. One of these days i'm
gonna settle down...but till I do I won't be hangin' 'round. Going down that
long lonesome highway...
We've e-mailed back and forth, but I've never asked to be put on your
mailing list. PLEASE add me.
I notified my local HOG chapter of your site, and would
expect you will be getting even more hits.
Thanks, and hang in there.
Please put me on your mailing list. I'm 56 years old and was an avid watcher of the Bronson series. Didn't see the pilot on tv, but while in Okinawa with the Marines in 1971, saw the pilot in movie form at the base theater. It showed some nudity, so guess it wasn't quite the same as that shown on tv.
In 1971 I bought a new red XLCH. Loved that bike and had it for six years,
at which time I bought a 72 BMW. However, I'm now looking at new Sportsters again. Nothing is the same as a Harley.
Several years ago I taped several of the TV shows, but would love to have
them all, along with the pilot. I'll contact TNT, etc, to add my voice to the chorus.
I've really enjoyed your web site. Keep up the good work.
I enjoyed visiting your TCB site. I was wondering if the original movie is available on VHS anywhere. I have waited years for it to be shown again on TV, but I've missed it if it ever has. Please get in touch with me if you know of a source for this movie. I loved the old biker movies, and can still hear Michael Parks, "I'm just a poor wayfaring stranga" and Tammy Wynette singing "I'll follow angel, run angel run, angel run." I thought it was one of her better songs.
Thanks for the memories,
as an avid bronson fan please put me on your mailing list/i'd enjoy seeing
the series again since i was fifteen when it originally aired/are there any
plans for videos?
This page is great i have been looking for info on then came bronson for a
while but just started looking on the net. This show got me started on
harleys and i am still riding them. I have been looking for the movie for
some time now but still can't find it. If you get any info on how i can get
the movie and even the series of shows please let me know. I even have his 45 record that he made, Long Lonesome Highway, and i still like listening to it. Almost wore it out but i put it on cd and hid the record. Again it is nice to know that there were and still are people that loved this show. THANKS
Please include me on your mailing list for any and all TCB news. Thank you
for all the work you're doing to try to get the whole series aired. My
husband and I are praying this will happen. We had taped some of the
episodes, but in moving they were lost. Believe me, our hearts were broken!
We have sent emails to TNT and TBS. We certainly hope this helps.
David and Katy
I wore the wool hat everywhere when I was a kid. Just picked up my first
Harley Sportser for my 41st b-day. Now Ill be "Travelin' down that long
lonesome hiway, gonna live life my way."
I just came across your web page. I thought TCB was only a distant
memory, but I guess there's a following out there! I would really like
to get a copy of the "Long Lonesome Highway" cassette tape or CD, but
haven't been able to locate one. I tried Amazon, but no luck. Maybe I
searched incorrectly? Thanks for any info you can give me. I haven't
seen the TV show since I was a kid.
[Sorry, Greg, but the album was not released on CD, and the last time it was on cassette was in the early 1970s. You might find a cassette in a used record & tape store. - jonpf]
Thanks for the site on Then Came Bronson. I got renewed interest when Michael Parks had a featured article in this month's Easyriders mag; I'm assuming you knew about it. I am now an avid Harley rider but my interest and fascination with Harleys began when the TCB movie and series came out. I mean it really had a profound effect on me. My interest grew from that as Easy Rider movie came out, choppers became popular, etc...I am in the Atlanta area and am going to check the links for possibility of the series being shown in my area. I have always felt that TCB never got the recognition it deserved.
[HAL, you might use the links in this newsletter to contact Turner South, a new division of Turner Entertainment. They air in Georgia and the southeast (except Florida), and they have the rights to air TCB, but no plans as yet to show it. Email them of your interest! - jonpf]
I can't believe there is a web site for Then Came Bronson!! I am thrilled! Please add me to you mailing list.
After a quick scan over your site, I sent you an e-mail pointing out the flipped negative on the cover of the TCB novel, "The Ticket." I then spent another 4 hours reading every monthly newsletter. Looking at all the e-mails, photos, and other links was absolutely amazing.
I was 11 years old when TCB first aired. I remember several summer vacations with my parents driving from Texas to Washington state, in those days before the gas crunch. The tall green trees, the cool misty air, Highway 101. I took that red Sportster with me (in my mind) and would dream of being Jim Bronson. Thanks for returning all those memories to me.
I e-mailed TNT, TBS, and Columbia House straight away. I also sent an e-mail to TV Land at
asking them to buy TCB from Turner Broadcast since that is a channel dedicated to true TV nostalgia.
Place me on your list, please.
Please put me in the TCB mailing list. I really would like to watch TCB
I am living in Japan now but my family in Canada can video-tape it if they
run the show.
I own a Harley-Davidson Sportster partially because of the show.
Thank you very much and best regards,
I just stumbled across your site. Brings back a lot of memories. I was
16, thrilled by that show, and by the thought of taking off across
country on a bike. Later it seems I was the only one who had ever heard
of Bronson, but it's still on my mind. I just bought a '58 FL, maybe I'll just take off yet.
p.s. I haven't checked your newsletter yet, will do that when I get more
time, but I've been wondering if Parks was in any other good shows. The newsletter probably talks about that, I'll look later. And I'll have
to see if I can find any episodes to watch
Great web site. As the owner of an independent Harley Davidson repair shop,
in Gainesville, FL. I have been interested in the TCB series since the pilot episode. Being 12 yrs. old in 1969, it left a lasting impression that started my love for motorcycles. However, my memory isn't as good now as it was in the past (wine, women, & song), but I seem to recall Parks riding something other than a Harley on occasion in the series. Am I wrong or has my memory not deteriorated as much as I thought? To conclude, this is an excellent site, and would like to be added to your E-mail list.
[Check the "CYCLES" page, Jerry, for more info on the motorcycles used in the show, and also check the info updates in the "Newsletters"; there's info on the cycles in several of them. - jonpf]
After attempting to get a Bronson Ride-In thing going on the ABOUT.COM
forum with little success, I've now raised the issue on their
Motorcycles forum. We'll see what happens.
One of this month's bike magazines has a story on Michael Parks. I've
forgotten which, but it's of some interest. I think they refer to your
Looking for tapes of Michael Parks music, where I can buy? Used to watch then came Bronson in 69 and 70. really liked long lonesome highway. is it available today on tape, not 8-track, although that's what I had then. such a great time.
[Sorry, not on cassette for many years. You might find a copy at a used record and tape store. - jonpf]
Just started reading the February newsletter in regard to motorcycling travel books and you might be interested in an excellent source of such literature:
I am just sending off a letter to TNT about TCB and once again rebroadcasting it.
Keep up the "pressure".
My name is Brad M. and I grew up watching Then Came Bronson. I was 14 when the show came on and I never missed a show. Put me on your list and keep me informed of any developments. I would really like to have a copy of the movie and the 26 episodes. I stopped in to the local record shop today and was able to pick up 4 of his records (been a long time since I heard Long Lonesome Highway). I had them when I was a kid but when I got a driver's license and a Harley, I was gone. Remember when, if it didn't fit on the back of your bike, you didn't need it? Well, keep up the good work and thanks for the memory.
I'm new to the web, and found your site by searching for "Michael Parks". I
didn't think there would be much, if anything, out there, let alone an entire site dovoted to "Then Came Bronson"! I admired the show and its charismatic star very much. I think he, more than any other actor, except perhaps Christopher Jones, captured the James Dean magic! My favorite show of all time was "Route 66", which I'm sure served at least somewhat as an
inspiration for TCB. I'm wondering if you're aware that Michael Parks gave a terrific performance in an episode of "Route 66" as an itinerant boxer with a severe stutter. The episode was entitled "Cries of Persons Close to One". I have this episode in its entirety on tape, as well as 105 other episodes from the Nick at Nite airings of the series in the late 80's as well as all the Columbia House Collectors edition "Route 66" tapes.
I haven't seen the debut episode of "Then Came Bronson" since it originally
aired (the one about the disturbed young boy who wore the helmet). I
remember it as being terrific though! And yes I admit that I too used to try and emulate Michael Parks; his mannerisms, the watchcap etc., but only being in the sixth grade at the time, I'm sure I must have looked very comical!!!
Glad I found the site!
Pete, from PA
I have the model that is complete except for a few small parts that have
broken off over the years and been lost. I also have the box in fairly
good condition. I found you from an article in v-twin magazine that had
a feature of Parks taking a ride on the new Indian Chief. I would like
to see some of the old tv shows if possible but I'm not sure if they
ever air where I am located. It is good to see that someone is keeping
track of this great example of bike history.
Please inform me of any upcoming airings of the TCB show. This was a
favorite of mine when I was young and would love to see it again. I
have looked for tapes of the show but to no avail. Thank you.
I am a great fan of the show even though I have not seen it in years. I just
saw the article in Easy Rider and it brought back a lot of memories.
Are there any videos available of the pilot or the shows?
I would like to be put on your mailing list.
We communicated once before, via email, a year or so ago. When will the
TCB convention be? I hope to be relocated to CA later this year, but I'd try to plan a trip if the dates happened to be workable. My girlfriend lives in San Jose, and on my first visit to CA a couple of years ago, I made sure that we drove down to the Bixby Bridge. She didn't understand this, but it was a great moment for me. I really enjoy your newsletter.
I'll keep checking in at your site. Man, every time I go there, I read for
an hour or so, and then I can't think about much else for a couple of days.
[Check the intro page, Steve, for the link to the web page on a possible TCB gathering this summer. - jonpf]
My favorite things with MP include The Idol (great music by John Dankworth), Wild Seed (which I haven't seen in years, and never seems to be on the tube), and the pilot TV movie for TCB! Do you recall 70's cold war chiller Distant Early Warning, with Parks as an officer at an arctic nuclear tracking facility?
The Route 66 entry is somewhat of a departure. It's interesting that from
the very first scene he's in, a distant shot of him in a jail cell with head
in hands, you know it's him instantly! What a presence! The first time I
saw it, I was five years old and had no idea what the show was about or who
he was. The next time I saw it was 24 years later. The scene where he's
making his way through some tall beach grass, taking swigs from a flask of
liquor stuck with me through all those ensuing years as a ghostly image. I
remember my parents turned the channel at that point, the subject matter
being a bit adult for me. Imagine my surprise when I once again saw the
episode on Nick at Nite and it was Michael Parks, someone who'd become a
personal favorite during those many intervening years.
I don't know how familiar you are with Route 66, but it was truly a unique
and wonderful show; 36 episodes a year for about four years, all filmed on
location across the U.S. and parts of Canada and Mexico, great guest stars
including Rod Steiger, Lee Marvin, Robert Redford, Martin Sheen, James Caan,
Joan Crawford, Vera Miles and many more, great writing by series co-creator
Stirling Silliphant (Oscar-winner for In the Heat of the Night), and of
course the tremendous theme music and scoring by Nelson Riddle. Riddle
worked with George Duning, who composed the opening theme to TCB (which I
absolutely love!) on the score to the Sinatra flick, Pal Joey.
One of my fave Bronson episodes is "Where Will the Trumpets Be" with Fernando Lamas. The opening sequence is great; wild horses running from their pen in the dappled sunlight, Bronson roaring into the frame from left to right with Jessica Walters on the back of the Harley, no helmets, as the evocative background music seemlessly modulates into the Bronson theme. There's a scene in a Route 66 "ep" that conjures up similar feelings, when they drive the Corvette into the shallow surf at about 60 mph along Daytona Beach with a pounding jazz riff in the background. Ahhh, the freedom of the open road!!!
By the way, the episode with Michael Parks was filmed at around the same time that they did the Daytona beach one, also in Florida!
Hope to chat again!
In Los Angeles, Bronson fans can meet Sunday mornings at Griffith Park at the observatory. Maybe that could catch on. It's a motorcycle hang-out.
Bill, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA.
i am 47 yrs. young and i can remember this movie back when i was a
teenager. after watching it and the series i couldnt wait for the day i
would buy a harley sportster and eventually i did. now i am on my third
harley, a 97 superglide, and i love it. the point i am trying to make is
that this movie really inspired me back then, and even now, just like the
rest of us. i often look for the movie in video stores but they tell me
it was never released for sale or rent.
I thought I was a loyal fan in sophmore year of HS until I read all of your episode descriptions. I must have missed more than half. I never saw the pilot movie and hope to someday. Thank you for clearing up some loose ends. Bixby Creek! I'm in a group who call ourselves "The Bixbys." I will visit again and ask that the show be put on syndication. I never saw it on repeats. I live in the NY metro area. Buffy Saint Marie was in the peak of her sex appeal back then. Thanks for the information. The Internet hardly ever lets me down.
I've checked out you site many times because I'm a TCB fan for sure! I was 14 yrs. old when this was playing on TV in '69-'70 and I still remember many of the stories and can still see him riding his Sportster in my minds eye! I really liked the songs he sung on there too, like: Sunshine Showers, Little Red Wagon, Big T Water and of course Long Lonesome Highway.
Oh yeah, I too am an avid biker. I've been riding since I was 12 yrs. old and will be 44 this year. I live in central PA and the last time I saw Jim Bronson was 30 yrs. ago! Man, I'd love to see and hear him again! It's a
real shame they ever took this great show off after such a short time.
Well, take care and "Hang in There!"
I was 18 in 1969. really loved that show. i dig his music and his acting. if you like him in good roles, watch "niagara niagara". he really shined in that salvage operator character, as usally he does.
please put me on your update list. go michael!!!!
I am delighted that one of my favorite television shows, "Then Came Bronson," has a website. I enjoyed watching reruns of the program on TNT in
1989-1990, and hope the episodes will eventually be made available on
home video. Michael Parks' LP, Lost & Found, is one of my favorites as
Thanks again for a superb website, and please include me on your e-mail
i was just messing around with a search engine and couldn't believe i
found this site. i can't begin to tell how much that show shaped my
life. when i was 15 and 16 years old i would religiously watch that
show. i remember telling my parents during one particular episode that i
was going to do that one day, and in unison they both replied "over my
dead body". well, four years later a friend and i did a 6000 mile
maryland to california trip and one of the hi-lites was crossing
bronson's bridge. the photo i sent you was taken about 7 years later when
my wife and i first got married and were on our way up to washington.
there were 4 guys i hung out with in junior high and high school and of course they were hard core fans of bronson and we all managed bike trips
cross country and ended up in san diego for various stays of time. but
whenever we'd go for a ride it never failed that one of us would pull
up along side of another and say "taking a trip?"
thanks again for making this site happen and please put me on your list.
Please let me know of any reruns of TCB and any other info you have. I found
this site in search of some specifics for a story I am writing for American
Iron Magazine. Don't know if they will print it, but we'll see!
Please put me on the TCB list. So happy you created such a site for
a terrific human.
Will write again later.
I cannot believe it! I thought that I was the only kid whose life was forever changed by watching a TV show called "Then Came Bronson". Seeing Michael on his Sportster, travelling around the country, meeting interesting people, having wild experiences made me want to do the same.... I was twelve, then. I'm forty-two now and for the life of me, TCB is the ONLY TV show I can remember watching during that phase of my life!! He was soooo cool, he made you want to be just like him. I never got quite that cool, but for a time during my high school years there were glorious days on various motorcycles....riding with the TCB soundtrack playing in my mind.
Thanks for the memories!
Back in the 60's, you put out an album that had a picture of you and the bike that you rode in the movie Then Came Bronson. I can't remember the title to the album. I treasured it when I had it in my possession but through the years somehow it slipped through my fingers. Believe me, I loved every song on this album. The reason that I am writing you is that i hope that maybe you might know where i can get another one. The song Wayfaring Stranger was one of my favorite songs. I would like very much to hear it sung the way you do it; nobody can do it the way you did. Please help me find this album.
A long-time admirer
[I'm always a bit embarrassed when I get email from fans who think I am Michael Parks. I have to break it to them that I'm just another fan. - jonpf]
I can sure tell you're a bronson buff! When I was 15, in 1969, my bedtime was 10:00. When turning off the family tube one night I saw the beginning of the show. I was mesmerized by Parks, the Sporty, etc. My Dad was hollering at me in the next room (He took lessons from Ward Cleaver), "Hit the sack, Alan." He would not let me stay up! I knew what had to be done and took all the money I had in the world, $10.00, and bought a huge old TV and soldered a headphone jack to the speaker wires. Then I would put a towel under the door so no one could see the light from the TV in my room. I loved that show. And to this day when I ride my 75 XLCH Sportster 1000, I most always think of Bronson cuttin' a trail on two-lane blacktop.
[From the folks at the wedding chapel in Reno that was used for the "Lucky Day" episode:]
We got together some more info about Reno and the MAPES. Hope this will help. The store where Bronson meets Eve [his cousin] is still there. It was not in the MAPES. We put together another map of Reno to describe downtown. The final scene [of them] riding out of town was filmed from the roof of the MAPES with them going down Island St., which is no longer there. We need an address to send you a brochure, which is a collector's item now, and the map. Look forward to hearing from you.
Brochure of the Mapes Hotel Casino:
Map of Reno (from Mapes Hotel Casino to Chapel of the Bells):
Notes on the map [the wedding chapel location is denoted by the bells]:
"Island St. is no longer there. The Riverside Hotel [northwest corner of Court and S. Virginia] is closed. The picture on the brochure [above] is taken from the top of the Riverside. The shop [where Bronson first meets up with Eve, his cousin] is on the [northwest] corner of 2nd and S. Virginia St., and is still going strong. The park [Winfield Park] where alot of the river scenes were shot is also still there.
[I called them up to talk more about the Reno locations, and they sent a follow-up email:]
It was very nice talking to you on the phone tonight and it would be a
pleasure to be added to the email list. Please include us. It was quite a
shock to see our email in your previous newsletter and we are honored you did that.
I dont know if I told you on the phone that about one third of LUCKY DAY
was filmed in the MAPES. The scene mentioned with all the glass windows
was shot in the SKY ROOM.
[I'll be putting more info from them on the Reno locations in upcoming newsletters. - jonpf]
[From Mark, a TCB fan in Jackson Hole, Wyoming:]
[In the episode called The Old Motorcycle Fiasco] the intersection where Alex and Nora split from Bronson is known as Hoback Junction, and is 14 miles south of the town of Jackson. If you look on a map, it's where U.S. Highways 26 and 89 merge with U.S. Highways 189 and 191. It's also where the Hoback River empties into the Snake River. As the scene opens, Bronson is following Alex and Nora along 89/26 (and the Snake River) to the northeast. As they cross the bridge over the Snake, Alex and Nora peel off left, going north toward Jackson, and Bronson goes right, heading southeast toward Pinedale along the Hoback River.
If your e-mail writer does come out here (you too, for that matter, Jon!), we'll go to Croswell's, better known in reality, then, now and forever, as The Stagecoach Bar, in Wilson. The parking lot is paved now, and it has become somewhat of a Gen-X hangout, but looks pretty much the same as in the episode. When the weather gets better here, Jon, I'll take some photos I've been meaning to send of the various locations from all four [Jackson Hole] episodes. The newsletters are great, as usual. Thanks for all your work, and keep it up!
Thanks for writing TBS Superstation! Below is the question or comment we
received from you and our response.
Summary: Could you rerun "Then Came Bronson" ?
At 02/14/2000 11:04 AM we wrote - Thank you for your recent email
requesting "Then Came Bronson." TBS Superstation's contract to air this series expired in 1996, and as our audience for this show has
decreased significantly, we will not be adding this title to our
We do appreciate your interest and regret that we cannot fulfill
your request. We hope you will continue to enjoy our programming on
the Superstation. Thanks for thinking of TBS!
[The fan's comment to me:]
I've been trying, but this is what always comes back!......NOT ENOUGH DEMAND??????? Lets all get together and write them in force!!!!!! ......I'll still KEEP trying.
[From another TCB fan to me, regarding TBS/TNT:]
The return from TBS that I sent (via your link) is this:
"TBS Superstation's contract to air this series (TBC) expired in 1996, and as our audience for this show has decreased significantly, we will not be adding this title to our regular lineup."
It then trails off into something about "appreciate yor interest" and "hope you will continue to enjoy TBS," etc., etc., etc.
I will continue to send regular requests anyway. And I will also write using land-mail as you suggested.
[Thank you, fans of TCB, for writing to TNT/TBS, etc. It may help get the show back on the air, even if at 5:00 a.m. Saturday mornings! We can either set the alarm or set the VCR - no big deal from my point of view. - 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):
TNT email (click here)
Or send a letter:
1010 Techwood Drive
Atlanta, GA 30318
Here are more addresses to write to:
TURNER BROADCASTING SYSTEM
100 TECHWOOD DR NW, ATLANTA, GA 30303
TURNER BROADCASTING SYSTEM
1050 TECHWOOD DR NW, ATLANTA, GA 30318
TURNER HOME ENTERTAINMENT (this may be the home video dept. that releases stuff on videotape!)
190 MARIETTA ST NW, ATLANTA, GA 30303