Then Came Bronson
Then Came Bronson was about a reporter named Jim Bronson (played by
Michael Parks) who contemplates the meaning of life after his best friend
commits suicide. He decides - as many others at the time did - to turn his
back on his urban lifestyle and try something new.
He quits his job, sells off or gives away almost all of his belongings,
and hits the road on his dead friends motorcycle. That all happens in the
pilot. The rest of the series centers around the towns and the people he
meets while on the road discovering himself.
Then Came Bronson at heart was really just a rehash of the old TV
Western genre, but this time the lonesome cowboy was on a Harley Sportster
rather than a horse. But, the attraction and popularity at the time was
the sheer fantasy of escape from what were extremely troubled times in the
U.S. Looking back, the country was driven by Vietnam, the draft, racial
divisiveness, and an administration that, until lately, was unrivaled for
corruption, venality, and malevolence towards the citizenry. The
"generation gap" pitted children against parents, and the entire
structure of American society was called to question. Against this
backdrop, "Then Came Bronson" struck a chord with the
disaffected of how great it would be to just get the hell out and
"live life my way".
The continuing underground popularity of the show among Baby Boomers
and Harley riders is testament enough to the magnetism of the program. It
was indeed the best of times and the worst of times. But they were times
when, to paraphrase Hunter Thompson in his 1967 "Hell's Angel's"
book, you could travel the length and breadth of this great country and be
assured that no matter where your destination, there would be like minded
people there who were instantly your friends, an attitude that continues
to thrive in the Harley community today, as thousands of Hog owners will
testify. The show's continuing popularity, albeit underground, speaks for
itself. Hang in there, and don't ever let yourself turn out to be the guy
in the station wagon!!
On December 30, 2003, Then Came Bronson's producer, Bob
Justman, sent along this note:
My name is Bob Justman and I produced the
2-hour pilot and all 26 one-hour episodes of TCB. I just want to thank
you and all the people who praised our efforts way back in 1969-70.
I've made many TV shows during my career
but non of them spoke to the heart the way TCB did. I'm glad to discover
that my efforts were appreciated and I thank all the people who took the
time and effort to make their feelings known.
Thank you, Bob, for a great series and for acknowledging your fans
here! We have a lot of them over
in our forums. -Patrick Mondout