Bob Boze Bell Comes to Buckeye Days 2016

  Lara Serbin, Buckeye Main Street Coalition It is always exciting times during Buckeye Days, January 23, 30th and 31st will be even more memorable with Bob Boze Bell, owner of True West Magazine coming to the Cattle Drive as the Grand Marshal.  There are many ways to learn who this Arizona Kingman native is by reading his Raised on the Mother Road The 66 Kid: a scrapbook style autobiography which is an easy, hilarious read.  BBB interjects stories of his childhood along the Mother Road  with his amazing watercolors and ink sketches throughout the large print pages. Ever since he picked up his first Billy the Kid postcard during the one and only time his dad even stopped at a roadside museum trinket store BBB became one with Wild West Legends.  You can find him as expert historical reference for the likes of Wyatt Earp on PBS specials, interviewed on the news or heard on the radio.  Growing up in Kingman, he bought his first True West Magazine by saving up all his coins working at his Dad’s filling station.  BBB fulfilled his dream by buying True West Magazine and now owns and operates the funniest, most insightful monthly publication of Western lengends. We are truly honored to have BBB come to Buckeye Days January 30th to continue the tradition of keeping the West Alive in Buckeye, Arizona!

Wild Bill's Last Gunfight

True West Magazine

Here are some questions and answers for you, enjoy! Do you think people will still be writing or painting with their hands in the far flung future? Machines are going to usurp more and more things we do, including art representation, but I believe when it comes to creating art, human choices and the human touch will outlive me. After that, I don’t care. What is your advice for writers block? Write every day, without hope, without despair. If you don’t feel like writing, write that. What is your latest inspiration? I am on the trail of a Buffalo Bill wannabe who shot and killed Vincent van Gogh.

Raised on the Mother Road The 66 Kid, BBB

Raised on the Mother Road The 66 Kid, BBB

Do you believe factual historic answers are linked with intuition? I believe nothing changes more than the past. What went through your head after you bought True West magazine? What kind of a crazy idiot would attempt to save a pulp magazine that is going out of business? What is your big hairy, audacious goal for True West magazine? My staff needs a place to go every day where they can have fun, be creative and be respected for it. That is my job, to make sure they get all of that and get paid for their efforts, to boot. So far, so good. What differentiates True West magazine with other Western mags? Many of the magazines in our field, Wild West, Cowboys & Indians, American Cowboy and Western Horseman do a good job of portraying and servicing the world I love. The difference is, True West has a sense of humor that I don’t think you’ll find in those other magazines. Some see this as a flaw, but I blame it on my upbringing in Kingman. Do you believe ghost towns are haunted? No, I believe we chase ghosts, until the ghosts chase us. When I was growing up, I loved it when my parents took me to ghost towns, like Goldroad, Oatman, White Hills and Mineral Park. I used to fantasize about the lives the people in those towns led, what happened to them? Where did they go? Now, more than a half century later, I see the town I grew up in disappearing and turning into a ghost town. In the end we’re all ghosts to another generation.

Artwork by Bob Boze Bell

Artwork by Bob Boze Bell

If you could chat with any historical figure who would it be? I have a bone to pick with Wyatt Earp. Who the hell fired first at the O.K. Corral fight? I doubt that I could penetrate his defenses, though. He was a cagey bastard, I’ll give him that. Do you ever go on long road trips? Nothing makes me happier than being on the road. My dad taught me that. The only difference between him and me is that I stop for everything, and he stopped for absolutely nothing except gas, food, oil and maybe, open wounds. Growing up in Kingman did you ever make it out to Buckeye, Arizona? We had several rivals in the Valley, especially Buckeye, Tolleson and Agua Fria. We hated Agua Fria the most because they beat the tar out of us every time we met. This was in the 1960s. Next we hated Tolleson and their crackerjack size gym and we once had to have a police escort out of town. Long story short: we were the hayseeds coming down to the sophisticated Valley and well, it was oil and water. Buckeye, on the other hand, had a better class of people, with the possible exception of the Holly family. Just kidding. Fritz Holly is a friend of mine, in spite of being from Buckeye. What’s your approach for a winning team? Funny what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit. Any one book you read more than once? The book that changed my life and altered the course of Western history is “The Saga of Billy the Kid” by Walter Noble Burns. My mother sent it to me for Christmas in 1989. It’s the inspiration for everything I’ve created since then, including owning True West magazine and the dozen books I’ve published on the Old West. I reread it every chance I get. The other book that thrills me is “Vanished Arizona” by Martha Summerhayes. A must read for anybody who lives in Arizona. If you had a blank check what would you do right now? Finance social security so me and all my geezer friends can still get our checks every month. What music score or song most sounds like the Wild West to you? “Jesus Just Left Chicago” by ZZ Top. Either that, or “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC. I’m a rocker, although Country is catching up. Eric Church is my current fave artist who samples AC/DC and the Stones, among others. My fave being “How ’bout You?” which is an homage to small towns like Buckeye and Kingman.

Dr. Buck

Interview by, Lara Serbin, Buckeye Main Street Coalition

Dr. Buck

Dr. Buck

Your Wild West Show is coming to Buckeye Days Celebration in January 24th and 25thDr. Buck Productions is a sensation here in the West Valley, Arizona. It has yielded ongoing Wild West Festivals, Shoot Out Competitions in Old Tucson and Murder Mysteries to name a few.  Did you ever expect it to be this popular?  Actually, Yes! Being that Arizona is one, if not the first location that we think of when we envision the Wild West or where Western Movies are filmed, so the folks who live and visit here from all around the world, expect this part of America’s Western Heritage to be offered up, and that’s exactly what my award winning cast of Wild West performers do!

To what do you attribute the success of the Wild West Shows?  Definitely the caliber of my performers you’ll see at my shows… several are World Champions in the Wild West Arts, such as Trick Roping, Six Gun Spinning, Bull-Whip Cracking and Trick Horse Riding! Plus the fact that it is good old family fun entertainment, the likes of which, some have never seen!

Buckeye Days Wild West Show

Buckeye Days Wild West Show

Typically, when you are doing a Wild West Show like the one coming to Buckeye, how do you prepare the performers for the event? Each event venue is always a bit different, so we create performances to meet the location. Plus, we always like to offer up a little something new from what they may have seen previously… but always with plenty of audience participation!

How do you structure your Wild West Festival for maximum suspense?  Our audiences are always telling us, “We didn’t expect that!”, because honestly, we very often change up a Stunt Show or other performance at the last minute, to get that audience reaction. Plus, with our audience participation, guests never know if they will be in the show, and not just watching it!

Unleash the suspense!

Unleash the suspense!

How did you become involved in doing stunts and trick roping? Stunt work began at Disney Studios when I was a “Starving Animator” in need of extra $… and here, almost 40 years later, having worked with Clint Eastwood, Tom Selleck, Willie Nelson, Ben Johnson and several others, I’m still taking punches, kicks and falls! Things like Gun Spinning & Trick Roping, I prefer to leave that to the folks like Johnny Hotshot… and they leave the stunts to me!

Buckeye Days Wild West Show

Buckeye Days Wild West Show

Which western movies inspire you the most? Who is your favorite Hollywood western character? Actually some of the lesser known ones like, “Once Upon A Time In The West”, “The Sacketts”, “Barbarosa” and the “Long Riders” (ok, and not because I was in the last three) Favorite Character… any actor that played a believable Outlaw!…which was usually those valuable character actors, not the big name stars!

Once Upon a Time in the West

Once Upon a Time in the West

What is your take on downtown Buckeye being a back drop for the upcoming Wild West Festival and Rodeo?  Forget the big covered stadium Rodeos and the Rhinestone Cowboy shows! This is true Wild West & Rodeo Americana, the way it was meant to be displayed and enjoyed! My Wild West cast is proud to be a “New” addition to Buckeye Days 2014…and honored to be a part of an event that Singing Cowboy Gene Autry attended a time or two!

Find this post at Glendale, AZ Convention & Visitors Bureau.