fbpx

All Access Pit Pass: Malcolm Smith Hosts A Tribute To Bruce Brown

The families of Bruce Brown and On Any Sunday co-star Malcolm Smith celebrated the life of the man who not only introduced us to our biggest and most enduring love – motorcycles, but who changed the shape of surfing and motorcycling through his cinematic efforts.

Malcolm Smith and Larry Huffman

Between the tears were plenty of laughs as the motorcycle industry gathered at Malcolm Smith Motorsports Museum to pay tribute to iconic filmmaker Bruce Brown. The families of Bruce Brown and On Any Sunday co-star Malcolm Smith celebrated the life of the man who not only introduced us to our biggest and most enduring love – motorcycles, but who changed the shape of surfing and motorcycling through his cinematic efforts.

Despite efforts to keep it low key and lighthearted, Malcolm choked up a little when he told of his “invitation” to participate in what was to become the seminal motorcycle movie. “I had just started the dealership and couldn’t afford to skip work, but Bruce told me he would reimburse me for any losses and pay me a salary.” Malcolm was dubious, but Bruce was persistent and persuasive. “I never was reimbursed for the losses and Bruce didn’t pay a salary… But I guess I got about $3 million worth of free publicity from it, so it was worth it.”

Racer and helmet painter-turned entrepreneur Troy Lee led the toast with On Any Sunday Tribute shot glasses filled with Bruce’s favorite libation and then emcee Larry “Supermouth” Huffman started interviewing friends and family members. Like Malcolm, co-star Mert Lawwill was deeply moved by the passing of his best friend but had some pretty funny stories to tell about the events of 50 years ago.

“My dad really loved these guys – Malcolm, Mert and the others really were family to him,” said son Dana Brown, noting that the Lawwill and Brown families spent Thanksgivings together for years.

The who’s who of the motorcycle industry were among the roughly 100 friends and family members gathered for the tribute. Road racing icons Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey and Daytona 200 winner Don Emde were rubbing shoulders with flat trackers like Dick Mann, Sammy Tanner and Gene Romero, motocross legend Ricky Johnson and Baja/Dakar racer/AMA Hall of Famer Scot Harden. Industry icons including John and Rita Gregory from JT mingled with Norm McDonald (who not-only co-founded K&N and sold Malcolm his dealership, but went on to run the longest running Yamaha dealership in the country).

As a special treat, Bob Bagley, who was childhood friends with Brown and partnered with him on both Endless Summer and On Any Sunday, produced a short video he shot with Bruce shortly before his passing, talking about the making of the movie. Bagley also told some stories from a lifetime of working with him, including the improbable tale of pitching Steve McQueen to pay for the making of On Any Sunday.

“Steve said ‘I star in movies, I don’t pay to make them,’” recalled Bagley. “Bruce said, ‘Fine, you can’t be in the movie…’ Steve called back the next day saying he would fund On Any Sunday.” And the rest is history!

You May Also Like

Roland Sands Racing and Indian Motorcycles Gear Up for 2024 MotoAmerica Racing Season

The brands will showcase entries in King of the Baggers and the Super Hooligan National Championship.

Roland Sands Racing, Indian Motorcycle

Roland Sands Racing, in partnership with Indian Motorcycles, has announced the rollout of its 2024 racing program, showcasing entries in the high-profile MotoAmerica Mission Foods King of the Baggers and the Mission Foods Super Hooligan National Championship (SHNC), powered by Indian Motorcycles.

Piloting the SDI Racing x Roland Sands Racing x Indian Challenger for the 14 rounds of Mission Foods King of the Baggers Championship is the always thrilling No. 50, Bobby Fong. Fong is optimistic about the team's prospects, stating, "This year, I think we've set ourselves up for success. It's been a tough fight these last few years, but we've learned a huge amount, and this year, I think our Indian Challenger can fight the factories for the big prize."

Yamaha Expands bLU cRU Support for

Yamaha’s commitment to racing excellence continues.

Yamaha bLU cRU, ATV racing
Dymag Becomes Official Partner for MotoAmerica 2024

The partnership reinforces Dymag’s commitment to the North American Road Racing Championship.

Dymag wheels
Bridgestone Announces Largest Racing Presence Ever at Daytona 200

Bridgestone will supply tires from its BATTLAX tire line to 15 riders from seven different countries.

Bridgestone Daytona 200
Sherco USA Team Up With Reed Christensen for S.C.O.R.E and Best in the Desert

Christensen is the defending champion of the prestigious Mint 400.

Reed Christensen

Other Posts

Mips Becomes Official Safety Partner of the FIM Motocross World Championship

This exclusive collaboration promotes enhanced safety awareness across the MXGP series.

MXGP/Mips partnership
New Sponsorship Agreement Between Heidenau Tires and Team Obsolete

Heidenau has been producing tires for classic motorcycle sizes for almost 20 years.

Heidenau tires with classic Benelli race motorcycle
R&G to Protect All-New Rahal Ducati Moto Team

The team makes its maiden appearance at Daytona 200 next month.

R&G crash protection engine cover
H-D Factory Race Team Launches for 2024 MotoAmerica Mission King of the Baggers

The 18-race schedule includes a round at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

Harley-Davidson Factory Race Team