Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Michael Bane

Michael Bane. What can I say? I watched Michael for a long time as a new gun owner back on The Outdoor Channel on the shows Shooting Gallery and The Best Defense. I really enjoyed them and got a lot from The Best Defense! If I had a VHS player, I’m sure there are some tapes in storage. I met him at SHOT a couple years ago and asked for a selfie and he happily obliged. In November of 2022, Matt Mallory and I did a LIVE Show with him and I really had no idea about all of his history. Michael is an amazing storyteller so I just sat back and listened. This show isn’t much different. 

I posted on my social media that I was going to Denver for a few days. Michael asked when I was coming out and said if I had the time, he would love to be on the show. He said I could visit the Secret Hidden Bunker. How am I going to pass this up? 

The last 24 hours of this trip were spent with Michael and his sweetie. We had dinner the night the previous night and I got some stories that just seemed over the top. It was amazing! The next morning, I headed to the Secret Hidden Bunker. Before we even started I got two hours of stories. His sweetie finally said that we needed to film my show.  I needed to get to the airport, too.  Once we were the appropriate distance from the Bunker, we started filming. 

We headed to Estes Park, CO, to The Stanley Hotel, which was the inspiration for The Shining. Michael talked about his writing career and working for Country Music magazine back in his youth. He grew up in Memphis and took in all the R&B, blues, and early rock. He spent time writing for local newspapers over the years. When a friend showed him a check from writing for a magazine, he knew that was the path for him. He traveled with and became friends with many of the country singers and musicians. I love the story about how he went to Hank Williams Jr’s house and ended up touring with and writing Hank Jr’s autobiography. He’s written a number of books about country musicians, from Travis Tritt to Willie Nelson. His stories and experiences are unmatched!

Once at the Stanley Hotel, we may have had a drink with Lloyd the bartender. On the way back to the Bunker, we talked about guns, TV careers, and life lessons. Michael shared how Shooting Gallery got started with four episodes and the producer thinking it won’t last.  With no experience writing for TV or hosting a show, he moved ahead and took the chance. 

It ran for 22 years. There’s a story about how the Best Defense saved a woman’s life. I’m sure more than one person’s life, too. He worked with several counter terrorist experts to film an episode in a hangar about what really happens during a terror attack on a plane. He’s got connections to the best people with first hand knowledge and experience. And he did the last interview of Jeff Cooper!

I am truly honored to have had Michael on the show. I’m excited that I have a lot of his stories on video. I know there’s many, many more stories, too. This episode is really all the things that I enjoy. Stories about music, guns, and why you should take opportunities in life. I’m looking forward to listening to the show myself, even though I was there and I edited it. I need to take it all in. Happy 200th episode!

Favorite quotes:
“You can get paid to write but you don’t have to work for a newspaper?”
“You’ve just got to move with the opportunity.”
“You just keep going. People say “are you willing to do X?” You always say yes.”
“How do most people get this information that is literally life and death information?”
“I learned competency in different fields.”
“Excellence never comes from a consensus. Never.”
“The history of arms is the history of the world.”

Michael Bane TV

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