Tonight's episode of "American Pickers" was titled "Bonnie, Clyde and the King," as Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, the professional hunters who travel the earth picking through treasures covered with dust and rust from age will soon find out.
As the episode begins, the guys are in Louisiana when Danielle calls with a lead. The guy’s name is Travis, and he was a roadie for several bands like BB King, Pearl Jam, P Diddy, George Jones, Hank Williams Jr. and Rob Zombie. According to Danielle, he has lots of memorabilia. When they pull up to his digs, there is one of Rob Zombie’s props waiting for them. Travis did the graphic painting on the tour buses and even drove them. When they looked around, they were amazed at all the photographs, posters, autographs and back stage passes. Travis was an experienced knife maker and used them to trade for his prized memorabilia.
When Mike tried on a jacket from George Jones, Travis wanted $150, but Mike told him it was too low and offered him $250. George Jones has since passed away, making the jacket more of a prize. It brought a tear to Travis’ eye when he saw just how much Mike loved the jacket. Travis admitted he went through about 5,000 tubes of Chap-Stick kissing butt to get all his prized possessions. Travis was such a fan that he only considered one percent of the job work, as the rest was just a thrill. When Frank tried on a jacket that he got from Johnny Cash, he could see that Travis did not want to part with it, so he put it back and did not even try to buy it.
Then they went back to where Travis makes his knives. His workshop was stocked with animal horns and bones, used for the handles. He is not a hunter, but when he comes across animals that were killed along the road, they belong to him.
When Mike spotted a 1989 Rolling Stones shirt that had seen better days, he got it for $5 and knows Danielle will love it. Frank saw an Aerosmith album cover signed by Steven Tyler, when Travis asked $5, Frank gave him $25. A 1949 poster from the movie Home in San Antone, and another from 1948 called Smoky Mountain Melody, both starring Roy Acuff, Frank wanted to do a bundle, but his price was a bit lower than Travis wanted, but when he raised the price and threw in a turquoise necklace, the $900 price was fine with Travis.
Danielle called again to send them to a Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum. Here they met with Boots, the son of one of the lawmen that ambushed the pair in Gibsland, La. When the guys found out that nothing there was for sale, they did what they do best; asked for a lead.
When they went to see Jack Cartwright, who welcomed them warmly. He has owned the house he lives in since 1979, and has accumulated lots of items, including the stuff left by the previous owners. His attic was a time capsule. Frank found a zoetrope, which was the predecessor or animation, as one watched a wheel spin around, the pictures on the inside looked like the items were moving, and Frank got it for $125. They found tons of stuff that were from the turn of the last century. A previous owner was the editor of the local newspaper back in the thirties when Bonnie & Clyde were killed. He told them that he had glass negatives from him, because he was the photographer too. The pictures were not originals, but copies from other papers. Very few people knew that these existed. Mike offered him $1,000 with the condition that he would give half of these twelve pictures to the museum that Boots ran. Jack had to mull it over a while. Then Mike spotted a large base fiddle, and Jack told them that he used to have a guitar shop. The base was believed to have belonged to Bill Black of The Blue Moon Boys, who played backup for Elvis Presley. They got both for $2,500.
Danielle set up an appraisal with James Burton, who played with Elvis too. Unfortunately, he and his son Jeff stated that although the lineage was from the same era, it was not originally owned by Bill Black, because of the repairs which were not professionally done. However, it was worth the $1,500 they paid for it and could even sell for $2,500 just because of its age.
When the guys returned to see Boots again, he was surprised to see them, and when they presented him with the negatives, he almost cracked a smile.