It is raining, and Knievel is keeping her at 50 mph. "I don't like to drive fast," he says. "And I always fasten my seat belt. I don't want to give anybody a chance to kill me before I kill myself. Never worry, never fuss when Evel drives the bus."
After a while he says, "You know, an actor makes a living portraying the life of someone who has really lived. I don't want to act out the life of someone else. I'm no myth. I'm not a make-believe character. I'm really doing what I'm doing. I can't understand it when a guy looks at me and says, 'Why, you could do so much more with your life. Quit what you're doing. Do something worthwhile.' In reality, what I'm doing might make more of a contribution to man and society than, say, selling insurance. They can make themselves better salesmen, earn a lot more money, but what are they contributing to people? I'm not a stunt man. I'm not a daredevil. I'm...I'm an explorer.
"When I walk through the grandstand after a jump, they stand and applaud. Little boys shake hands with me, fathers shake hands with me. I've never seen anybody do any stunt that's impressed me. Listening to people, being motivated by them—that's what has impressed me. When they pour out of a grandstand 10,000 strong, some of them crying, some of them laughing.... "
Of a sudden, in the distance, the sky is suffused with light; he is approaching Las Vegas.
"If I keep making these jumps," he says, "I'm going to wind up dead, and I just don't want to wind up dead."
Las Vegas lies ahead, burning in the desert.
"I haven't come down this road by accident," Knievel says. "I'm here."
John Herring has finished his song,
. "It's got this big, broad, almost Exodus-type touch," he says. "I don't like to put him in a novelty bag when he's broken his body to do this thing."
Herring sings the first verse and chorus:
"You hear his name in every town,
Is he for real or just a clown?
You wonder how he earned his fame,
You ask yourself what is his game.
If he's a man like you and I
He has no wings—how can he fly?
He's not a bird, he's not a plane,
Is he a fool who's gone insane?
No, he's not a bird, he's not a plane,
He's not a fool and he's not insane.
He's just a man like you and I
Who has a dream so he must try.
Everybody calls him evil—
Evel, Evel Knievel."