Sunday, January 5, 2014

Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs & Outlaw Bikers

I just received a copy of The Ultimate Biker Anthology: An Introduction to Books About Motorcycle Clubs and Outlaw Bikers -- a guide to fiction and non-fiction stories about the 1%ers. - Available in paperback & Kindle.

Edited by Edward Winterhalder & Iain Parke, the book includes a couple of their biker stories, and a dozen more by Peter Edwards, Tony Thompson, Max Billington, Gene Lewis, Troy Mason, Vic Shurtz, Ralph "Teach" Elrod, David Charles Sprugeon, James Richard Larson, Marc Teatum and Wil De Clercq.  

Here's a little club history to get you started on the outlaw road from California and Texas, from New York and Chicago, across the midlands to the badland of Sturgis:

The Hells Angels club organized in 1948 in the San Bernardino, California, area. The biggest and best known outlaw with chapters in 29 countries, including Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Russia, Greece, Denmark, France, Turkey and the Dominican Republic.The Hells Angels insignia is the infamous "death's head," designed by Frank Sadilek, a former president of the San Francisco chapter. There has been violence in recent years between the Hells Angels, Mongols and Bandidos.

The Mongols club was founded in 1969 in Montebello, California, by Hispanic veterans of the Vietnam War. Reportedly denied membership in Hells Angels because of their race, the Mongols eventually branched out, currently boasting of chapters in 14 states and four foreign countries

The Bandidos club was founded by Marine Corps and Vietnam War veteran Don Chambers in San Leon, Texas, in 1966. The club's official motto is "We are the people our parents warned us about," with a big Mexican in sombrero brandishing a machete and pistol adorning the club's distinctive patch. The Bandidos currently boast of 104 chapters in the United States, along with international chapters in Germany, Australia, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Costa Rica, Belgium and the Channel Islands. 

The Outlaws can trace their history back to 1935 Chicago, where the McCook Outlaw bikers used to meet at Matilda's Bar on old Route 66 in McCook, Illionois. They became known as the Chicago Outlaws and the American Outlaws Association (A.O.A.). The Outlaws opened a chapter in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1967. Ten years later, the Canadian biker gang Satan's Choice joined the Outlaws franchise. Today, the Outlaws are active in 14 states, with international chapters in the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, Thailand, Norway, Poland, and the Philippines.

The Pagans Motorcycle Club clashed with the Hells Angels in 2002 at the Hellraiser Ball in Long Island, New York, where 10 people were wounded and one Pagan was allegedly shot and killed by a Hells Angels member. Three years later, the Vice President of the Hells Angels Philadelphia chapter was killed by gunfire while driving his truck on the Schuylkill Expressway, with the Pagans allegedly carrying out the hit. 

Cossacks, Scimitars, Vagueros and other Clubs often declare their support to one of the more established clubs, and may draw a larger percentage of a younger generation -- often young military veterans. 

In 2011 there there was violence between feuding motorcycle gang members on main street during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, followed by a shootout during the Reno Street Vibrations rally. 

Insiders say the Vagos Motorcyle Club - also called 'The Green Nation' - is on a mission to replace the Hells Angels as the "Baddest" outlaw biker gang. 

On August 7, 2013 a member of the Vagos Motorcycle Club was found guilty of killing the president of the San Jose, California chapter of the Hells Angels in the 2011 casino shootout during the Street Vibrations rally in Reno. 

The shooter was the ex-president of the Nicaraguan chapter of Vagos Motorcycle Club, who had relocated to San Jose, California. Read More.

Outlaw club colors were banned from the Sept. 2013 Reno Rally and no violence was reported.