Sunday, 2 June 2013

Tales of Bikers.

Remembering my stint as a roadie for a rock band that played pubs and clubs in the North West of England, was the tales told by the bands` bass player when a few years earlier they played some biker gigs.  Tommy, the bassist, was telling the young singer of the band, Kevin, that the bikers up around Chorley were a different breed to the ones around the general area we all came from.  "You do get them around Chester and Wrexham, but those guys in Chorley, would kill you if you crossed them!"  Tommy was referring to a club known as the Renegades, that hung around Chester and some small clubs around Wrexham and Mold.

    There always has been the thought that a scruffy biker in leathers and cut-offs, is an Hells Angel.  This goes back to the sixties.  How many people realise that the Hells Angels name and logos are copyrighted worldwide, and to be an official HA chapter, you have to receive your charter from the Mother chapter, in Oakland, California.  There were just thirteen official Angel chapters in England, though there may have been three or four more added over recent years.  Back in the late sixties and up to the mid-70`s there were numerous bike clubs referred to as Hells Angels.  One tale is of one gang that rode into New Brighton during a Bank Holiday weekend, in 1971, and how they tried to take over a pub.  The barman was a man whom had fought as a mercenary in Africa, and during a scuffle, he chopped off the thumb of the gang leader with a meat cleaver.  Police fortunately arrived in force and hauled off the gang.  Rumour had it that the leader of this mob, hanged himself because the loss of his thumb from his left hand, impaired his riding.

    There was a book I had many years back, and do I regret giving it away, that dealt with a vicar that helped a club in Birmingham between 1967 and 1972.  One tale was a rival gang led by a huge young man wanted to do him in, as he had seen off a number of other leaders of rival gangs.  He and six others walked in, all clutching sawn-off shotguns.  The vicar talked his way out of the dangerous situation, and some time later on, his car broke down and a car pulled up to help him out.  The driver was only the huge guy who wanted to kill him!  But water was allowed to flow under the bridge and the big guy held no grudges.  It would be interesting to do some research to see if these murders did occur.