Why do motorcycle clubs war with each other?

Why do motorcycle clubs war with each other?

By James “Hollywood” Macecari

When I did the episode, “Why I think Clubs War,” I received a lot of push back on the views I expressed. First off, I never back away from controversy. Secondly, I believe I was pretty much straight up on the subject.

One of the things people got really upset about was my conclusion, that the Hells Angels, have a lot to do with the violence. My argument was the Hells Angels moving into areas that have been traditionally other 1% clubs territory. Well let’s say that argument didn’t go over well with the supporters and members of the Hells Angels.

Many people shot back on the idea because I was a former Black Piston. They believed I would say anything that would be against   the Hells Angels. I disagree with this position and I’ll tell you why. Look back into history when it comes to motorcycle clubs fighting. Every major outbreak of violence in some form or another had the Hells Angels smack dab in the middle. This was especially true here in Illinois during the 1990’s.

The 1990’s problems here in Illinois started when the Hells Angels flipped the Hells Henchmen. The Hells Henchmen were in the city limits of Chicago, a long traditional area for the Outlaws MC. Well they were there until the Grand Ave clubhouse bombing, which led to them leaving the city limits. Another incident included a Shooting out of Rockford. Again, because the Hells Angels wanted to establish a presence around the Chicago Area.

The History of wars where the Angels were at the center

Mid 70’s, The Hells Angels were again at the center of a fight that has lasted decades. The Hells Angels tried to tell the Mongols MC that they couldn’t wear a state bottom rocker. Well, the Mongols didn’t back down and the war has raged on. Recently, that war has spread between the Bandidos MC and Mongols MC. This is  because of the involvement of the Bandidos with the Hells Angels. See the pattern yet? I won’t even go into the East Coast wars between the Hells Angels and many clubs, primarily the Pagans MC.

My question is this. How can I be biased when history is on my side? Another thing, I’m straight up and always honest about my past. I do the disclaimer about my club past, so people can take the information I give, and research it knowing the bias. I’m not here to push the view I’m always right. I’m here to start the debate in hopes of a better biker club scene.

Are 1% clubs ruining the club scene?

 Black Dragon did a video the other day which got me thinking. “Are 1% motorcycle clubs ruining the club scene?” I agree on some points and others I do not. Again, I believe you have to dive further into the causes of some of these fights. Do I believe the fighting among clubs is turning off many people? Yes I do, and I think this is something clubs should start to consider.

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Motorcycle clubs since their inception have believed in not taking outsiders views of them. This strategy might have worked in the old days, but it won’t work anymore. The information age has amplified what is happening all over the country when it comes to clubs.

Throw in all the misinterpretations the public gets from fake biker shows, public opinion goes against clubs.  Why is this important? It’s really simple, citizens elect the officials that make the laws. The citizens are also the ones that sit on juries. So again, public opinion does matter in the whole grand scheme of things. Something that is unavoidable and something that can take a motorcycle club down real quick.

For many years since the Waco/Twin Peaks shootout between the Bandidos and Cossacks things have gotten worse in Texas. The motorcycle club profiling is something of an epidemic level. With this being a fact of life for motorcycle clubs, why is it then they still continue to fight? Well, you got me, it’s something I’ll never understand. Right now I’m waiting for news to come out about the shooting involving two clubs in Midland. The shooting in Midland is being pushed by the press as a biker gang war. Guess what? All the inroads that might have been taking place have been destroyed. What representative will go against law enforcement when they read or hear that a shooting between clubs has happened again?

The 1% scene cannot expect support from Independents or citizens in their fight against profiling

I believe this is what Black Dragon was talking about in his video. The 1% scene cannot expect support from Independents or citizens in their fight against profiling, if they can’t help themselves? In one of my previous segments I argue the same points. I actually went as far as saying I would no longer cover motorcycle club rights, something that I actually wrestled with for a few days.

Here’s my point of view, one that runs in line with many peoples thinking. “Why even try to help, especially when clubs themselves won’t help their cause?” Some people in clubs got upset with that stand, especially since I’ve been a big supporter of club rights. The question to them becomes, “how do you expect me or anyone else to keep pushing when the violence won’t stop?” I cannot in good conscience present a defense to violence to our listenership. This is the main reason Insane Throttle has gotten away from promoting the issue and has stuck to only biker news.

Do I still believe in motorcycle club rights even though we won’t be covering it anymore? Sure I do, I believe everyone has the right to wear and hang out with whom they want to. I do not believe that clubs can use that right to cover for the violence that is going on. To put it frankly, people are sick of clubs fighting each other. People, especially riding clubs and non-affiliated motorcycle clubs, are sick of the blow back they get because of what others are doing. 

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There are two main reasons why motorcycle clubs have lost the support of the majority of bikers

 There are two main reasons why motorcycle clubs have lost the support of the majority of bikers. The first one is because of the violence, and the second one is because 1% clubs dictate what people can and cannot do. I get protocol, but protocol has been expanded so much from what it used to be.

People now don’t care about tradition and they sure the hell don’t want to be told what’s up. I truly contribute that point to the rise in so-called pop up clubs. People now will just run to the cops if they are threatened. Lets face it, bikers are no longer made of the past mold they used to be. The biker scene has been taken over by people who no longer share in the old values we once held. Call it evolution I guess, but it’s a simple fact that old time clubs have to accept one of these days.

I personally always wondered if it was worth the time someone would spend in jail, over telling someone else they couldn’t start a club.I know I sure wouldn’t think it was worth it, but who am I to think for those in the 1% clubs? To be very honest, I don’t give a damn what the clubs do, It doesn’t affect me one bit. As an op-ed writer, I do care about the biker scene as a whole. I think this is why all sides should be heard and all opinions expressed. Afterall, this is the way things can be changed. Insane Throttle has a huge platform, especially through the radio show on Spotify and ITunes. Not to mention harleyliberty.com and bikerlifestylemagazine.com. I will always make sure that every angle of the scene is covered and all voices heard.

It was very interesting, the other day I was asked if I had any regrets. I would have to say one of my biggest regrets as far as Insane Throttle has been, is the focus on motorcycle clubs. Early on we covered motorcycle clubs all the time and didn’t get to the whole scene. Chalk it up to the old thinking that was bred into me I guess. One thing that has happened though when opening up the platform to everyone outside of the club world, Insane Throttle has grown more and more. This is something that is not only good for the Throttle, but also for this new industry, as I often call it. 

It’s funny, I often get people confused when I say, “new industry.” The new industry I’m talking about is independent creators who speak exclusively about the biker scene. Never before has there been so much information available to bikers. The old days of the now defunct Easyriders is over. I say defunct because that magazine is no longer representative of the biker set. It’s always cool seeing new creators, and the viewpoints they bring to the scene. I’ve often said the biker scene is made up of all kinds of subsets. New creators bring those subsets into the spotlight.

Getting back to the main purpose of this discussion. “Why do motorcycle clubs war with each other?” It’s simple, check out the history and how things started and find the common denominator in all the hostilities. Once you find the common denominator you will get the information you’re looking for.It’s that simple

2 Replies to “Why do motorcycle clubs war with each other?”

  1. OK. I’d like to debate you on this Hollywood because I don’t agree. So long as we’re talking about alleged “wars” that appear on episodes of “Gangland” then let’s talk about the AOA and the Warlocks in Florida, The Breed and the Pagans in Pennsylvania, the Bandidos and Galloping Goose in Kansas and the Mongols and Vagos in California. According to the mainstream media these were all “wars” and I don’t see the Hells Angels name anywhere. Bikers go to “war” because they are men of principle who won’t back down, it might be hard headed and cause more problems than its worth but it’s what makes the MC scene what it is. Otherwise everyone would be Jax Teller on their little hair dryer Vespa and there would be no club scene whatsoever.

    Your everyday independent will learn the way things are and respect the order of things as a part of the lifestyle that has been around since the 60’s. Butt hurt snowflakes will whinge that their rights aren’t being respected and there’s too much violence – no one’s asking you to be around the violence, you have to go looking for that. It’s a damn shame that the same people who want to be part of the club scene will go crying to the feds as soon as they get called on not being what they say they are. I was told one thing when I started riding, be you – don’t try to be anything your not because you will get found out. Seems to me the very people who whine should have asked themselves the question “who am I ?” Before they stepped into something they only knew from TV.

  2. I won’t pertain to know everything that happens in the scene in the good ol’ USA but what I will say is that I’ve met a lot of bikers from a lot of countries and some things are universal. I think the general term “war” perpetuates the notion that clubs are gangs when what we are really talking about is bar fights gone too far. Somebody shoulder checks somebody, that person reaches for a pistol. It could be any bar on any night but introduce colours and all of a sudden it’s a war.

    I’m not attacking you personally but I do find it odd that as someone who bemoans club violence I sense a certain pride in you about that clubhouse bombing. If you’re going to speak out on the violence maybe say a word about bombings which are a lot more indescrimiate than a beating or a shooting.

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