16.5.06

The 1%ers ~ OUTLAW RIDERS ~ ?60s STYLE

The outlaw motorcyclist has been a player on the American landscape at least since the end of WW II, getting their first taste of national recognition in Hollister, California in 1947 with the July 4th celebrations and motorcycle hill climb, that attracted cyclists and clubs from all over the state. It turned into 40 hours of lawlessness and a drunken ?take-over? of the town by rowdy motorcyclists and was the basis for the prize winning short story "Cyclists' Raid" by Frank Rooney which appeared in the January 1951 issue of Harper's Magazine and in turn was the origin of the Marlon Brando/Lee Marvin film The Wild One (1953).
The earliest magazine with an iconographic biker cover was the April 7, 1951 issue of the Saturday Evening Post that sported a painting by Stevan Dohanos depicting three small-town boys admiring a customized Panhead Harley with studded leather saddle bags and the name "Tex" on them, the title of the painting--"Isn't she a beauty!"
Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s incidents in various California towns involving clashes between townspeople, law enforcement and the seemingly growing numbers of ?outlaw? motorcycle clubs, were reported in local and national newspapers and magazines.
March 15, 1965 would be the beginning of the end of anonymity specifically for the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and outlaw clubs in general as California Attorney General Thomas C. Lynch issued a fifteen page report that day that was based on ten years of study of, ?Hell?s Angels and other disreputable motorcycle clubs.? This report was the basis of most of the information that the press had to go on concerning the clubs, as can be seen in many of the magazine articles listed herein which quote and cite Lynch?s report.

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