I knew who George Christie was before I ever laid eyes on him. I’d been a friend of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in London, England, and his reputation had crossed the water: a hard man, a tough negotiator, a charismatic leader, respected, loved and feared. But I didn’t fear him. Why should I? I wasn’t in an outlaw club; he was, and had been for 40 years, President of the Hells Angels.
So when I moved to Southern California, an introduction was arranged by the President of the London chapter; then cancelled abruptly. “Why?’ I asked my English friend. ”We don’t talk about him any more,’’ He answered. “He’s out… Bad.” Which I learned meant no more contact with the club and maybe worse, maybe a lot worse.
By chance, I did meet George, at a local athletic club, where I introduced myself and suggested lunch. You see, I’m a writer, mostly fiction, sometimes non-fiction, and I am always interested in a character, and this sturdy looking guy dressed all in black with a patchwork of ink covering both arms and a face that told a thousand stories sure looked like a character to me.
We met at a local restaurant, an Italian place. Respectfully, and a bit theatrically, I asked him if he preferred the chair with it’s back against the wall. Without hesitation, he answered, “yes.” And in that moment I had a real doubt, ‘is this where I die? Is this where two guys walk through the door and open fire, and I’m the collateral damage?” Suddenly my Godfather theatrics seemed serious.
What impressed me most about George was his mind, sharp and fast, and we shared the same irony in our humor, a bit of edge, laced with sarcasm. I liked him… Lunch ended, and we were still alive…
I didn’t see much of George after that. A few passing hellos in the gym, nothing more. Maybe I’d offended him, been too familiar too soon. I didn’t know. Not for almost two years. Then, after a chance meeting at a coffee shop, he told me.
“’I‘ve already had one murder contract on me. I thought maybe you were the second. That maybe you’d been sent… Sometimes it works that way and I had to be sure.”
I was surprised and mildly flattered… Me, a hit man? I don’t think so. I’m a writer. I write about hits and hit men but, so far, have never murdered anyone.
George’s story is riveting. He resigned from the Hells Angels after a 40- year run and all the rides, parties, women, fights and wars that go with being an outlaw. Took off his jacket, folded it up and laid it on the table of the clubhouse, then walked out. “For me, the club, with all its back biting and hypocrisy, had become the people we’d once rebelled against,” He says. “Brotherhood didn’t exist. Not like it used to.”
Shortly afterwards he was convicted on charges of committing arson to interfere with interstate commerce. Whatever he had to do with the firebombing of two tattoo shops in Ventura remains in question but it was not a hands-on job. That’s just not George’s style.
He served his time in La Tuna Federal Prison, near the Mexican border; his cellmate was the President of The Bandidos, a club at war with the Hells Angels. “That’s another thing I never understood,” He explains. “How come we were brothers in prison and at war on the streets. It never made sense.”
A year later he stepped off a plane at LAX, stripped of all financial assets, and ‘out bad’ with his old club. Responsible for a young wife and child. Times were tough and he was broke, but not broken.
Perhaps, the real test of any man or woman, whether outlaw or civilian, is to lose everything. Do we jump off the Cliff or grow new wings and fly. George flew, beyond the prison bars and outlaw wings. Proving that it’s not what we are but who we are when the chips are down. His TV series Outlaw Chronicles set viewing records for the History channel while his autobiographical Exile On Front Street, published by Thomas Dunn, soared straight into the Amazon best sellers list, followed quickly by his novel, Marked.
These days, the ‘Al Capone Of Ventura,’ as one magazine titled him, is a popular speaker at corporations, law enforcement venues (on his own terms), including nationwide police departments, defense attorneys and Homeland Security, to name a few.
In March this year, George Christie will make his stage debut in the one-man show, Outlaw, written and directed by me, Richard La Plante, suspected hit man, author of crime thrillers and collector of characters. Honored to call George Christie a friend.
Synopsis For More go to George Christie Website
The outlaw bike movement was born on the heels of World War Two by the returning veterans in Southern California. What started out as a esoteric sub culture has grown into a world wide phenomena. Whether renegade free spirits or as law enforcement describes a well oiled crime syndicate, they can no longer be ignored. If history has taught us anything, its history repeats itself and with each wars end a new batch of returning veterans must find themselves. This is one of those stories. Follow Marine Scout Sniper Jack Crest as he returns from the jungles of Vietnam, only to find little left that he can call home. His parents having died in a tragic accident, Jack picks up the pieces with old friends in the outlaw biker brotherhood. Rejoining the Question Marks motorcycle club, he discovers that the outlaw world that has changed radically in his absence. The Marks have spread across the United States and battles for territory and zealous law enforcement persecution have become part of club life. Jack soon finds that he has left one war behind, only to place himself in the middle of another. Haunted by a league of lost souls he dispatched in that faraway land, he seeks peace for himself and the club. But local law enforcement, secretive federal officials, and even his own club brothers conspire against his efforts and endanger his leadership and his life. Ultimately he’ll have to decide between leading an unwilling club down the long, hard road to peace, or giving in to his demons and destroying everything in his path.
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