By James “Hollywood” Macecari
I received that very question the other day, it’s a valid question for debate I believe. The sender of that question also talked about the American MC show, something I’ve never watched. From my understanding American MC is about the Hells Angels giving advice, to a group of individuals, wanting to start a motorcycle club or some crap. It’s basically a reality show with hand picked people, same ole TV drama bullshit.
Sons of Anarchy and Mayans is a drama based on two different outlaw motorcycle clubs. Some said the Sons of Anarchy has events based on the Hells Angels, who knows. One thing I do know is a few characters in both shows are real life members of the Hells Angels. This is a fact widely known, something no one tried to hide from anyone. Everyone knows Sonny Barger participated in the show as a member of the Sons of Anarchy. Another member of the Hells Angels plays Happy. There are others, but I want to get into the meat of the subject here.
Sons of Anarchy and Mayans have been pretty rough on the real motorcycle club scene, so much so, authorities have used it to convict club members. The two shows have changed how people look and motorcycle clubs now, it’s also had the copycat effect. Before the shows there weren’t all these motorcycle clubs just popping up. There also wasn’t this push back against dominants and protocol. We all know the stories, people think they have the right to do whatever they want regardless of traditions. This is one of the biggest debates on the internet. The US Constitution is often brought up by the people crying about protocol, which is pathetic at the least.
So has the shows caused problems? Damn straight they have! Is it the Hells Angels fault those shows changed things for the worst in the club scene? There is no straightforward answer to the question and I’ll tell you why. It’s a TV drama and people should be intelligent enough to know TV isn’t the real world. For someone to actually think that’s how a motorcycle club acts in real life should get a life. Jax Teller for example, dude portrayed a serial killer. The other actors portrayed the same thing. Come on, do you really think the ATF would let it go when an agent is missing? Yeah, those people would be searching and turn over every stone before they would let the suspects rest. Another thing about all the killings, don’t you think they would have tons of law enforcement in place, besides just one or two.Especially if they had an idea of who was responsible for all the gangland killings? See where I’m going with this? I get it, some people have no common sense, but damn no one is that stupid. What am I talking about, people use the constitution for their arguments to go against protocol, so I guess it’s possible.
Now to the big question. Do the Hells Angels take on the responsibility those shows had on the motorcycle club community? Yes and no. Sure, having high profile members star in some parts of the show, gave it legitimacy to a lot of people. When someone sees Sonny Barger acting, they think it’s alright to use the show as a guide. Again, some people are just stupid and ignorant. That said it was and still is a job for some of the members. The fact they are playing characters on a show is irrelevant in my eyes, it’s just a damn show! If people truly believe the Hells Angels are responsible for what’s happening in the scene, maybe they need to take a closer look at themselves. For example, why are pop up clubs not being addressed like they used to be? How about the quality of members who end up in clubs now? I don’t think the blame can be laid at the feet of just one club because they have members in the show.
Many people may disagree with my opinion on this subject, which is why it’s called a debate. A debate is good for the biker community, something which should be done more often. Some may be surprised by my response, considering I’m a supporter of another club, who doesn’t like the Angels. As everyone knows, or at least should, I don’t take positions in my work. I try to call it down the middle as best as I can. This should have people self reflecting, every one who’s part of a club, has culpability the way things turned out. It’s just not on one club, it’s on everyone’s back. I personally believe things should’ve been clamped down right after the show came out, make some examples and make people realize it’s not a game. Unfortunately the cats out of the bag, nothing the dominants can do to stop it.The scene as a whole has changed for the worst, what older guys remember is no longer. It’s the time of the New Age of Biking and Brotherhood, like it or not, it’s going to be here a long time.