Here is a little history of them!
Operating in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, the Pagans’ overall membership has been estimated at between 300 and 400. Within New Jersey, estimates range from 40 to 60 active members in chapters in Atlantic County, Elizabeth and Plainfield.
As a group, the Pagans’ illegal activities usually involve narcotics (methamphetamines) and chop shops. Individually, members and associates often engage in a variety of other illegal conduct such as assault, weapon possession, sex crimes and fraud. The latter activities are done for the individual’s benefit and not the group. Generally, profits from illegal activities sanctioned by the Mother Club require a 10% “contribution” from the local chapter.
The Pagans are more nomadic than other clubs. Chapters have been known to move overnight. The club also doesn’t have a geographically fixed mother chapter like the Hell’s Angels in Oakland, the Outlaws of Detroit and the Bandidos in Corpus Christi. Pagan operations are guided by a mother club made up of 13 to 20 former chapter presidents. They wear a black number 13 on the back of their colors to indicate their special status. The mother club alternates meetings between Suffolk and Nassau counties in Long Island, New York. Members meet at each other homes or elsewhere, rather than at clubhouses. The Pagan president and vice-president are figureheads who don’t really run the club, although the president sets the price of drugs the gangs sells. As a show of class, the Pagans give their president, Paul “Ooch” Ferry, the same salary paid to the President of the United States (about $200,000 a year).
The name “Hells Angels” was believed to have been inspired by the common historical use, in both World War I and World War II, to name squadrons or other fighting groups by fierce, death-defying names such as Hell’s Angels or Flying Tigers. The Howard Hughes film Hell’s Angels was a major film of 1927 displaying extraordinary and dangerous feats of aviation. Several military units used the name Hells Angels prior to the founding of the motorcycle club of the same name, including the U.S. Air Force 303rd USAAF Heavy Bombardment Group (H), a military unit formed in the early years of World War II, and the 11th Airborne Division.
The group’s official website clarifies that the name was suggested to the founders of the club by a friend of theirs, Arvid “Oley” Olsen, who was a member of the Flying Tigers. No actual members of that squadron became members of the HAMC.
Some of the early history of the HAMC is not clear, and accounts differ. According to Ralph ‘Sonny’ Barger, founder of the Oakland chapter, early chapters of the club were founded in San Francisco, Gardena, Fontana, and other places independently of one another, with the members usually being unaware that there were other Hells Angels clubs.The Hells Angels official web site attributes the official “death’s head” insignia design to Frank Sadilek, past president of the San Francisco Chapter. The colors and shape of the early-style jacket emblem (prior to 1953) were copied from the insignias of the 85th Fighter Squadron and the 552nd Medium Bomber Squadron.
The Hells Angels utilize a system of patches, similar to military medals. Although the specific meaning of each patch is not publicly known the patches identify specific or significant actions or beliefs of each biker. The official colors of the Hells Angels are red lettering displayed on a white background — hence the club’s nickname “The Red and White”. These patches are worn on leather or denim jackets and vests, called ‘cuts’, so called due to the removal or ‘cutting’ of the collars and cuffs.
Red and white are also used to display the number 81 on many patches, as in “Support 81, Route 81”. The 8 and 1 stand for the respective positions in the alphabet of H and A. These are used by friends and supporters of the club, as only full members can wear any Hells Angels imagery. The rhombus-shaped ‘One-percenter’ patch is also used, displaying ‘1%’, in red on a white background with a red merrowed border.
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The McCook Outlaws Motorcycle Club was established out of Matilda`s Bar on old Route 66 in McCook, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Although the Club stayed together their activities had been limited during World War II. In May of 1946, the first major post-war motorcycle event was held at Soldier Field in Chicago. With new members coming from all over the Chicago area, the Club was growing in size from its early beginnings of 1935. Moving out of McCook and re-establishing itself in Chicago, the club decided to change its name. The “McCook Outlaws” became The “Chicago Outlaws”. The club logo also underwent a change; a small skull replaced the winged motorcycle and old English style letters. The design was embroidered on black shirts and hand painted on leather jackets. A set of Crossed Pistons were added to the small skull. This time the design was embroidered on black western style shirts with white piping.
The AMA (American Motorcycle Association) that supervises all official races in the USA, banned the word Outlaws from all race clothing. Club members who raced adapted and wore an “OMC” on their outfits till 1963. The Outlaws became the first true 1%er Club east of the Mississippi.
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The club was formed in 1966 in San Leon, Galveston County, Texas by Donald Eugene Chambers. Many people think after seeing a TV commercial with the Frito Bandito raising hell to sell Fritos corn chips, Chambers named his club the Bandidos. This is not true, as the cartoon came out in 1968 (although he did adopt an obese machete- and pistol-wielding Mexican Bandido as the center patch for the club’s colors). Don Chambers, having served in Vietnam as a Marine, modeled the clubs colors after the crimson and gold motif of the United States Marine Corps. After Chambers’ presidency ended due to his conviction for murder in El Paso, Texas, Ronnie Hodge was elevated to president. Under the watch of Hodge, the Bandidos expanded internationally to become an even bigger motorcycle club.
The Bandidos, also called the “Bandido Nation”, is the fastest-growing outlaw motorcycle club in the world with over 90 chapters in the United States, 90 chapters in Europe, and another 17 in Australia and Southeast Asia. In the United States, the club is concentrated in Texas, but extends into Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Washington State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and several other states. The Rock Machine Motorcycle club in Canada “patched over” to Bandidos in 2000, and there is a chapter in Toronto, Ontario. The Bandidos are also found in Australia; aside from the non-locale-specific Nomads chapter, the chapters are located in Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane City, Cairns, Sydney Downtown, Geelong, Gold Coast, Hunter Valley, Ipswich City, Mid North Coast, Mid State, Northside, Noosa, North Victoria, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, and Toowoomba, and were acquired with much bloodletting. In recent years the club has also expanded heavily into Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, France and the Channel Islands. Additionally, it is looking into setting up shop in Russia and Eastern Europe and also in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The Bandidos are organized by local chapters, with state and regional officers, as well as a national chapter made up of four regional vice presidents and a national president.
The Bandidos also have a large number of “support clubs.” These groups usually wear reverse colors (gold border with red background rather than the Bandidos’ red-border–and–gold background). They also commonly wear a “support patch” consisting of a round patch in Bandidos colors on the front upper left of the colors (vest), as worn by the member. Most of these clubs are regional.
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Hells Angels vs. Bandidos
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