Sunday, February 18, 2007


When I worked at the Scrap Bar, a rock bar that was favored by rock stars and rock star wannabes, our main security was done by some members of the Hell's Angels. Angels are not allowed to wear their colors when they are working, but they were pretty easy to spot. Some of those guys were not the most even-tempered, and perhaps not the best choice to monitor security. There were some pretty serious fights that happened in that bar and many times they were started by the guys that were supposed to be preventing them. Besides the Angel's, there were a few other biker gangs that hung out at the bar, mostly from Jersey, and sometimes it felt more like a biker clubhouse then a rock bar. Their domain was the back of the bar near the pinball machines by the bathroom, which often meant being somewhat harassed by a bunch of drunk biker dudes if you were waiting in line.

One of the girls that worked the door lived at the Angel's clubhouse on 3rd Street -- she went out with Steve, a big biker who was a real sweetheart. Steve and a few of the other guys worked in films a lot, doing background or featured small roles when they needed biker types. Steve was in the movie A Bronx Tale and filmed a scene where he wipes out on his bike. A year later Steve got killed in a motorcycle accident, which was really sad. Heather, who was a recovering addict, fell off the wagon and left town owing a lot of people a lot of money, including a few of my good friends.

A good friend of mine and Lisa's was a biker dude named Eddie. His nickname was Flathead, I don't know why, and he was the nicest guy in the world. He had a house in Long Island and we would go out there and swim in his pool and barbeque. He wasn't in a motorcycle club but he was really close with all of those guys. Our friend Greg, who was an Angel and lived in Long Island, would come pick us up and we would bike around Long Island. The great dichotomy was that Eddie always wanted to go to awesome places, like the Arboretum in Oyster Bay, which was hilarious because everyone would be staring at these huge biker dudes, wearing leather and covered in tattoos, who were walking around admiring orchids in the green house.

For the most part the guys I knew who were bikers were actully pretty cool and creative people. In some ways they fit the stereotype exactly and in other ways they broke the mold. I will say that you did not fuck around with these dudes and those who did found out pretty quickly that it was a mistake. There is an unspoken code about the level of respect that certain people get in these scenes. I witnessed some really violent episodes in those days. Those were interesting times, but I am glad they are over for me now.


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