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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hogs in Hell

Here is a good example of not getting what you expect. I guess perception is the problem. I was going into this thinking about all the cool biker shots I was going to make, like at bike shows and charity rides, etc. But I forgot one small detail... many of the members of the Hells Angels are "outlaws" in the REAL sense of the word. So access was restricted. Do the best you can with what you’re given, on deadline, and run with it. I was given permission from the owner to take some pictures before 7 when the bikers were due to arrive (They did not show until 8:15). I generally am a happy guy, smilin at the people as I walk around looking for photos. I was gettin some ‘stink eye’ or ‘hairy eyeballs’, or whatever, from some of the pre-party crowd. I even wore a Hawaiian style shirt so I was not to be confused with someone who pretended to belong there, aka undercover cops, you can guess what the standard attire was.

The Hells Angels 60th Photo Gallery (Click Here)

Hells Angels drink in 60 years
Stacia Glenn, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/21/2008 10:49:21 PM PDT

YUCAIPA - Darkness cloaked a batch of bikers clad in black leather vests as they rolled into the Hells Angels' 60th anniversary bash Friday night, but nothing could obscure the thunderous roar of Harley-Davidsons arriving en masse.
Residents lined Dunlap Boulevard to snap photographs of the notorious motorcycle club as the first members arrived at 7:41 p.m.
Several partygoers at Angels Roadhouse Bar and Grill paused with beer bottles halfway to their lips to watch the first 75 bikers pour into the spacious red tavern.
This is not the first time that the bar has opened its doors to Hells Angels, which got its start in San Bernardino.
But the motorcycle club hailed it as the "biggest, baddest" party yet.
"We always have a great time," bar owner Renee Vicary said. "They are who they are, and they're a great bunch of guys."
About 4,000 people were expected to turn out for the celebration, which kicked off about 5 p.m. with more than 100 people gathered inside sipping beer and socializing.
Angels Roadhouse can hold 2,200 people, and Vicary said she expected to reach capacity by 10 p.m.
Bartenders were prepared to turn people away.
Three bars were set up inside the 12,800- square-foot tavern, and Los Angeles-based rock band Judge Jackson ripped into its first song as the crowd swelled to nearly 1,000 people.
Bartenders fished bottled beers out of trash bins, trying to keep up with demands, and men continued to unload cases of beer from a Budweiser truck out back.
Forty extra San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, including several undercover officers and two teams from San Bernardino Movement Against Street Hoodlums, patrolled roads around the bar.
Some bikers said deputies took pictures of their tattoos as they exited the 10 Freeway.
A law-enforcement helicopter circled overhead.
Some people came to gawk at the tattooed bikers, others came to show their support of the Hells Angels.
"They've been around for so long, and they're all over the place," said Johnny Martinez, 58, as he leaned against his 2003 Soft Tail Springer Harley-Davidson. "It's who they are and what they represent."
On March 17, 1948, in San Bernardino, the motorcycle gang - which back then was a group of World War II veterans who refused to settle for 9-to-5 jobs and picket fences - started its first chapter.
Since then, the Hells Angels have repeatedly proved themselves to be rowdy partyers and charitable givers.
They operate an annual toy drive, delivering stuffed animals and games to sick children in hospitals.
But their San Bernardino clubhouse at Medical Center Drive and 19th Street has also been raided for drug and gun activity.
As in previous years, the private festivities are expected to continue tonight at the clubhouse.