It took a while but the lesson that “Everything has a consequence,” finally sunk in to his rebel spirt. After 40 years – 35 as the hunted, hated, persecuted and prosecuted leader – George Christie he walked out, leaving the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle gang. “Things had changed drastically as I suffered in solitary confinement for something I never did. The Angels I returned to refused to see my vision for the future and I had no choice but to leave.”
Once called the “Al Capone of Ventura,” Christie faced the courts several times. Accused of racketeering, arson, and other crimes, avoided hit contracts on him from opposing groups. Despite it all, he thought himself as a peacemaker for the outlaw biker community.
The only child of Greek immigrants, George Christie longed to be part of something and more American. At nine-years old his first introduction to motorcycle groups was a chance meeting with a rough-looking stranger whose bike rumbled to a stop at a San Fernando street as he stood with his father and grandfather. The image, and fantasy, of what it would be like haunted him through his teen years even despite his parents’ disapproval. As most teens, he felt himself immortal and untouchable.
Being a marine in Vietnam gave Christie a taste of the danger and adrenaline, but when he left his heart longed for me. Not even his high-security day job with the Department of Defense gave him the boost he needed. PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) was only then being recognized not only with the veterans, but with anyone suffering traumatic events in their lives.
Then, a chance meeting with Old Man John, the then leader of Los Angeles Hell’s Angels, changed everything. As the president recognized the intelligence of the young man and took him under his wing. It was about brotherhood, partying, and having a good time with like-minded fellows. It was a romantic fantasy that was quickly put to the test as he learned that the Angels came first above the law, above family and above…almost everything. Being a member meant doing dangerous things and there was no option to refuse because doing so make you a coward and suspect. Even so, Christie related how he tried to guide the group in their impulsive decisions.
So, are the Hell’s Angels a group of organized criminals or compassionate caregivers who give to charity and the community? When the Feds tried to blast that the group sold weapons to terrorists, Christie arranged for them to help with the Olympics and put a different spin on the situation. Needless to say, the government was not happy with the challenge.
Now retired, Christie works as a media consultant expert on the outlaw lifestyle.
George Christie’s theatre project, written and directed by Richard La Plante, Outlaw interweaves some of his three books as well as the history channel network show, but it goes deeper and further than any of these. Yes, he did some illegal things though the play shows him as a complex person with many humanizing aspects
Two and a half hours with no intermission, the show intermingles narrative and period music, with flashes of news reels, and is produced by Charles Lago and Clago Productions. It premiers in Los Angeles at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks and runs until August 24, 2018 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets costs $25 and can be had by calling 213 713-9149.
An interesting and informative evening about another side of the coin.