Monday, September 15, 2008

My Weekend With the Sons of Anarchy





I went camping in the San Gabriel mountains this weekend with my in-laws and some outlaws -well, only a handful were real outlaws, the rest were Messengers of Recovery Motorcycle Club. The MoRMC is made up of recovering alcoholics/addicts. My father-in-law is a patch-holding member of the Riverside chapter of the Messengers of Recovery biker club. I had studied the ettiquette and protocol of Outlaw and AMA (non-outlaw) biker clubs and written a research paper on them a few months earlier for my Cultural Anthropology paper. Did you know that they never lock their bikes at a rally because it's an insult. It is like calling the other bikers thieves. Also, you should never touch another man's "cut" (vest with the club's patch, which has had the sleeves cut off). If someone loses their cut, it is a big disgrace. Worse than that is to lose your patch or be forced to surrender your colors.

Lately I've been following the new FX series Sons of Anarchy, a show about a fictitous California outlaw biker gang which co-stars Beast/Hellboy/City of the Lost Children/Harry & the Henderson's Ron Pearlman.
by the way, did you ever wonder if he might have been Tom Waits fraternal twin, separated at birth? It's a lot more believeable than Sczhwarzenegger and DeVito, but probable a bit less comical.


Many of Riverside MOR members have been in several of the shows, playing bit parts and extras. I heard stories about Pearlman dumping his bike so often that they just cart him on the back of a trailer to film his riding scenes. They hire porn stars for the party scenes, which the Messengers find amusing because, as I noticed, 99% of the women in the clubs are someone's "old lady(wife/longstanding girlfriend must earn old lady status by showing loyalty to their men- old ladies are not to be confused with 'mamas')" and have the complexion of a pair of leather boots with breasts that have surrendered to gravity long ago. Nothing like the plastic party girls with double basketball chests that you see on the show.

One of them said he gets paid just to have his bike placed in a shot, so he usually checks the scripts and shrewdly finds the best position to have his bike parked. They also got to shoot rowdy party scenes in which one of the bikers had to endure shooting 3 versions of being passed out at the bar while the others spilled beer over him and whatever else they dished out. They even get paid to eat lunch. It pays around 17.50/hr. for 8 hours of "work."


Other highlights of the weekend were the view from my tent, which I pitched right on the edge of the river, the sound of the river lulling me to sleep, running live sound for the hired band, and hearing the recovery story Paul McCartney's original drummer, Denny Seiwell. Apparently Seiwell was swindled out of millions of dollars of money owed to him for playing with Macca from the "Ram" album, on up the first few Wing's albums. Paul, as it turned out, had no idea this had occured over the course of more than a decade, and recently righted the financial wrong and restored the relationship with Denny.

I have a ton of shirts to screen for tomorrow's big show at the Glass House. I'll leave you with the view from tent:

5 comments:

Spitting Image said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
espionage said...

Wait, what? You are completely leaving me hanging.

amy said...

Ron Pearlman and Tom Waits are twins! only Tom Waits looks to be about 5'6" maybe and Ron Pearlman looks to be about 7' tall.

Did you ever see the show on dateline (or something of the likes) about how this cop went undercover as an outlaw? It was a pretty good program. There was such a fine line between being a cop and being an outlaw that when it came down to busting the outlaws the cop would have gotten in so much trouble for all the things he did while in the gang that they couldn't prosecute the outlaws without him getting in big trouble.

You must have felt like Pee Wee amongst all those bikers, but once you put on your white shoes and dance to "tequila" you're a shoe in, right?



Remember when you tried to take my vest? Thats right, you got a fat lip didn't you? Don't ever try it again!

espionage said...

What I was referring to was by not having a photo from the tent! But, you got it up and it's amazing. Everything I would imagine.

Mortar Mitch said...

Well I've never seen the show, and I know this is an older posting, but I just saw that guy whom you've compared to Tom Waits... See, I only found your blog because I couldn't believe my eyes, and googled "Tom Waits Sons of Anarchy"... and yours is the first post. Yes, if they are not one and the same, they are at least brothers from the same mother and date of birth...