By James “Hollywood”Macecari
If you’ve been in the biker scene for any length of time you probably have seen some people decked out in a club’s support gear. It’s one of those things I think makes people look ridiculous. I can see wearing a support shirt or hat, but some people take it way too far. I’ve seen some people wearing the colors of the club all the way down to the shoes. If anything screams wannabe, it’s those types of people. I get it, you support the club, but it’s another thing to take it to the extreme.
There is a problem I’ve seen clubs get into when it comes to support merchandise. For one, they breed morons like I was talking about above. Secondly, those morons are usually the ones who bring all the police attention to the club. I’ve done many articles on this subject over the years. Some of the news concerning clubs involved “associates of the clubs,” as law enforcement so conveniently describes them. The one thing I found most of the time with people appearing in articles, labeled that way, had nothing to do with the club. Yep, you guessed it, they bought the support wear online. That therein lies the problem for clubs. Clubs who sell support merchandise online don’t know who they are selling to.
The Clubs logo and reputation are on the line when selling their support gear
One story I’ve been covering the last couple days has to do with a murder of four family members. The police have released a statement that the Bandidos motorcycle club is somehow involved in this. The prime suspect in the case was seen wearing support gear for the Bandidos. Actually, I’ve shown a video on this over on our YouTube channel of the suspect walking into a target store. Further digging into the matter I’ve found out through public resources this suspect has a sex charge on him. He actually tried to rape his own mother. Right there I knew this dude wasn’t a member of the Bandidos. The Bandidos or any other club wouldn’t let a scumbag like this into their club. Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t see that happening.
So, dude is seen walking into a Target store with the clubs support wear on, and the cops automatically assume he’s a Bandidos Associate. This is where selling support wear to people you do not know will get the club into a bunch of shit. Look what it’s doing right now to the Bandidos in Washington. The club is being accused of participating in the murders of an entire family. This is all because a piece of shit was caught on camera with their support wear. I don’t think the club would want their logo or support gear on someone like that. Problem is that online sales don’t help a club at all. Sure, the money is good, but the problems that come with it are not worth the trouble. When a story like this breaks it clouds the clubs reputation up, something that most clubs don’t need. Especially with the police pressure they are always facing.
Well who the hell asked you for your advice?
Simple answer is nobody! I’m just stating a viewpoint on what I notice in the news. Furthermore, my question is, why would motorcycle clubs want the extra law enforcement attention? I hear about it and read about it all the time. Motorcycle Clubs are always getting profiled and having to deal with law enforcement harassment. I’m merely giving a suggestion on how they can lessen that problem before they get into a situation . Don’t know about you, but some of these people like I mentioned before, have taken it to a whole different level and bringing unwanted attention to clubs. I’ve seen more shit start up between clubs on the internet because of these supporters, it’s mind boggling. I’ll bet you if the clubs stop selling their stuff online and do what they used to, problems wouldn’t be so prevalent like they are. In the old days, which I know are no longer, clubs only sold to people they knew. Let’s just say there were less problems than there are now.
I like to jump off subject a little bit for a second. I get many people who do not understand that I’m an Op-Ed writer. You can also say I’m an opinion columnist. This is my job, this is what I do. Call me the Dear fucking Abby of the motorcycle scene. Whatever floats your boat, to best describe what I do, then run with it. That being said, the keyword is op-ed. This means it’s only an opinion and isn’t gospel. It’s actually just entertainment if you want to get technical about it. I’m no biker expert. Yes I’ve been around the block, but that doesn’t mean I’m an expert. If you want to get expert advice on a particular subject then go ask a graybeard. My material encompasses a whole spectrum of subjects on a National and International level. Many of the things I talk about have nothing to do with the local level. Again, supporters of clubs remember that. Afterall, it’s the supporters of these clubs who really don’t get that premise.
I’ll make it easier for you all that don’t understand, or are just plain ignorant. Think Easyriders or Outlaw Biker Magazine. That’s Insane Throttle, we are entertainment on most of our programs and cover the news in the scene on the other ones. That’s it, all there is to it. Do we upset people with some of our material? Damn right we do and we hear it all the time. Does it bug us in anyway? Nope! This is because we know it’s entertainment and news, just like any news program you would see in the mainstream media. Nothing we do is personal. Our goal is to cover the scene as a whole, not just a certain segment of the motorcycle scene. With this in mind, we have to appeal to everyone, not just the hardcore motorcycle club members and their supporters.
I’ve taken plenty of heat since we mixed up our platform the last couple of months. I’ve taken the stand of only talking about motorcycle clubs in a news format. I personally don’t like getting involved in protocol and politics. The reason is because that scene isn’t me anymore, not to mention I have no desire to be apart of any motorcycle club. If I don’t have that desire, than my thinking, is why even talk about it in that sense? I might come off as being hard on clubs when conducting the news program on our radio show and on YouTube. I agree sometimes I might, but it’s in an opinion segment type of way. I have no personal thoughts one way or another on how a motorcycle club conducts itself, because it doesn’t involve me. My opinions come from my love of the scene. If I see something that could affect the scene as a whole I speak up, just like everyone else should do.
You want to know the truth?
Although I support motorcycle club rights, I support riding clubs more than I do clubs. My personal belief is riding clubs are the closest you can come to what the scene is all about. Riding clubs were started by the manufacturers when most of them started up. The Gypsy Tours and the hill climbs and flat tracking is what I see the scene being. The politics that come from clubs is something I’m not interested at all in. Again, we are biker news and we have to cover it, but when it comes to personal taste I prefer riding clubs. I’ve done club life, as much fun as I had, it’s just not something for me anymore. This is why you see most of the time I promote riding clubs, when it comes to someone asking about what they should join.
With all the publicity that comes from law enforcement because of support gear. Clubs should really think hard about how they are selling it. When clubs do not know who they are selling to they could end up with problems they don’t want. What are your thoughts on the subject, do you think it does harm to the clubs brand, when they sell to people they do not know? Leave your thoughts in the comment section and let me know how you feel.