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Twin Peaks Restaurant

Nearly two years after a deadly and horrific shooting it remains clouded with mystery, is intriguing and familiar, all at the same time.

There are unexpected admirers, hundreds of legal proceedings and thousands of investigative hours completed to date.  There is an on-going “outlaw motorcycle gang” task force and there was an interesting book written by Donald Charles Davis aka. “The Aging Rebel” about Texas law enforcement, the clubs, the personalities and the event.

Photo sampling of Twin Peaks shooting

Of course, I’m talking about the Twin Peaks Massacre — the deadliest biker violence in U.S. history that took place on May 17, 2015.

Make no mistake, some motorcycle clubs never shy away from flaunting their brutal pedigree, and in Waco, TX the shootout left 9 dead (four by police) and 18 wounded in or near the popular Central Texas restaurant.  Reportedly a dispute broke out, escalated to include knifes and firearms and then spilled into a shooting rampage in the restaurant parking lot.  Remarkably, law enforcement was aware of the large “gathering,” along with the potential for trouble and were pre-positioned in a show of force to address or stamp down any violence.

Shooting aftermath…

If only the parking lot could talk…

Once the deadly shooting brawl subsided, law enforcement arrested 177 persons (173 male and 4 females) from a variety of motorcycle clubs as well as everyday motorcycle enthusiasts/patrons who were in attendance.  Some may have rode in for fine dining, but they didn’t ride out.  Instead they were arrested on organized crime charges.

Yeah it’s Texas, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives retained and have in possession more than 475 weapons from the scene, including at least 151 firearms.

Sure, it can be a messy world, but this was no motorcycle episode of Sons of Anarchy debating how the biker life is too short for would-haves and the need to follow your own compass.  This was a disgustingly brutal and super bloody mass killing on full display during a public motorcycle “gathering.”  Is there any doubt why the press and media continue to push a negative biker narrative?

Sadly, the nine dead were members of the Bandidos and Cossacks motorcycle clubs.

Within a few hours accusations that the shootings were an aggressive overreaction by law enforcement began.  Then within days the conspiriacy rumors surfaced that it was a Federal agency tactic, motivated to bring the 1% clubs down.  And if that didn’t spark enough law enforcement skeptisim, many of the mass arrests were misclassified and have created severe consequences to innocent people not to mention the potential for numerous civil rights violations.

Jump forward nearly 2-years after the gathering and shooting spree or massacre, there remains 154 persons, currently under indictment. Nobody has been cleared.  38 people, including women, are still “under investigation.”  One indictee and one potential indictee has died during this lengthy delay to find justice.

There’s been a number of national and international publications “explaining” the event.  From the beginning, authorities in Texas have worked to control the narrative of what happened at Twin Peaks.  Almost 200 people potentially face long prison terms for conspiring to act criminally although prosecutors have refused to state what each of those defendants actually did other than what looks like they were trying to survive a mass shooting event.

Over the years motorcycle enthusiasts have become familiar with government entities nibbling away at their freedoms and this has a Déjà vu feeling.

I wasn’t there, but can imagine this event being a “change your life” moment.  I do recall instances of being in a public setting with riding buddies, other motorcycle enthusiasts along with various motorcycle club members enjoying the rally experience.  Only to witness a spark of personality that ignites a “bring it on bigger” a‘tude and the flaunting of an aggressive remedy putting everyone at risk.

I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night and being attentive to your surroundings can be just as important to protecting yourself as putting on a helmet.  I like riding motorcycles and the overall rally/group experience, but I also like my life away from it.

But I’ve digressed.

I’ve been monitoring the bits of information about this shootout as well as the legal proceedings and am reminded of that carney (Anderson) in the Twin Peaks TV series.  Every summer the Carnivàle came to town.  The strange little fellow spoke in an unusual manner.  He would speak backwards and used phonetically reversed speaking as a “secret language.”

It’s as if there is some type of “secret language” being used in Waco.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but according to Katherine K. Young who wrote in her book“every real conspiracy has had at least four characteristic features: groups, not isolated individuals; illegal or sinister aims, not ones that would benefit society as a whole; orchestrated acts, not a series of spontaneous and haphazard ones; and secret planning, not public discussion” — all of this seems to imply that nothing with the Twin Peaks Massacre happened by accident, nothing is as it seems, and everything is connected.

Photos courtesy of Waco Tribune-Herald (Jerry Larson) and Google Image Search

Some references in developing this post:

Motorcycle Profiling Project

One Percenter Bikers

Daily Mail

GQ Article

Texas Monthly

Aging Rebel

Waco Tribune-Herald

 

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Sons of Anarchy co-star Mark Boone Junior, (Bobby)

Sons of Anarchy co-star Mark Boone Junior (Bobby)

It would seem that AOL CEO, Tim Armstrong, isn’t the only person making inexcusable blunders that goes far beyond foolish.

Huh?

Let me provide some context.  

You might recall how the AOL CEO whined last week  that two “distressed babies” had cost his company a million dollars each. That pronouncement was widely criticized, especially because it seemed Armstrong (who was paid over $12M last year) was trying to shift the baby care costs onto the Internet company’s employees. Armstrong cited it as a reason AOL had decided to change, but later reinstated, its 401(k) match.  One of the “distressed babies” mothers spoke out (HERE). 

And speaking about gaffes and foolishness… we now have the Sons of Anarchy co-star Mark Boone Junior, (Bobby) taking credit for and stating that the TV show “basically saved Harley” to Susan Carpenter of The Hollywood Reporter.

"Sons" co-star Mark Boone Junior, (Bobby) Rides?

“Sons” co-star Mark Boone Junior (Bobby) Rides?

By any measure, “Sons” is a disturbingly violent TV show  that includes a theme of rape, torture, brutal assaults, and bath tubs full of human excrement.  It’s about a 1% motorcycle club — which creator Kurt Sutter readily admits has always traded in “blood and guts” – with “actors,” many of which don’t know how to ride a motorcycle – now proclaiming that he (Boone Junior) and his fellow cast members are the reason that Harley-Davidson recovered from the financial collapse and economic meltdown.

Only in the make believe world of Charming, California.

Let’s get real here. Saved Harley-Davidson?  That is ridiculous!  It’s more than just a bit of a stretch and goes far beyond foolish.  It’s almost as out of touch with reality as the “distressed babies” claim.

Hey Bobby, I’ve got news for you.  Get ready, because it’s an emotional gut punch. The faux outlaw motorcycle gang drama that you co-star and “ACT” in didn’t save Harley!

However, I do wonder how Harley-Davidson management reconciles profiting off violence  as they cozy up and work to be affiliated with an uber-violent TV show.  Basically a TV gang, most of whom are governed by violent criminals.  Sure it’s an imaginary world, but seems out of step.  And, Jennifer Hoyer, (Harley-Davidson Media Relations Manager) explains it well:  “Our relationship with SOA has been mostly beneficial from our side, as we have enjoyed getting many of the cast members all to be real riders — showing them the freedom that Harley-Davidson motorcycles bring to their lives.”

Real riders!  We got the point already. 

Note: To be fair, the Harley-Davidson Foundation does a significant amount of community outreach.  For example, working with the Sojourner Family Peace Center to break the cycle of family violence in Milwaukee, Disabled Vets, Big Brothers Big Sisters, MDA and YMCA to name just a few.

In the spirit of the SOA outlaw I copied the photos from FX Networks without permission.

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David Pritikin

David Pritikin Posing

The Devils Ride executive producer, David Pritikin of Discovery Channel has a new diet and exercise regime for motorcycle club reality TV.  It’s call apply more pressure to capture increasingly more dramatic footage.

Could anyone be happier than Eric Bishoff who offered to present viewers with an “inside look” of a Dago MC, but is really selling us counterfeit merchandise?  The last episode of robbing a street corner drug dealer to keep the “heat” off the club house.  Really?

Spoiler Alert:  In case you didn’t know, the show actually employs screenwriters whose job is to feed the character dialogue or create a general storyline arc in hopes that the audience will not tire of the show when the real sequence of events seems too boring.  This occurs on each show to preserve the illusion of unscripted reality TV.

The Devils Ride is a whole cascade of negligence and one has to wonder if the autopsies are pending?

And speaking of autopsies, a recent report by the L.A. Times showed that some reality TV programs cut corners on safety, exposing cast and crew to hazardous working conditions.  A combination of tight budgets, lack of trained safety personnel and pressure to capture dramatic footage has caused serious and in some cases fatal incidents.

whiteboi-SOA

The Real Life Sons of Anarchy. Really?!

I’m not implying that The Devils Ride cuts safety corners, but in February an unnamed TV show being filmed for Discovery Channel resulted in a helicopter crash that killed three people.  It was one of the worst film set accidents in recent years.  It’s not clear what caused the crash and it’s being investigated by the FAA and NTSB.  And then last June, Terry Flanell was killed while shooting a pilot for Discovery Channel called “Brothers in Arms” at a Colorado shooting range when two smoke bombs detonated sending a metal pipe toward Flanell.

I see a trend.

Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy

Of course the Discovery Channel is well insulated from the specific filming activity.  The shows are produced by a separate company (example: Eyeworks USA) and they use Film L.A. Inc., to obtain film permits/permission and to pass filming code the L.A. County Fire Department assigns an advisor to the site to provide guidance on any issues.  But, it’s well known in the industry that many incidents go unreported because crew members sign non-disclosure agreements, and many in the show are non-union workers or are classified as independent contractors.

change-Dannyboy

The Channel

The Devils Ride self-promoters are rampant, but what’s stunning is a TV show that most everyone from “clubbers” to motorcycle enthusiasts vehemently dislike is averaging about 1.2M viewers a week (Nielsen Media Research).  The show is capturing about 800K a week for the prime 18-49 adult demographic.  Although the show ranking is typically in the bottom 10% of the cable shows and where both Teen Mom II on MTV and Dinners, Drive Ins and Dives on the Food Network outperform there is obviously a number of people who think it’s the best show on Monday night TV.

This is my FINAL blog post on the TV show.  I’m providing “oxygen” to something that should be pulled off life support.  For those begging to see more, below is additional information I’ve researched on the various cast members and producers.  Twitter accounts are flooded with “fan boy” comments wanting to get closer to the 15 minutes of shame.

Executive Producers
Jason Hervey
Eric Bischoff –  or web site
Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment
David Pritikin (Discovery) –  or David Pritikin Filmography

Motorcycle Clubs
Sinister Mob Syndicate MC Club (Sin Mob MC)
Laughing Devils MC

Sin Mob (Sinister Mob Syndicate MC Club)
RRKnockout –  Ralph “Rockem” Randolph
Bubba
Grizz
Diesel
Headcase

Laughing Devils
Danny Boy (Prez) – Facebook
MadMax (VP)
Slider (Tres)
Sancho
Sandman
Bonez
Spyder – or Facebook page
Chris Boultinghouse (WhiteBoi) –  Facebook page  or web site

TV Show MC Women
Melis – Sandman’s ex-wife.
Laughing Devils Ol Ladies – Group of women related to members of the LDMC

Other Notable Bits Of Info
Howard “Rusty” Irvine Coones –  Twitter; Guest star on first season also appeared in episode 509 of SOA.  Previously President of Orange County HAMC chapter.
Attika 7 – Rusty Coones Band; In Oregon prison he picked up the guitar again.
Illusion Motorsports –   Company run by: Rusty Coones, Rodrigo Requejo, Katherine “KO” Coones.
Knockout Motorcycles –  Company run by: Ralph “Rockem” Randolph); former HAMC member.

Reality TV Research
Levin, Gary. “Simple Economics: More Reality TV.” Usatoday.com. USA Today. 09 May 2007.  Web. 2 Nov. 2009.
Booth, William. “Reality Is Only An Illusion, Writers Say.” The Washington Post. Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2004. Web. 2 Nov. 2009.
Ventre, Michael. “Just how real are reality TV shows?” Msnbc.msn.com. MSN. 14 April 2009. Web. 2 Nov. 2009.

Photos courtesy of Discovery.

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Maisto “Sons of Anarchy” 1:18 Scale Bikes

Maisto “Sons of Anarchy” 1:18 Scale Bikes

There is now the Sons Of Anarchy collection of die-cast motorcycles.

Back in December, Maisto announced they worked closely with 20th Century Fox and Harley-Davidson to bring fans of the show 1:18 scale die-cast versions of the SOA motorcycles in association with the TV show characters: Jax, Clay, Opie and JT – the SOA Motorcycle Collection.

Not only can you now dress and ride like SOA outlaws, thanks to a flurry of licensing deals that includes everything from actual motorcycles at Bartel’s H-D to hats, games, stationary, jewelry, calendars, stickers, wall graphics and more.   Now while sitting in your work cube thinking about the winter cold you can have your very own die-cast outlaw motorcycle to stare at and think about how you can’t wait to ride in warmer weather!

The Maisto brand name was registered in 1990 by May Cheong, a vertically integrated manufacturer based in Hong Kong. The company has been manufacturing die cast replicas for over 40 years.  They have over 11,000 employees worldwide, and manufacturing facilities covering more than 2 Million square feet.

Sons Of Anarchy merchandise sales have grown 70% year-to-year since 2010.  This is not a U.S. only concept as the TV show is a hit in U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands.  And with the TV show committed through a seventh season merchandise sales will only increase.

Previous SOA/H-D license deals blog post HERE.

Photo courtesy of Maisto, 20th Century Fox and Harley-Davidson.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Who does Kurt Sutter (writer/creator of Sons of Anarchy) go to for guidance?  Who understands how that game is really played?

It’s not your best friend. They’ll tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to know.  It’s likely a business colleague. One who might not even truly be a friend. Who’s a bit more than an acquaintance. Who knows the parameters. Who will help you out.  Some will want payback because that’s the game they play. They’ll help you out so you’ll help them out, when they need it.  Others do it out of the goodness of their heart.

Those with wisdom have experience and in the end you’ll need their advice, or you’re lost.

I question where Mr. Sutter looked for guidance, on the Season 5 premier because it beamed us directly into the aftermath of an over-the-top hedonistic tryst that was quickly followed-up with shock-and-awe violence that would horrify any popcorn eating audience into dazed disbelief.

Battered Barbies

Really Mr. Sutter?  REALLY.

You can’t quantify wisdom because it’s not something you put on the wall, it’s something you gain, through insight.

Yeah, I get starting a new TV season off with some controversy, but did anyone else think the shock mongering (dismemberment and immolation) went too far?  Was that necessary or needed?  Has the show truly come down to keeping the buzz fresh with “shock-till-you-drop” antics for horror M/C fans?

What’s next?  A scene where Jax’s kids are playing with abused and “Battered Barbies”… Sure it’s a kids toy, but why not freak out people in a negative way for TV ratings?!

And always on the lookout to appeal to women riders and the opportunity to associate with dirty cops, domestic violence and retaliation killings, Harley-Davidson announced a new contest for fans of the show.  SOA enthusiasts are invited to visit HERE through November 19, 2012 and leave feedback on which actor of Sons of Anarchy they would like to ride with, where they would like to ride and which activities they would do at that destination.

I wonder if the contest will include a visit to Nero Padilla’s (Jimmy Smits) modern day business?

Photo courtesy of FX and Battered Barbie courtesy of Women’s Resource Center

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Limited edition Son’s of Anarchy motorcycles

I called this back in 2009 with a post called Bottling Ideas.  UPDATE: Actually now that I’ve re-scanned the blog it was even earlier with a post in 2008 called Harley SAMCRO Limited Edition Motorcycle HERE.

I’m talking about the FX television series “Son’s of Anarchy (SOA)“, and a new deal with Harley-Davidson for custom motorcycles made by 20th Century Fox Consumer Products as part of a flurry of licensing deals for SOA that includes clothing, leather jackets, hats, t-shirts, games, calendars, stationary and much more.

Thanks to Bartels’ Harley-Davidson the bike maker will produce 100 limited edition Son’s of Anarchy motorcycles that will retail for about $25,000 each at Harley dealers this fall.   Now TV viewers can further tap into the motorcycle club fantasy… who doesn’t want to pretend to be a ‘clubber’ and ride a faux outlaw biker motorcycle, right?

I can’t think of another TV show that cuts across multiple gender identities, social boundaries, is a taboo breaker, a mainstream manufactured product for the rebellious and the dispossessed.  If ever there was a Harley-Davidson brand ambassador it would be Kurt Sutter’s (@sutterink), Son’s of Anarchy!

SOA is about to enter its fifth season, and is now the most-watched show in its history among total viewers 18-49. The most recent season the show averaged 5.5 million viewers per episode. It was also the number three DVD release among TV shows in 2011.  And after growing online merchandise sales for FX’s top-rated show about 70 percent year-to-year since 2010, Fox is shifting to brick and mortar retailers like Spencer Gifts, Transworld/FYE and Hastings.

I wouldn’t be honest if I failed to mention that this feels like a disaster for any person who rides to a rally thinking they’ll have instant club admiration.  However, it could be shrewd marketing of misbehavior and we’ll see a formal offering from the motor company every year!  Any of the “noise” generated in the press and blogosphere helps in terms of show profile, helps H-D reinforce how the middle finger of rebellion built the brand.  And isn’t that all that matters in the end?!

I don’t have a Kurt Sutter man-crush, but he does deserve a big shout-out for remaining true to the setting in the TV show without becoming stereotypical.  We know it’s hard work compared to the Laffing Devils crap the Discovery Channel is trying to pass off as good TV.

Here are some previous SOA blog posts made over the years: OMG New Media Darlings; Men of MayhemBikes, Bullets & Brawls; Mail Room of LifeBottling Ideas; Be Good & You’re Lonely; Sutter Shout Out; Season 3 IdeasWorking The SOA Trail

Photo courtesy of SOA and RatRodStudios.com.

All Right Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Eric Bischoff Web Site

You might be interested to know that if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, we wouldn’t have The Devils Ridea parody TV show about an outlaw motorcycle club that is produced for the Discovery Channel by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment.

Yeah, I did it.  I just connected the dots of Lex Luger, Ric Flair, “Hollywood Huckster” and the Giant… to a semi-glorified American motorcycle TV show.  It’s a long read, but click HERE for the details.  I’ve previously laughed at the Devils HERE.

It turns out that Eric Bischoff, one of the Executive Producers of The Devils Ride along with Jason Hervey, was instrumental in redefining the WCW wrestling landscape with clowns, midgets and other outlandish characters and has now applied his wrestlemania ‘magic’ to a TV show about the world of motorcycle clubs and the sometimes simple-minded members of San Diego’s — The Laffing Devils (LDMC).

Clearly with today’s lowest common denominator of TV viewers we face a real crisis in mainstream society’s media preferences.  The measurement bar was on the floor, but everyone wants it lowered!  Just when you think it’s become increasingly difficult for producers to insult the intelligence of the American public the Discovery Channel announced this week that the Laffing Devils is officially a hit after only six episodes and it has been renewed for a second “season.”  Is it futile to hope that none of the original cast members return?!  For Discovery Channel, David Pritikin is Executive Producer of The Devils Ride.

David Pritikin – Discovery Channel Executive Producer of The Devils Ride.

As the competition for the stupidity dollar grows ever more fierce The Discovery Channel has repeatedly stated that the television show is about a “real” club.  They even brought in the real and apparently retired Hells Angel Rusty Coones.  Coones is the former President of the Orange County (California) charter of the Hells Angels.  Back in June 1999 he was arrested on federal drug charges and sentenced to eight years in prison. One of his defenders with an 8-minute attention span limit was celebrity bike builder Jesse James who married Sandra Bullock, then divorced, but in his spare time somehow made some Hollywood business connections. After he got out of prison Coones with the help of James connections made some show business connections, too.

So for viewers who need to be spoon-fed credibility, one episode of The Devils Ride featured Coones sending a group of Laffing Devils to repossess a bike for him in Las Vegas. It’s unconfirmed, but one could speculate that Coones was compensated for his appearance.  With a lot of free time in prison Coones continued to play the guitar and also began writing songs. He now plays lead guitar for a heavy metal group named Attika7 and is an owner at Illusion Motorsports.

No-one is better at pandering to an outlaw image or their bad tendencies than Kurt Sutter, so the Attika7 songs have been placed in episodes of the Sons of Anarchy (SOA) TV show.  Meanwhile Coones appeared in a second episode to play with his band in the Laffing Devils’ new club house where they all seem to smoke expensive cigars while sipping expensive glasses of wine.

Thank you Discovery Channel you complete me!

Clearly it’s all about this symbol —  $$$ — because the old fashion stuff like ethics, morals and honor are way down on the list for a TV producer.  It’s interesting to note that the trademark registration for “Sinister Mob Syndicate MC” was filed by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment Television, LLC of 1754 14th Street in Santa Monica on May 18, 2012. That application listed Tommy “Gipsy” Quinn, the founder of the Laffing Devils as the last listed owner of the mark. However, that application was withdrawn and re-filed on May 24, 2012 without Mr. Quinn’s name.  I smell a new round of t-shirts and hoodies for the very lucrative stupid-person market.

Photo’s courtesy of Eric Bischoff web site and Twitter

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