The Outlaws Motorcycle Club, despite being older than the Hells Angels, still continues to lack what some might call the ‘romance’ of the rival motorcycle gang. It is very rare to hear stories regarding the Outlaws which don’t refer to drugs, violence and occasionally murder.
The Outlaws can, however, trace their history back with a little more exactitude than the Hells Angels can; in 1935 in the small town of McCook (now more of a suburb of Chicago), the club was formed by bikers who drunk at Matilda’s Bar. At that time they were known as the McCook Outlaws. The years of the Second World War were necessarily quiet but following the war the club began to attract more members from the Chicago area.
The club changed their name to the Chicago Outlaws and started to base themselves in Chicago itself. In 1963 the Outlaws became official members of the one percenter club, placing themselves in the one percent of motorcyclists nationwide who did not respect the law.
In 1964 the club gained their first non-Chicago members; these were the Cult Motorcycle Club from New York who subsequently became fully-fledged outlaws. The first affiliates arrived in the same year – the Gypsy Raiders from Louisville, Kentucky and the Gypsy Outlaws from Milwaukee.
Towards the end of 1964, as the Outlaws grew beyond their original surroundings, the ‘Outlaw Nation’ was established with Chicago as the ‘mother’ Chapter. On January 1st 1965, the Outlaws formed the American Outlaws Association (A.O.A.) and at this point the group was some way ahead of the Hells Angels in terms of structure and organisation.
As with the Hells Angels, the Outlaws put much significance in their patches and thesehave evolved over the years. The original winged motorcycle was replaced by a skull and in 1954 crossed pistons were added. After the American Motorcycle Association banned the word ‘Outlaw’ n race clothing, O.M.C. replaced ‘Outlaw Motorcycle Club’ on the jackets.
Part Two follows….