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Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Sutter’

The Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club House

The Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club House

There is plenty of hollywood sizzle to the story, but don’t hold your breath.  It’s not a new Kurt Sutter television drama on motorcycle outlaws and biker “authenticity.”

It’s been a week where the Oregon Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club (GJMC) can’t avoid the news.  The GJMC, who have sometimes had a violent history in the Northwest, have managed to limit their appearances in the crime scene so reports linking the club or members of the club to serious crimes is unusual.

The reports read like a melodramatic whodunit detective novel… There was a fractured skull, a broken rib, a broken leg and a removed nipple. Sounds like an overtly violent scene from Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy (SAMCRO) TV series, but according to law enforcement reports, Robert “Bagger Bobby” Huggins, 56, was an ousted Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club member who also had nails driven through his boots, slash wounds to his back and face and many blows to his face.  His lifeless body was found shirtless and bloody in a Clark County field on July 1, 2015 by timber loggers.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 12.36.01 PMThese news reports are just noise without context.  And, this week Detective Jim Lawrence provided that context during a 3-day bail hearing to Multnomah County Circuit Judge Gregory Silver stating that witnesses informed him that Huggins had been banished from the motorcycle club in 2014, after fellow members determined he was stealing money from the club to support his heroin habit.  The following year, Huggins burglarized the Woodburn home of the Gypsy Jokers club president** and tied the president’s girlfriend to a chair at gunpoint — enraging the president and other members enough to torture and kill him.  There are cellphone records linking some defendants to the crime scenes, there is neighborhood surveillance camera footage, Huggins blood was found in a Suburban used to transport the body and various people told police about certain elements of the story leading up to the killing or surrounding the killing.

(L to R): Fisher, Dencklau, Thompson, Pribbernow

(L to R): Fisher, Dencklau, Thompson, Pribbernow

At the end of the day a grand jury indicted:

  • Mark Leroy Dencklau**, 56, Earl Devearl Fisher Jr., 46, and Tiler Evan Pribbernow, 34, each on two counts of murder, criminal conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of criminal conspiracy to commit kidnapping and solicitation to commit kidnapping. The three men remain in custody and were arraigned in a Multnomah County Circuit Court.
  • Melachi Watkins, 32, on a murder count, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of criminal conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Watkins was already in a Washington state prison on unrelated charges.
  • Ronald Charles Thompson, 51, on two counts of hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence. He was released on bail, police said.
  • Kendra Castle, 43, on a hindering prosecution count. She was released on bail.

It has been reported that Watkins, Thompson and Castle will be arraigned at a later date.

Details on the investigation had been limited because of the ongoing investigation, but Detective Jim Lawrence made the above details of the case public this week during a 3-day hearing which was to determine whether three of four men charged with Huggins’ murder should be allowed to be released from jail pending trial, set for 2017. Defendants Mark Leroy Dencklau; Earl Devearl Fisher; and Tiler Evan Pribbernow, have all been held in jail with no possibility of posting bail since they were charged in April.  In Oregon, when a defendant is charged with murder, aggravated murder or treason, release is denied when “the proof is evident or the presumption strong that the person is guilty.”

At the conclusion of the 3-day hearing, Multnomah County Circuit Judge Gregory Silver refused to grant bail to the three men.  Courtesy of the Oregonian the video is HERE.

Additional background and information courtesy of the Mercury Tribune:

  • Mr. Dencklau** is, or was, the president of the Portland GJMC, according to this 2007 press release from a biker-friendly lawyer who successfully sued the City of Portland on behalf of the GJMC after a failed 2004 police raid at the club’s NE MLK headquarters. According to court records, Mr. Dencklau has one felony conviction, for possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.
  • Mr. Fisher has an extensive rap sheet, with five felony and four misdemeanor convictions, and seven parole violations. His most recent non-driving bust was in 2009 when he was convicted on two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.
  • Mr. Pribbernow is an Iraq War veteran and a methamphetamine addict. He was already in jail when the initial sweep happened, after a March arrest on meth possession and gun charges. He has at least eight prior felony and four misdemeanor convictions. Mr. Pribbernow’s been in the news before—most recently for a 2015 car chase that started in Oregon and ended in Vancouver, WA. Police discovered stolen license plates in his car, and booked him for driving under the influence of drugs, reckless endangerment, and eluding police.  He was also featured in a 2007 Willamette Week story for having shot a man, Kent Kotsovos, in Northeast Portland. He was arrested for attempted murder in 2005, but a grand jury said it was self-defense.
I’m not affiliated with any club.  I do not speak for the GJMC and I would never presume to speak for that club or any club.

As a motorcycle enthusiast I am less than thrilled to be highlighting this type of activity.  The mutilation and termination of an individual with extreme prejudice — a gangland style killing — will cause many to cast a colder eye on all bikers including the law-abiding, charitable brotherhood of family men who just like to ride.

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Sutter-5It happened again…

I’m talking about Kurt Sutter’s rant (again) about another Emmy snub for his critically acclaimed, astounding work of genius that is currently running fifteen or twenty times a week on FX Cable Network—Sons of Anarchy.

There were 13 episodes in Season 6 if you were keeping score.

We all know this is just a TV show, just like we all understand politicians who get in front of the camera and talk about jobs, the economic recovery, healthcare, the illegals crossing the border, etc., are just a TV show too.

For me, “Sons” lost its way a long time ago.  As the show gained notoriety, Sutter’s dark writing and extreme dramatic license became more about shock and awe moments than genuine storyline.  Even with a blog Sutter shout-out, I changed the channel, quit watching, stopped criticizing and moved on.

It’s now in its final season.  As a working blogger hack, it hardly matters what I think.  Of course, Sons of Anarchy is not made for me.  It’s made for an audience that spends its (jobless?) days on Facebook, or tweeting and surfing the web buying things on credit.

Frankly I could care less about the Emmys.  If we’re being intellectually honest, the Emmys are not and have never been a valid qualifier of talent.  Mr. Sutter clearly has talent and his share of loyal fans who believe he’s a genius, but why claim to be suffering from a syndrome named after a mediocre daytime soap actress (Lucci Effect)?

For my valuable entertainment time, Breaking Bad was just a vastly superior show.  Sons always had the potential and talent (in front of and behind the cameras), but seemed willing to settle for less (gratuitous and gruesome violence for ratings) rather than strive for the best.

Photo courtesy of Kurt Sutter and Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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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.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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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

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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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

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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