December, 2010

Calling Rick

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Can Rick who emailed me about the Caine book please send me your email address at pedwards@thestar.ca? I’m having trouble returning your email. Cheers

He sees you when you’re drug dealing

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Here’s a Christmas reunion of a different sort: Winnipeg Hells Angels associate Joseph Ducharme will be reunited with his brother George for the holidays. While the ideal of a family get-together is cheerful, the venue isn’t: Stony Mountain Penitentiary. Seems the Ducharme boys were both naughty this year.

No Christmas peace on prairies

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

I’ve been trying to get some Christmas cheer up on this site, despite the grim topic of the book. I feel I should still keep you up to date on what’s happening in the real world, as it relates to the book. So that brings us to the murder of a former Rock Machine member on the prairies, just a week before Christmas.

Tangled up in mistletoe

Friday, December 17th, 2010

One of my favorite Christmas videos comes from a former motorcyclist, better known as a poet and songwriter.

Bob Dylan was almost killed in 1966 when he crashed his Triumph 500 cc Tiger 100 near Woodstock, N.Y. It’s still a little unclear what happened, since apparently no ambulances were called to the scene.

Fortunately, he lived on and stayed off motorcycles after that. Last year, he released his Christmas album. It’s hard to tell when he’s making fun of things and when he’s paying homage to them, or if he’s somehow doing both. Who cares? It’s fun to watch.

One of the highlights of promoting the book was when CBC Radio At Noon played Gotta Serve Somebody at the end of the interview. Researching the book reminded me how many people don’t really want to be free, or can’t even imagine freedom. How many free men were in Kellestine’s barn the night of April 6, 2006? Far safer to follow and blame whoever’s up ahead.

This version of Gotta Serve Somebody shows him at the 1980 Grammys. I’m not so sure about the Tony Orland tux, but the song holds up well. His gospel stuff of the time, which is kind of Christmasy, is better with the hands of true gospel singers like Etta James or Aaron Neville. The Queen James version has some bikes at the start, so it’s not totally out of place with this blog.

Last year’s Christmas album wasn’t his first foray into Yule material. He read The Night Before Christmas as well as anybody, with no hint of sarcasm in his voice.

Don’t block chimney Santa: or else!

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

I was driving in east Toronto today and came upon the Vagabonds Motorcycle Club clubhouse on Gerrard East at Woodbine. As is usual this time of year, the squatty little brick building sported a sign with a Santa’s sleigh being towed by a reindeer on a Harley.

The sign also had the words, “Merry Christmas.”

Lest anyone get too mushy with this display of the emotion of the season, there was still also a sign on the building that remains year-round. It reads, “PRIVATE DRIVEWAY/ DO NOT BLOCK/ OR ELSE!”

And on another holiday (but non-bikerish) note, there’s a Will Ferrell/ John C. Reilly video with another crusty attempt at merry-making. As this MTV writeup notes, the original David Bowie/ Bing Crosby video is so bizarre it’s pretty well impossible to parody.

Last of the Bandidos beats parole beef

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Bob (Peterborough Bob) Pammett attended Boxer Muscedere’s funeral after the massacre. If Peterborough Bob was more punctual, and had attended the April 2006 in Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine’s barn, he would have likely had a funeral of his own. As it is, Pammett is the only living, breathing Bandido remaining in Ontario, although the Texans running the club would call him an imposter. They maintain they have pulled the patches of everyone in the Great White North.

Pammett was able to convince a Peterborough court this week that it was just a series of coincidences that kept him running into outlaw bikers. He’s on house arrest for cocaine and assault breaches, but is allowed out two hours a day to shop and, apparently, repeatedly bump into his biker buddies.

Very un-bikerish

Friday, December 10th, 2010

It has been tough coming up with a posting that fits this time of year. Massacres of brothers and the Christmas season don’t exactly go hand in hand. Five years ago, around this time, Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine showed a dearth of Yule spirit when he threatened to shoot a disc jockey at a Bandido Christmas party for playing non-white, dance music.

So I’ve given up and I’m posting something very un-bikerish. It’s The Toronto Star’s most read online story today , with an accompanying video, and I’m surprised how much I like it. I hope you do too. And if you somehow find a biker connection which has escaped me, so much the better.

Former Bandido gets away with murder

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

I used to really get a laugh of Saturday Night Live years ago, when Chevy Chase played a news anchor on a segment called Weekend Update. A running gag was when he would read, in an earnest tone, “Our top story tonight! Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.” Other times, he’d read something to the effect of: “This breaking news just in! Generalissimo Franco is still dead.”

In the news business, there are plenty of General Franco stories. They’re clearly significant, but just not news anymore. Nothing has changed since the last report.

One such story that comes to mind at this time of year is the unsolved murder of Quan Cham Lu¬†outside the Guvernment nightclub, walking distance from my office at The Toronto Star. The mystery about this case isn’t who did the killing. Everyone who cares knows that. The mystery is why authorities haven’t done anything about that.

And it’s clearly not funny for anyone who cared about the victim or who cares about justice.