Monday, March 22, 2010

The Boozefighters


by Eric Johnson

It was 1946 when an individual named Willie Forkner crashed through a fence during a race in El Cajon, California and joined in the fun. The club he was in did not find it funny so they kicked him out.

Some original Boozefighters members

Well Willie took it in stride and went about finding other outcast veterans who found life back in the States overwhelmingly dull. He didn't have to look long or far. Fatboy Nelson, Dink Burns, George Menker and more than a few others were ready for a change in some of the formalities of the clubs at the time.
It is said that the club was actually formed at the All American Bar, in the blue-collar town of South Gate in Los Angeles. A fitting name for a group that consisted of many Veterans of the great War, they had been there, done that so to speak and the quiet life just wasn't in them...

A REAL motorcycle ! 1946 FL Knucklehead...

So “Wino” Willie Forkner joined these men together and formed "The Boozefighters" (BFMC). The group pushed the limits of their bikes and themselves, racing to extreme speeds and pushing the danger envelope. As the group's name suggests, you can be sure there was no lack of the forbidden fruits of hops, barley, and wine. This combination of speed and liquor helped the Boozefighters obtain a less than desirable reputation with the common folk.

Just Rob, some hot chic as well as Boozefighters and the general public
stop by the Russellville bar on one of our Poker Runs.

The media took that reputation to the next level when the BFMC attended the infamous Hollister, CA Fourth of July party of 1947. The party got out of hand when some juiced up members of the BFMC were arrested for drinking and street racing. That incident provided much of the inspiration for the film The Wild Ones, which starred Marlon Brando. In fact, Wino Willie was believed to be the inspiration for "Chino," Lee Marvin's character in the film. Together the Hollister “riot” and the film jump started the outlaw motorcycle club scene.


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