|WHAT IS A ONE PERCENTER?|
The term One Percenter is said to have been coined after an incident in Hollister, California in 1947 which was dubbed the Hollister riot. Whether an actual riot occurred is debatable, but there was a motorcycle rally in Hollister from July 4 to July 6 of that year that was attended by about 4000 people. Several newspaper articles were written that, according to some attendees, sensationalized the event. Life magazine ran an article that included a staged photo of a slovenly-looking man on a motorcycle with beer bottles piled under the wheels and a bottle in each of his hands. The film The Wild One, starring Marlon Brando, was inspired by this event, and it became the first in a series of movies that depicted bikers and members of motorcycle clubs in this stereotypical manner. It has been reported that the press asked the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) to comment on the Hollister incident, and their response was that 99% of motorcyclists were law-abiding citizens, and the last one percent were outlaws. Thus was born the term "one percenter." The AMA now says they have no record of such a statement to the press, and call this story apocryphal.They are also known as Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs or OMGs according to the ATF. Even among law enforcement, there were only four clubs truly considered as 1%ers and tagged as ‘The Big Four”. The four clubs were: 1. Hells Angels 2. Outlaws 3. Bandidos4. Pagans. In the last 15 to 20 years, more clubs colors have been bearing the 1% patch and have had it uncontested by the Big Four. Some of these clubs were absorbed by the Big Four, but some continued to stand on their own.
The 1%er clubs you see today are gentler and kinder, preferring to settle territorial differences at a mediation table rather than the physical conflicts that ensued in the early days. However, as the clubs grew into Europe, Australia, and other continents, the clubs there are demonstrating the same kind of growing pains in the fashion the American clubs did in their infant years. Too many of their disputes are still handled with force.