Exclusive Interview With Ex-Hells Angels George Christie: The Man Beyond The Myth PART 2
Ex-Hells Angels George Christie: An exclusive interview, Part 2
Before we depart on this second and closing ride I advise you to read Part 1 of George Christie, The Man Beyond The Myth. It is essential, as we are about to hammer down, both in history and in George’s life. Go back to Saturday August 31 on this blog, or click HERE to read it, then come back.
George Christie is running the one-kilometer-long Olympic Torch leg through Ventura – which in effect isn’t really Ventura but some bean field near Oxnard – as I get to understand from an interview on Easy Rider, the October issue of year 1985.
Eight days go by between the first and the second encounter with George Christie. Eight days that I spend in the dry and rising heat of my home in Los Angeles, Hollywood Hills.
G.C. I wrote those words myself; I meant it from the heart.
A.C. You said that you haven’t directed anyone to firebomb the tattoo shops in 2007, and that what you were pleading guilty for was a lack of leadership. Let’s go back to talk about leadership. You asked me a question, George; the other day, you asked me if I knew who your archenemy was, and I told you that I did, without mentioning his name.
G.C. Okay, listen, I was being somewhat facetious. It’s hard to explain when you look up to somebody for years…it becomes very disappointing when they no longer meet the standards that you thought they created. I advise people now, if you want to have a mentor make sure he is not a living mentor, so you are never disappointed. You want to believe in Jesus? Believe in Jesus. You want to believe in Malcolm X? Believe in Malcolm X. Meher Baba? Go for it. Look at Malcolm X, he is a perfect example; he dedicated his life to something and then ultimately he felt like he had been deceived.
I believe that Kurt Sutter has a responsibility to the outlaw motorcycle culture. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know the guy and I am not saying anything bad about him, but maybe he hasn’t thought about it.
“Beyond the river I’ve seen things you will never see.” There is a common ground I want to explore.
I wanted to talk to Pete Seeger and ask him what it felt like to have the government think that he was an enemy; Pete was blacklisted for his political beliefs and accused of being a communist. I admired him; he wanted to clean up a river when everybody kept telling him that he couldn’t. He fought until he got the river cleaned.
G.C. I am an Obama guy, I like him, but I’m a little disappointed, although I can see that he is having a hell of a time. George W. Bush did too, I know he made some very bad decisions, I think he felt like he was a man of God, called by God to be President, but I think he got manipulated by a lot of people. Yet, it was still his responsibility, what he did, because he was the leader. It’s interesting how these powerful men all seem to be carrying a burden that we – as citizens – don’t know the nature of, Obama as well. So I don’t like to fly out condemns. Unfortunately, when you become a leader you don’t have the luxury of being the individual that you once were. A good leader has a vision. You get on the road and you see your vision in front of you and in the process you start having these realities and conflicts of conscience, of decisions. I am not comparing myself to the President of the United States, but I have been in a leadership position for a long time and many decisions I have made affected people all around the world.
When you get that responsibility, if you are a good leader you don’t do what people want, you do what people need. I know that it sounds dictatorial, but I had to make those decisions.
It’s another George Christie moment and I let him speak. I want to talk about fear and pain before closing our long encounter and he is taking me there.
A.C. Are you scared?
G.C. But you can take that pain; you can take anything. You can feed off it and turn it into energy. You can transform misfortune and miscalculations into energy and not only you can move forward, but you can move even further than you ever imagined you could. Growing up I used to have a vision, a giant walking in my room; it was a recurrent nightmare that would scare me to death. He looked like a lumberjack all dressed in black and I was terrified. One morning I realized that it was my dad kissing me goodbye very early before going to work; he was truck driver. I wasn’t scared anymore. Everybody has fear; you have to take it, analyze what you are scared of and why, and move beyond it. It’s not a quantum leap, it takes small steps to learn and ultimately grow up and accept things. Fear is like a fast growing weed, once you succumb to it, it entangles every fiber of your being and then it dominates you to the point where it affects your decisions and how you react to life.
Looking across, as it turns out talking with George, is the highway to overcome fear. So I looked across while driving to Ventura, open to anything that would come out of this adventure. We all make the best choices we can. Sometimes they are, sometimes they are not. However, as long as we hold ourselves responsible for those choices, we are also willing to remember what we were told ten years ago.