|Tic told me he wanted me to do this piece on Tramp because of the significant connection he felt he had with him
for over 43 years. Tic's been involved with Hells Twenty One M (8-21-13) for many years. He didn't know Tramp's
DOB until recent years, 12-21-39 and just as, of all days in a year, his mother who was 84, could have passed
on, it happened to be 8-21. He related to me one night, he was doubting himself, questioning the truth and
meaning of it all, wondering if he could keep going on with it. He finally retired to bed, exhausted and woke a
couple hours later at 11:21, fell back asleep and woke at 1:21, again fell asleep and woke at 5:21 and finally woke
up at 8:21. Numbers have always meant something to bikers: 1%, 81, 69, 13, 666, and so on. Terry the Tramp
died 2/13/70, he would have been 69 if he were alive at this writing. He did a lot of living in his short 30 yrs on
Tic told me there's always certain people at different times, who influence or impact our direction in life. For him, it
was in Berkeley, CA in 1965 at a coffee house and bar on Telegraph Ave. that opened on to the street. On a week
day night about 9:00 PM having just turned 21, Tic was having coffee with another Marine named Jimmy. Jimmy
was one street wise tough guy from the eastern part of the country. He was a year or two older, about 6',220lbs
and not a man you'd like to mess with. The place was quite packed with college people, locals, and typical
Berkeley older know it alls expressing their radical bull shit about the war. Tic didn't hear it but Jimmy did; Harleys
pulling up and serious movement. Jimmy said to Tic, "don't turn too quickly, but look over there and keep you eyes
alert" Tic noticed about six or seven Hells Angels had parked and were coming in. They were getting a beer,
laughing and just being loose. He said he'd never been that close to the HAMC but they reminded him of guys he
knew, Marines, and the HAMC moved as a unit like we did. Tic said they were all older than he by quite a few
years and he was a little in awe of them. There was a light drizzle outside and the place was packed with people
ducking in to get out of the rain. Than all of a sudden there was a flare up in the direction of the Angel area. This
was familiar stuff to Jimmy and Tic. They had seen this uneasiness with Marines and civilians where things can
get messy real quick. Some heavy shoving started and like lions in for the kill, the mood in the place got dark and
ready. As Tic turned to watch the action, one Hells Angel turned and made eye to eye contact with him, smiled
and nodded to him and than over to the commotion as if to say, "we may need you guys to help us out." The
Angel was Terry the Tramp and he didn't know it at the time nor did he ever know it, but he changed Tic that night
forever. He said I knew from that time on when I got out of the Marine Corps, He would be an outlaw biker, to
which on being released within five months, was a member of one of the most solid clubs in America, The Dirty
Dozen MC of Arizona.
With another glance, Terry was on the move and within seconds, cops were everywhere. A lot of "motherfucking"
and "we'll be back". The Angels gathered outside, talked with each other and finally fired up their scoots and
disappeared in the night air and light rain.
Jimmy said, "I didn't know those guys but I was ready to jump in for them," and Tic told him I felt the same, too. Tic
said he lost track of Jimmy soon after that. He heard a few different stories, some Jimmy went to prison for a long
time, another he was killed a few months later in a knife fight. But that night, he was his first righteous brother.
Sonny says in his book, Terry the Tramp was to many of us the ultimate Hells Angel. He was loud and made a lot
of noise and was always a fun loving guy . He was a drifter... Ended back in Northern California, where he
became most famous as an Oakland Hell's Angel. Tramp had a main speaking role in the movie, Hell's Angel ‘69.
Tramp was easily the most "out there" member of the Oakland Hell's Angels. Looking back, he was a trend-setter.
Between the beatniks and the hippies, Tramp grew his hair real long, wore a full beard, and had large tattoos all
over his chest and shoulders. He carried a long bull whip around with him, and when you heard it crack, you knew
he was close by. Tramp and I spent a lot of time together at one of our favorite hangouts, the Sinner's Club in
West Oakland, owned by the Sinner Family.
Terry took the Hell's Angels from it's greaser image of the 1950s to the hipper, long-haired look of the late 1960s.
He dressed mainly in black leather, but he also wore bright psychedelic colors and walked with a San Quentin
penitentiary shuffle. He was sure of himself. "Look out for me because I'm too fucking cool for school, bro."
I always think of Terry the Tramp and the Bass Lake Runs. It was considered uncool to travel with a warm jacket
or sleeping bag. We crashed where we fell. We used to drop reds after partying all night, then pass out and fall
asleep on the ground. This was a sleep technique Tramp developed. And it worked!
Tic says, WE in the Dirty Dozen used this method also. Even today, if I take a run (without the reds, though) I
wear all my clothes, just as I used to, so I will be warm if I crash next to my scoot. However, I did pack a bag with
me if I didn't have my ole lady along.
Sonny continued, After we passed the no-needle rule in Northern California, Tramp transferred back down to
Berdoo with some of the other Northern California members who were pissed off with the new rule. At that time the
SoCal club had not yet voted in such a rule. Tramp's drug thing spun out of control and he was found dead from
an overdose of Seconal. It happened right after the Hell's Angels ‘69 movie was released. Nobody know whether
he was bum-kicked or was just being his usual reckless self. We buried him in the Bay Area, and afterward,
without a word to anyone, his parents had the body exhumed, taken back up to Sacramento and buried
there. John Terence Tracy, a.k.a. Terry the Tramp, RIP, brother.
There have been many, many good people in our clubs. There are a few of the original Dozen still left,
men I remember and respect. The HAMC has so many I can't count them all, from Preetam Bobo and
Frank in Frisco to Sonny, Skip, and Tramp, to the new guys of the 80s to the 90s to now. Tic says we
can take lessons from back in the day. He was asked once how he's made it and said there's no one
answer but one that works is know when to turn it on and when not to. When to lite someone up and
when it's not cool to. I've never met anyone with a brain who wants to go to prison, yet too many of us
end up there. Sometimes it happens because you stand by your people yet I find if that's the case, it's
not forever if it was a just cause. That's why rendezvous worked back then and still will today. Keep
your shit separate from society.
Stay legal, keep to ourselves, respect and be kind to those who respect our ways and no on can mess
with us, than if they do mess with us, we can fuck them up bad and we won't go to prison. Do you
realize friend, if you have a registered firearm in your name, bill of sale, and if you know your life is in
danger or being threatened by someone, you have the legal right to shoot the stupid fucker square
between the eyes.
Murder is not self defense and Self Defense is not murder.
Pony up your clubs, be real men, work out your problems with one another and 1%ers at Rendezvous ,
leave citizens, law enforcement, and the public out of it. At rendezvous, you will also find we as 1%ers
are not that different from each other but a lot different then most of society and be proud of that.
Remember, people, we have a right to be
1%er outlaw bikers. STUDY THE LAWS, KNOW WHERE WE STAND, what we can do and can't do. If
we do this thing of ours right, no laws of the land can touch us in a negative way, and if they try and
come at us because "they are out to get us", we'll kick their ass every time whether if be in a court or
anywhere else. Look people, if we don't impose on them, we're cool, and every asshole who wants to
be an asshole, has no right to impose on us - be bad, be legal and ride hard as a 1%er; keep your
mouth shut around others and if you're in the right, don't back down to anyone. Make this law shit work
for us and in our favor.
|It's not wrong to carry a gun; it's a Right to carry a gun.
They (Government) have made people feel it's wrong.
Friday on my Mind; Green Tambourine,
59th Street Bridge
These Days; Rascal Flats
Cry Baby, Janis Joplin
|In Memory of
Terry the Tramp
|OAKLAND - '69
|TERRY the TRAMP
|Billy Burr, DDMC, President