The firestorm of social change that was burning across America in the 1960s was flaming its hottest in 1967. “The Summer of Love,” the Vietnam War, daily new waves of sex-drugs-and-rock’n’roll and so many other cultural U-turns were pounding this country and its traditions.
One of those U-turns, however, wasn’t so new. It was a familiar bend in the road that had been traveled before—twenty years or so earlier.
And it didn’t really buck any traditions—it actually reinforced a big one.
Just like the WWII vets—and their attitudes of brotherhood formed in war’s trenches—the veterans of the Vietnam War came home to find some degree of peace in the spirit of a big motorcycle.
And the people who ride them.
The result was another era that saw many of the major motorcycle clubs formed.
The Devils Diciples was one of those, established with twelve originals—all ex-military members.
Forty-four years later, they are still rolling strong. A lot of seniority comes with years like that; and seniority means a lot. It means you’ve been around. It means you’re seasoned. And it means that all signs point to you being around for a long time to come.
The Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club’s history is more than legendary—from the purposeful misspelling of “Diciples” (“Our original members intentionally misspelled ‘disciples’ to ‘diciples’ so as to distance ourselves from religious affiliation”) to its continually expanding place among the true senior survivors in the MC world.
From the Left: JD, Monkey, and Scotty.
And forty-four years later, they are celebrating an especially poignant anniversary. In the motorcycle club world, patches and specific designations mean specific things. Using the numbers of corresponding letters of the alphabet to represent a club name is a tradition—in this case, “44” translates to “DD.” This 44th anniversary is important.
The Southern California portion of the MC’s “rolling anniversary”—an anniversary that roledl out across the U.S., touching all the states that have DDMC chapters—was a three-day camp-out at the Wooden Nickel Ranch; out in the rural country atmosphere of Southwestern Riverside County in the community of Menifee.
It was the perfect spot.
Nothing calls back the feel of the era in which the Devils Diciples were established like a remote and secluded campground like this. Back in those days, this was what runs were about. Whole weekends, either private or semi-private, were put on by a club or a group and held in locales far removed from the outside and mainstream world. They were about fun and brotherhood—there was a serious lack of any commercial agenda.
Chainsaw and Michelle
Devils Diciples member “Chainsaw” explained the “rolling” nature of the “44” milestone: “This party is the Montclair chapter’s tenth anniversary, and our club, as a whole, is having its 44th anniversary. And each chapter in each state will have a 44th anniversary party until the Nationals where we’ll all meet and have the big get-together. That way all the brothers in each state get to participate in one way or another. It works out good and everybody’s happy! We’ve got brothers from all over the U.S. right here this weekend. We’ve got Arizona, Nevada, Alabama; and we’ve got brothers flying in from Michigan. Everybody can participate and attend them all if they want—if we can afford it, we’re gone!”
From the Left: Gavin, Crazy, and Scotty.
Back in the day, these events were an open-heart, open-arms demonstration of the close-knit families that clubs grew into—especially after surviving the horrors of war. This weekend with the Devils Diciples MC proved that brotherhood of that kind is still very much alive and well.
Photo credit-Bill Hayes