Hollister Police Hit Jackpot

January 11, 2013

All Posts, News

The unabashed greed fest called the Hollister Rally is now scheduled to return July 5 and 6, 2013. This will be the twelfth time Hollister has celebrated the anniversary of the so-called Hollister Riot since the semi-centennial in 1997.

The Hollister event was invented to exploit all those Rich Urban Bikers with wads of cash to waste back in the heady days of the Clinton Administration – before the mortgage crisis, credit crisis, stock market crash, Iraq War, Afghanistan War, the Global War on Terror or even the formation of the one percenter task force in Los Angeles by the ATF. The event was cancelled in 2006, came back in 2007 and 2008 and was reborn last Monday night at a Hollister City Council meeting.

According to dozens and dozens of published reports, the event will be held “in association with” an events planning corporation called World Wide Dynamics Incorporated. According to the same dozens and dozens of reports, World Wide Dynamics “has a role” in both the Laconia and Sturgis rallies. Sturgis also has a city “Rally and Events Department.” The Laconia Motorcycle Week Association is generally credited with planning the annual New Hampshire event. Hollister does not have a City Department of Riot Nostalgia although maybe it should.

Last Time

The Hollister Rally was cancelled in November 2008 when the last promoter, a company called Horse Power Promotions, refused to advance the City of Hollister $360,000 to pay for “security.” Horse Power Promotions had lost $100,000 on the rally the year before.

Hollister police wanted an extra $120,000 a day in 2009 to do their jobs. At the time of the last cancellation City Manager Clint Quilter warned that if the police didn’t get paid they would not police the event. “Cutting back on law enforcement costs,” Quilter said, “could potentially result in police officers being manned around the downtown perimeter until the event’s completion when they would deal with the aftermath.” You know, like the guards had a perimeter around the Maximum Security Prison of Manhattan in the old science fiction movie Escape From New York.

Nobody has yet calculated how much the city will make in sales taxes after local merchants quadruple the price of everything for the weekend.

The Way We Were

The Hollister Rally is an homage to an Independence Day weekend motorcycle rally held there in 1947. As many as 2,000 bikers rolled into town on a Thursday night and stayed until Sunday. They camped in city parks and raced up and down Hollister’s San Benito Street. Three bikers were seriously injured in crashes. On Friday afternoon, Hollister’s seven-man police department was reinforced by a reported 40 California Highway Patrol Officers. Saturday, the San Francisco Chronicle sent in a couple of old school journalists – a reporter named C. I. Dourghty Jr. and a photographer named Barney Peterson to report from the trenches.

Dourghty’s colorful dispatch became the basis for the myth of the Hollister Riot. Dourghty reported an “outburst of terrorism” that included the “wrecking of bars, bottle barrages into the streets from upper story windows and roofs and high speed racing of motorcycles though the streets.” According to Dourghty, things got so bad that the Highway Patrol “herded the cyclists into a block on San Benito Street, between Fifth and Sixth Streets, parked a dance band on a truck and ordered the musicians to play.” Dourghty probably did not actually witness any of this.

Peterson, meanwhile used a still drunken biker named Eddie Davenport sitting on his motorcycle surrounded by empty beer bottles to illustrate Dourghty’s words. The staged photo never ran in the Chronicle but it did appear in the July 21, 1947, edition of Life magazine over a caption that read, “Cyclist’s Holiday: He and his friends terrorize a town.”

That photo became the inspiration for a short story by Frank Rooney called “Cyclists Raid.” In turn, that story inspired a movie starring Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin called The Wild One: About a pack of bikers called the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club who stop in a small town for a breather and a beer. Shortly before the Black Rebels move on their leader, a character named Johnnie Strabler, is framed for manslaughter.

And, the rest is history.



23 Responses to “Hollister Police Hit Jackpot”

  1. Matt Says:

    Show some respect. If it weren’t for these guys, us young’ns would all be on hondas. These cats paved the way. I don’t blame any of them one bit for feeling disenchanted by the way things have turned out.

  2. Prospect Says:

    Used to make the run to Daytona when I could (years ago, runnin slickback). We always seemed to end up down New Smyrna Beach way where it was “safe.” Few pedestrians/cops/wannabe’s/gawkers/etc. The beach was wide open for fires, camping, riding etc. 16 years old on a chopped rigid BSA, fresh from the farm in Indiana. (“how old are you son?” “16.” “Where did you ride that scooter from?” “Indiana.” “Shit, get over here!”) The brothers took me in, fed me, schooled me and the rest is history.



  3. Paladin Says:


    I was thinking the very same thing.

    Respect to you,


  4. Paladin Says:

    I like to visit towns like Hollister, Virginia City, Tombstone, etc. when they’re not having their motorcycle events.

    I find these towns much more interesting, when not populated by people that don’t live there.

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),


  5. Snow Says:

    I was going to make a comment then thought fuck it, he wouldn’t understand anyway.
    Respect sent to the true, Snow.

  6. stroker Says:

    @Phuquehead: nah…………I think he’s just a thirty-something “yougster”, who’s full of piss and vinegar, as we all were at one time, who hasn’t yet been jaded by the years and miles we’ve ridden,
    and the good times and abuse we’ve enjoyed/suffered. He does come off kinda “know-it-all” though.
    @evldewr: (bet you’ve got a custom license plate that says that doncha?!)…..show a little respect here pup…..you’re too young to have known the Hollister we/I know or knew. Spend a little more time out in this old world before ya start bashin the “geritol generation” ya smart-assed kid……someday, if yer lucky…..you’ll be here too.

    Went to Hollister last Saturday. PACKED! 90% week-end warriors, 5% serious riders, 5% clubs. No problems that I know of, other than it wasn’t really hot enuf for the the lady’s to shed much clothing. But hey, it was alright…..too mnay people downtown for me, but they did block off San Benito street, and had mc parking only up one side, and down the other, 2 rows in the middle, only mcs allowed in the two lanes left open, a la Sturgis. The only thing I could nit-pick, is the gate guards at each intersection, attempting to control traffic flow. Should’ve just left well enough alone (a la Sturgis) and let people stop and go as nec. Still……really well-attended, and with the new Sherrif in town and a much more accepting attitude towards bikers in general, it was fine.
    I know there may be those who were unduly accosted by the all the rent-a-cops in town , but I’m sure the revenue they generated will finally make Hollister a money maker too (a la Sturgis) and it’ll most assuredly be back next year.


  7. Phuquehed Says:

    [sigh]…and *another* fucktard, this one known as evldewr, has escaped from the dumb-shit farm and somehow wandered aimlessly, blank-stared and synapse free in full view of the world, into a field where all it does is step in its own shit and scream moronic inanities after doing so.

  8. evldewr Says:

    Wow…I just got on this site to read about years past…

    To be honest…all those comment from early this year…make you people sound like a bunch of geriatric whiners!

    Some of us couldn’t go to Sturgis in the 70’s, cause we didn’t pop out the pussy til ’75! So while I agree, shit was a hell of alot better before the corporations took over…it’s done now…might as well adapt and have a good time.

    I was in Hollister in 2004…never saw a problem the whole day…Street Vibrations in 2012, never saw a problem…Scottsdale in AZ 2013…never saw a problem…and now I just returned form the Hollister 2013…AGAIN, NEVER SAW A PROBLEM!!! And I swear I saw maybe 3 cops all day…and my FLHX has a hundred illegal parts and a custom flame paint job, so it stands out…don’t even remember seeing a patrol car…just foot patrol…and they’re only complaint…it was hot.

    So while you in the Geritol Generation are too old to hack the crowd/rowdy kids/heat…just remember why you let you biker blood run free through your veins…LIVE TO RIDE!
    And I get that it’s crowded in the town the event happens to be in…but only about 1/2 a mile out…otherwise…free flowing…and all the while you bitches get more crabby by the day…we’re trying to carry on the way of life so it doesn’t die with you, because we’re sayin’ “FUCK YOU” to the man and the gov’t as much as we can…not to point fingers…but I wasn’t old enough to elect Reagan…so basically…YOU REEP WHAT YOU SOW!

  9. Dirty Dingus McGee Says:

    @ Big V

    Re; Angel City. There were sometimes issues dealt with at the rally, but they were dealt with out of the public view. Not their business, so why involve them.

    Around our area, folks from out of town are dealt with on an individual basis. Few months back a scooter tramp was passing thru and broke down. Local bike shop let him camp in his shop yard, while waitin on parts. I happened by the shop, and met the dude. He was “wide eyed” after seeing my patch, and wanted to know if a couple shirts he had would be Ok to wear in this area? They were stealership shirts, but he was worried there might be some offense taken. None was, and he was invited to our “open house” the next night.

    He offered respect, and was given some in return. As granddaddy said a long time ago, “respect is earned, not given”.

  10. RT Says:

    @ BigV

    I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  11. PigPen Says:

    Big V, respect is worth it’s weight in gold as far as I am concerned.

  12. BigV Says:

    There are things to do around the major rallies that can be fun, but the off the beaten path locations are much better in my dumbass opinion.

    Angel City used to be fun, and there was never problem one between any of the clubs that showed up. And you’ve have clubs from GA, FL, and AL too.

    The June Bug Boogie was a good time until a group from outside the area started coming in and starting shit for no good reason. Then cops used it as an excuse to buy Swat gear and bust heads.

    I enjoy the Blue Ridge Bike Fest.

    One year when I was at loose ends for Thanksgiving I rode west and ended up at Slab City. Met Leonard. He introduced me to 5 or 6 bikers who were visiting an elderly guy who was disabled and alone for the week. I was having problems with a voltage regulator and they contacted a brother in Orange-fucking-County who sent me a regulator and then refused payment. I met some of their brothers a few years later in Nevada and ended up meeting the guy from OC who refused payment then again. They didn’t know me from Adam but they treated me like I was a long lost child or relative.

    One thing most other folks can’t comprehend is that whether I’ve been sober or wasted drunk, gainfully employed or rockbottom broke, a University instructor or a knockabout motorcycle mechanic, I’ve never been treated with anything other than respect and friendship, so long as I gave the same.

  13. Glenn S. Says:

    I’m a relatively new biker who didn’t get to experience the rallies before they turned into baited fields for LEO. Thinking about doing Daytona this year though.

  14. JMacK Says:

    Haven’t been to the Great Canadian Bike Rally but it sounds like any hope of it being successful are being fucked by the Queens Cowboys (Mounties). Even the general public was pissed about this, not just bikers.



  15. PigPen Says:

    the rallies serve a purpose for all MC’s. it’s good to get out there, and let people know you are around, shake some hands, meet some new people. But after, a few overpriced beers at the bar, and a few handshakes, I’ve always rolled back to our private area. I try not to stay out in gen pop too much.
    There was a huge rally in Georgia that was called Angel City, that one was a good one. 200 Acres on private property. The bacon stayed out for the most part, and the security there was always cool. But crap like bike week at wherever, where you have 50,000 crammed on to a public street with no where to go, and the pork is there taking notes on exhaust and ape hangers, is just not worth it to me.

  16. Uncle Don Says:

    Last time I went to Hollister they could have assigned each rider (not biker) their own personal officer of the law. Fuckem all.

    uncle don

  17. Austin Says:

    It isn’t the same at Slab City, http://blog.pe.com/multicultural-beat/2012/11/01/leonard-knight-returns-to-salvation-mountain/

    but Hell Yeah – that’s got my vote.

  18. 10Guage Says:

    Hollister is a shit hole……..and the pigs are completely out of their minds there.

  19. Jim666 Says:

    When I first heard of this,my thoughts were, Hell yea go back to the 1st big party, then reality set in,
    Since Ive never been to Hollister I guess I,ll probably never go.

  20. Grumbler Says:

    The Hollister Rally, for all intents and purposes, is more like a Cop Ticket Gauntlet. Hollister officials might enact a no weapon ordinance just for the rally. IOW, you could be cited or arrested even if it’s just a pocket knife so don’t bother carrying ’em – put ’em away.

    If I still lived in the SF Bay Area, would ride north to Humboldt County for the weekend. Getting away from it all, not contributing my meager funds to those greedy law enforcement parasites at a commercialized biker rally, is what works for me. YMMV

  21. Sieg Says:

    Daytona, Laconia, Sturgis, Hollister, Disneyland, I wouldn’t piss on any of ’em. Haven’t been to Sturgis since the 70’s. If I want to see my lawyer or my dentist, I’ll make an appointment at their office.

    Just my lil .02, but I think these corporate “biker events” should be shunned. If the interest in gettting together is there, do it old-school, pick a place, and show up. If the pigs want to “crack-down” on thousands of scooter tramps, well, good luck with that.

    FTF / FTP
    Five to One

  22. BigV Says:

    Well, whatever weekend they have that turd planned for should be a good time for our kith and kin to avoid all the Eric Von Zippers and go to Bass Lake or Big Bear, or my favorite: Slab City.

  23. Erudite Hillbilly Says:

    It seems now days everything is an excuse for “law enforcement” (formerly known peace officers) to make some money. Every crime news story has some pig whining about how with more funding things could have been different, or how the latest threat-of-the-week should require a new dedicated set of resources, etc. I see this crap in my small town where they charged a veterans group several thousand for “security” to hold a bike/car show and hosted a big BBQ for all the pork in attendance to belly up to the overtime trough. The pigs outnumbered the bikers! Crap… and here I thought I was mellowed out for the evening. My BP probably just shot right back up.

Leave a Reply