Even in death, the SOA guard the streets of their home turf, Charming, California.
Getting this assignment immediately set off the warning bells, and not the little ones dangling under my triple trees. It was not a story where you'd want to piss anybody off. And there was a significant lineup of "anybodys" that were "somebodys" involved. The short list included a major TV network, an award winning writer/producer, a fistful of famous actors (with large fists), and indirectly down the line a triple shot of serious muscle known as the BATF, the white supremacists, and true blue one-percenters. And, oh yeah, this mag's editor who commissioned the story and who when asked about "hazard pay" only chuckled.
Matriarch of the SOA, Gemma Teller Morrow, played by Katey Sagal is someone you don't mess with.
Matriarch of the SOA, Gemma Teller Morrow, played by Katey Sagal is someone you don't mess
So here's the deal. I was to ride over to the "Valley" on a nice tire-melting 100-degree Los Angeles Friday afternoon and check in on the set of The Son's of Anarchy (SOA), the hit FX TV series chronicling the life and crimes of an outlaw motorcycle club. I was to poke around the SOA clubhouse, mingle with the bike wranglers responsible for the herd of Harleys ripping through each episode, and chat up the shows publicist for some nitty-gritty on how a show about guys that run guns and illegal substances have grown near and dear to the hearts of bikers and non-bikers alike. Are we talking anti-hero role models for the 21st century? Whatever...I'd just take a camera, a tape recorder and go do the moto-journalist thing.
For those of you unfamiliar with SOA here's a thumbnail sketch of the show. The setting is a fictitious California town called Charming. Right off the bat you know the show's creator/writer/executive producer, Kurt Sutter, has a sense of humor of the dark side of the moon kind. Kurt wrote for and then became the executive producer of the award-winning FX hit series The Shield. So yeah he's been there, done that. So SOA was his baby and born wearing a black leather diaper chomping on a silver M-16 rattle.
Played to the max by Ron Perlman, SOA club Prez Clay Morrow doesn't walk softly, but does carry a big stick.
Played to the max by Ron Perlman, SOA club Prez Clay Morrow doesn't walk softly, but does
The show's press kit sums it up best. "Son's of Anarchy is an adrenalized drama with dark comedic undertones that explore the desires of a notorious outlaw motorcycle club (MC) to protect its livelihood while ensuring that its sheltered town of Charming, California, remains exactly that, charming. To achieve this, the MC must confront threats from drug dealers, corporate developers and overzealous law officers. Behind the MC's familial lifestyle and legally thriving automotive shop is a ruthless and illegally prosperous arms business."
The cast of characters includes the family of Club Prez Clarence "Clay" Morrow (played by Ron Perlman), his stepson and Vice Prez Jackson "Jax" Teller (played by Charlie Hunnam) and Jax's mom/Clay's wife Gemma Teller Morrow (played by Katey Sagal-yes Peg Bundy!). The club members are distinctly carved out by their veteran actors, which includes character names like "Tig," "Bobby," "Chibs," "Half-Sack," "Juice," "Happy," "Opie," and "Piney." The show's other lead characters include the SOA's enemies, the Supremacists' Ethan Zobelle (portrayed by Adam Arkin) and A.J. Weston (Henry Rollins). And lets not forget the lovely Tara Knowles (Maggie Siff) as Jax's sweetheart.
Tank Art includes the Grim Reaper wielding a crystal ball and a scythe. Art work was created by tattoo artist, Freddy Corbin.
Tank Art includes the Grim Reaper wielding a crystal ball and a scythe. Art work was creat
"Happy" is played by David Labrava and is actually really happy about his new ride, both on and off the set.
"Happy" is played by David Labrava and is actually really happy about his new ride, both o