The Bikeriders (2023) | Transcript

After a chance encounter, headstrong Kathy is drawn to Benny, member of Midwestern motorcycle club the Vandals. As the club transforms into a dangerous underworld of violence, Benny must choose between Kathy and his loyalty to the club.
The Bikeriders (2023)

The Bikeriders (2023)
: Crime, Drama
Director: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon, Mike Faist

Plot: The Bikeriders captures a rebellious time in America when the culture and people were changing. After a chance encounter at a local bar, strong-willed Kathy (Jodie Comer) is inextricably drawn to Benny (Austin Butler), the newest member of Midwestern motorcycle club, the Vandals led by the enigmatic Johnny (Tom Hardy). Much like the country around it, the club begins to evolve, transforming from a gathering place for local outsiders into a dangerous underworld of violence, forcing Benny to choose between Kathy and his loyalty to the club.

* * *

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

[faint chatter]

[object clacking softly]

[“Lonely Room” by Mickey Murray plays on speakers]

♪ Here I go walking down this lonely street… ♪

PAULIE: Hey, Henry, look at this fucking kid.

Who the fuck this guy think he is?


You can’t have those colors on in here.

HENRY: You hear my brother, bozo?

He told you to take that stupid fucking jacket off.

You know, I’m gonna take that jacket off your back,

and I’m gonna wrap it around your fucking neck,

and then I’m gonna choke the shit out of you.

You hear my brother?

Can’t be wearing no colors in this neighborhood.

Take that fucking jacket off.

♪ These old nightmares are getting the best of me ♪

♪ I wake up and find my pillow wet ♪

♪ Lonely with my tears… ♪


You’d have to kill me to get this jacket off.

[both chuckle]

This fucking kid, huh? [chuckles]



HENRY: Come here.

[Benny groaning]

Paulie, he won’t stay down.

Keeps getting back up.


You better stay down, you rotten fuck.

I’ll get him to stay down.

HENRY: Is this your fucking bike, asshole?



Oh, shit. Henry!

[knife slices]

[Henry screaming]

[dramatic music plays]

[Paulie grunts]

KATHY: I’ve had nothing but trouble

since I met Benny.

[dramatic music continues]

I’ve seen more jails,

have been to more courts and met more lawyers.

I mean, it can’t be love.

[chuckles]: It must just be stupidity.

[“I Wanna Holler [But the Town’s Too Small”] playing]

♪ I wanna holler… ♪

And then they said it’s fer da kids, you know?

Everybody should bring der kids.

We bring the kids, and all the husbands are stoned,

the wives, you know, are bitchin’ at the husbands.

DINGY: I don’t think it’s good to bring de kids.


I don’t think it’s good to bring de kids.


Well, especially when the guys are drinkin’.

Well, you know, Johnny says, uh, “family picnic.”

His kids were there, too, you know.

Yeah, but he didn’t get stoned out of his mind either.

KATHY: No, but then, Dingy, last year,

you know, I didn’t know any of them people

there neither, you know?

[camera clicks]

Kathy, remember once when you were tellin’ me about,

you know, when you first met the guys…


…and how you, uh…

Well, I changed. I have.

All right, why don’t you talk to me about that?

Well, in a year… I mean, last year…

What, from the beginning?


Last year, my girlfriend called me up

and she asked me to come down to Grand and Division,

she needed some money, and she said it was a bar.

And she said that the guys were having a meeting there.

Well, I didn’t know the guys or anything, so I went there,

and I never felt so out of place in all my life.

[“Declaration of Independence” by Count Five plays]

[rowdy laughter and chatter]

I walked in there, and I had white Levi’s on.

I had a-a sweater on, you know?

And I looked, and the first guy I seen was Corky.

Hey there, beautiful.

You need a man?

All right, nice talking to you.

KATHY: I mean, I seen ’em all.

With earrings hanging out of their ears,

belly buttons showin’, you know, like half naked.

I mean, to me, they was, like, half naked, you know?

I mean, of course I didn’t know ’em yet,

but there was, there was Corky, Zipco,

Cal, Wahoo, Brucie.

You know, I seen ’em all.

They’re all hootin’ and hollerin’.

I mean, they scared the livin’ shit out of me.

So I sees my girlfriend, and I goes over by her,

and I sits down there, and I’m takin’ everything in.


You’re the best.

Oh, I gotta go.

You just got here.

That’s Cockroach.


They call me Cockroach.

And why they call you a stupid name like that?

‘Cause I like to eat bugs, you know?

Like a gag.

But I do, I mean, like to eat ’em.

Bugs, you know?

Well, that’s disgusting. I gotta go.

Hey, they’re not that bad.

Just sit here for a minute.

Hey there. [chuckles]

You wanna come live with me?

What about me? You wanna go out?

No, thank you.

Oh, I have a date.

A date?

KATHY: Yeah, 12 o’clock.

I-I have to get home.

You hear that, Cockroach?

Cinderella’s got a date.

Yeah, Cinderelli’s got a date at 12 o’clock.

She’s about to turn into a fucking pumpkin.

[men laughing]

[man 1] Oh, yeah.

It’s not all she’s about to turn into.

[men laughing]

[indistinct chatter]

You see that? They’re plannin’ somethin’.

Look at all of ’em whisperin’ over dare.


Oh, I’m gonna go.

KATHY: And that’s when I seen Benny…

…standing over at the pool table.

[“Talkin’ ‘Bout You” by The Animals playing]

♪ Ah ah ah ah da dam da ♪

♪ Ah ah ah dam da da ♪

♪ Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah. ♪

[song stops]

Boy, who’s that good-looking guy

over at the pool table?


Kathy, you don’t wanna go out with him.

Why not?

He don’t look like the rest of these animals.

Because nobody wants to go out with him.


Because he cracks up on his bike. [chuckles]

Every time he gets up on his bike,

he has an accident.

Oh, okay.

Let me get you a pop.

[“Come and Get It” by Johnny Soul plays on speakers]


I’m Benny.


Well, so what are we doin’ here?

Just, uh…

shootin’ the breeze?

Yeah, I guess.

Well, I gotta go home.



You gotta go.

What is this, a Rotary buffet?

What’s your name?


Well, Kathy, uh…

…don’t worry.

Don’t worry about what?


I’m Johnny. I’m the president of this club, and, uh,

the guys, they just wanna have some fun, you know?

[men laughing]

But I won’t let nuthin’ happen to you.

Oh, yeah? What’s gonna happen to me?


Ha, ha, okay, well, thanks fer that.

You know, nice to meet ya. Adios, I gotta go.

[indistinct chatter]

KATHY: So, I walk out the front door real nice,

you know, being grabbed about five times.

And when I got outside, I could see on my slacks

were just-just handprints all over me.

You son of a…

So I’m standin’ on the bus corner thinkin’,

“Oh, my God,” you know?

“Something’s gonna happen to me yet.”


[intriguing music playing]

[engine starts]

[engine rumbling]

[door thuds]

[gang laughing]

Hey, come on, Cinderelli!

Ah, jeez.

COCKROACH: Let’s go for a ride!

[gang whistling]

CORKY: Come on,

come for a ride!

Don’t be scared!

Cinderelli, Cinderelli!

[gang continues whistling and catcalling]

Okay, okay.

Okay, okay, okay, okay!

He’s not gonna hurt ya.


CORKY: Yeah?

MAN: Go for a ride.

CORKY: Don’t be scared, yeah?

Think she’s gonna do it?

[gang cheering]

CORKY: Take off!

Hey, we’ll see you on the expressway!

So he’s going through the stoplights and everything,

probably so I wouldn’t jump off.

And I wouldn’t have jumped off anyway.

You know, I was scared shitless.

[chuckling]: I’ve never been on a motorcycle

in all my life.

And finally, we get out on the expressway,

and that’s when it happened, you know?

That’s when I saw ’em all for the first time, you know?

Like, really saw ’em, I mean…

[“Out in the Streets” by The Shangri-Las playing]

♪ He don’t ♪

[motorcycle engines rumbling]

♪ Hang around ♪

♪ With the gang no more ♪

♪ He don’t do the wild things that he did before ♪

♪ He used to act bad ♪

♪ Used to, but he quit it ♪

♪ It makes me so sad ♪

♪ ‘Cause I know that he did it for me ♪

♪ Can’t you see? ♪

♪ And I can see ♪

♪ He’s still in the street ♪

♪ His heart is out in the street… ♪

KATHY: I mean, I have to admit,

it took my breath away.

[Kathy exhales deeply]

You see, Kathy?

I told you you had nothin’ to worry about.

The guy just wanna go out with you, that’s all.

Do you want a drink?

KATHY: But I didn’t get home

till nearly four in the morning.

And I swore I’d never go with them guys again. Never.

‘Cause they’re just like animals, you know?

I mean, they didn’t talk the same way I did.

It was everything “F this” and “F that.”

By the time the night was over, I mean, my ears were ringin’

from listening to ’em all braggin’.

So Benny brought me home,

and my boyfriend, he was sittin’ on the front porch.

All right. [sighs]

Good night. Adios.

The hell you been?

KATHY: [sighs] I never wanna see them guys again.

They’re real idiots.

[engine revs]

[breathes heavily]

[motorcycle returning]

[engine shuts off]

[dog barking distantly]


[pensive music playing]

KATHY: Benny planted himself dare

all night and wouldn’t go home.

[train horn blows]

[man speaking indistinctly on radio]

This crazy…

Now, you better go home.

If my boyfriend gets back from work

and you’re still sittin’ dare, he’s gonna be pissed.

This crazy kid.

You’re crazy!

[intriguing music playing]

WOMAN [distantly]: Yeah, just leave it at the front.

[vehicle approaching]

[tires screech]

KATHY: I told him to leave, but he wouldn’t leave.

DAVID: Well, you better go get rid of him!

KATHY: You go get rid of him! I told him already.

DAVID: This is bullshit, man.

KATHY: Where are you going?

DAVID: I don’t need this shit, you know!

KATHY: Don’t need what?

[running footsteps]

What do you want me to do?

DAVID: I’m done!

KATHY: Where are you going?

DAVID: I’m done!

[vehicle door shuts]

[engine starts]

[engine accelerating]


[children chattering]

You wanna go to a meetin’?

Five weeks later, I married him.

[“My Babe” by Dale Hawkins playing]

♪ My baby don’t stand no cheatin’, my babe ♪

[engine roaring]

♪ Well, my baby don’t stand no cheatin’, my babe ♪

♪ Well, my baby don’t stand no cheatin’… ♪

[whistle blowing]

[sirens wailing]

WOMAN: Slow down!

♪ True little baby, she’s my babe ♪

♪ Well, my baby, I know she love me, my babe… ♪

[tires screeching]

♪ Well, my baby, I know she love me ♪

[engine accelerates]

♪ She don’t do nothin’ ♪

♪ But kiss and hug me ♪

♪ My babe, true little baby, she’s my babe ♪


[“My Babe” by Dale Hawkins continues playing]

♪ My baby don’t stand no foolin’, my babe ♪

[engine sputtering]

♪ No, my baby don’t stand no foolin’… ♪

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no.

[song fades out]

[engine dies]



[sirens approaching]


BRUCIE: “It took several police cars

“and motorcycle units from Elmwood Park, Norridge,

“Harwood Heights, and Saint Charles

“to stop a motorcycle driver Thursday in a wild ride

that ended amongst the farmland on Highway 64.”

[“Get Up and Get Out” by Clint Stacey plays]

♪ Get out… ♪

“Benjamin Cross of…”



“Benjamin Cross of Elmwood Park

“was arrested and charged with 18 traffic violations,

“but not before reportedly

“running through seven stoplights,

“hitting speeds over 85 miles an hour

“in two 20-mile-an-hour school zones,

“and causing damage to four municipal vehicles

“as a result of the pursuit.

“Cross is free on a $2,500 bond

“and will stand trial in Park Ridge Traffic Court

on December ninth.”

Hey, kid.

H-How many stoplights did you run?

They said seven, so…

So what?

So I guess that’s the number.

But it felt like more.


KATHY: And Johnny always loved Benny.


Well, ’cause Johnny always wanted what Benny had.

And what’s that?

To not care about nothin’. Hey!

Dingy, tell them guys to get their bikes off the grass.

Jeez. Hmm.

I mean, my ex in-laws live right across the street.

You know, they see these bikes here all the time.

Hey, so, uh, tell me more about Johnny.

Like what?

I don’t know.

Like, uh, how he started the club.

You know how he started the club?

I heard he was watchin’, uh, TV.

You know, Johnny’s not like the rest of these guys.

You know, how they’re all bums.

I mean, he’s not a-a square or nothin’,

but Johnny’s got a good job, you know?

He’s had the same job as long as I’ve known about him.

What was that?

Truck driver.

He’s a truck driver.

Yeah, short routes, you know? Like the Midwest.

But, I mean, he’s got a family.



Two daughters. His wife, Betty.

She’s all right, you know.

I mean, a lot of these girls, oof,

I can’t stand to be around because it’s always, you know,

“That’s my man, don’t be lookin’ at my man,” you know?

But Betty, she’s not like that.

Hey. What do you mean by, um, Johnny was watching TV?

He was watchin’, uh, Marlon Brando on TV

and got the idea for the club.

I mean, that’s what I heard anyway.

[girls laughing]

Girls, girls…

WOMAN [on TV]: Somebody tell me what that means.

BRMC. What does that mean?

Black Rebels Motorcycle Club.

[chuckles] Isn’t that cute?


Hey, Johnny, what are you rebelling against?

Whattya got?

[laughter on TV]

Hmm. Whattya got?




KATHY: Oh, but really how the club started

was it was a racing club.

[engines revving]

[“Raunchy” by Bill Justis playing]

[engines accelerating]

[crowd cheering]

KATHY: I never seen Johnny race,

but they say he was good.

You know, him and Jimmy Goodpaster

had a-a racing club.


KATHY: Yeah.

You know him.

He’s got that, uh, that BSA shop out past Hyde Park.

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.



He’s got a thin mustache.

KATHY: Yeah.

Yeah, well, they, uh, they had a racing club together.

I’m thinking of startin’ a riding club.


I don’t know. Just somethin’ to do, you know.

The fuck you wanna start a ridin’ club for?

All those clubs do is sit around talking about motorcycles.

That’s what we do.

Yeah, we talk about ’em, and then we race ’em.

The fuck good you do to talk about ’em

if you ain’t gonna race ’em?

KATHY: So they split up, and about, uh, about 12 guys

joined up to be Vandals.

They were the first, you know?

So that’s where the guys…

I mean, the first guys at least…

that’s where the first guys, uh, come from,

was the racin’ club.

DANNY: Oh, yeah?


And who all was that?

Well, it was Wahoo and Corky. I know that.

WAHOO: My name’s Wahoo.

I ride a Harley Duo-Glide.

I’m from Chicago, Illinois.

I’ve been a Vandal for about five years now.

They call me Corky.

I ride Wahoo’s old lady.

Oh, the fuck you do, fuck.


He doesn’t.

KATHY: And Brucie was one of ’em.

He was Johnny’s right hand from the beginning.

He was an electrician.

But everyone wants to be part of somethin’.

I mean, that’s what it really is.

These guys don’t belong nowhere else,

so they belong together, you know.

I can’t explain it to my parents.

They-they don’t understand the way I live.

Because bikeriders…

[sighs] Lotta people seem to think

that bikes lead to somethin’ negative.

That’s-that’s why they think guys ride ’em.

They think it leads to somethin’ obscene.

I don’t know why, but, uh…

…but obscenity and motorcycles travel hand in hand.

That’s what everybody thinks anyway.


I guess, uh…

everybody needs somebody to pick on.

Can you think of anyone better than us?

[“Mama, Mama, Talk to Your Daughter” by Magic Sam playing]

Well, Cal from California.

CAL: I look at a scooter, man,

that’s completely chopped, man, and-and…

and every part on it, he either made himself, man,

or bought special for it, you know.

[camera clicks]

Now, y-you look at that dude, man,

that dude’s a Vandal, you see.

Let’s say you, uh… say you take a-a guy

that buys a brand-new Harley-Davidson,

fully equipped. Hmm?

Though, there’ll always be a motherfucker that comes along

and says, “Well, I got one exactly like yours.”

[Danny chuckles]

‘Cause he can get it

exactly like his.

But all choppers are different.

Every one of ’em, different.

No matter how much alike you build ’em,

you know what I mean?


‘Cause everybody’s melon’s different.

COCKROACH: When I was about 15 years old,

my father brought me

an Indian four-cylinder.

[camera clicks]


I like to be dirty.

Yeah, I’ll go out of my way to put filth on my clothes.

Dirt on my pants, dirt on my face,

mess up my hair and eat bugs.

A bug isn’t really bad to eat.

It’s all in a person’s mind.

Now, if you will eat a raw beef sandwich

or you will eat a rare steak,

a bug won’t hurt you anymore.

And what about Zipco?

What about Zipco?

You know anything about him?

Oh, he was from Latvia.



Do you know when he joined the club?

Zipco? I mean, I don’t know.

He’s just always been there. [chuckles]

DANNY [distantly]: So, uh,

tell me more about Johnny.


KATHY: I never understood it, you know.

You got all these guys,

none of ’em can follow a rule

to save der lives, you know.

[child crying]

The whole point of these guys

is that they can’t follow rules, you know.

You put ’em together, and they get in this club,

and all of a sudden, oh, they start makin’ up

all these rules for everybody to follow.

DINGY: It’s ridiculous.

I mean, it’s absolutely ridiculous, you know?

But this one time, someone challenged Johnny

for the leadership of the club, you know.

That’s one of these, uh, these crazy rules

is that anybody can challenge Johnny if they really want to,

but of course, you know, none of ’em want to

’cause they’re all bums, you know,

and none of ’em want the responsibility.

But this one time, this guy Jack,

big guy, I mean, real big guy,

I mean, you know, Big Jack they called him.

DINGY: Fat Jack.


Wasn’t it Fat Jack?


He was the one outta Toledo.

This guy was, uh… Well, I don’t know.

Anyway, this Big Fat Jack guy says…

Hey, I got a question!

Wait your turn! Let me finish.

[indistinct chatter]

Now, we’re gonna get the phone installed

behind the bar dere,

but Johnny has to put that on his personal account.

Why’s he gotta do that?


I don’t… Because that’s the way

the phone company has to set it up.

Club should pay for it outta the dues.


That way, we can use it how we want.

It don’t work like that.

WAHOO: Why not?


Shut up a minute.

Shut the fuck up!

[chatter stops]

[man clears throat]

BRUCIE: Now listen.

We need a phone back der

in case anybody gets in trouble, all right?

Now, you get thrown in jail

or you need bail, you call here.

You get stuck out someplace on your bike, you call here.

But the first time we get a bill

where you been callin’ your fat fuckin’ girlfriend

out in East What the Fuck…


…we’re gonna take that phone,

and we’re gonna put knots on your head with it.


Yeah, but I got a question.

I got some friends in Milwaukee,

they like what we’re doin’ out here

and asked if they could join up,

start a Vandals chapter out dere.


Why not?

What the fuck we need ’em for?

You know, this is our club.

Okay, we are in this town. Here.

You know, we are all friends here.

Now, I don’t know these guys.

[scoffs] You know ’em.

We drank with ’em on that last run to Columbus.

Oh, yeah.

[inhales deeply] I say no.

Well, I… I say we let ’em start a chapter.

Hey, you said if any of us disagrees with ya,

we could challenge ya, so…

So what?

So, I guess I’m challengin’ ya.

Go fuck yourself.


Or knives?

Well, I don’t wanna kill ya.

So, what? Fists?



KATHY: It was a picnic.

[Johnny clears throat]

A big family picnic.

All right.

KATHY: I remember because it was cold that day.

[lively chatter and laughter]

The kids were runnin’ around, guys were gettin’ stoned,

wives and girlfriends all over the place, you know?

And they cut a track out there.

[crowd cheering]

Come on!

Crush him!

KATHY: They’d spend all day drinkin’

and runnin’ their bikes on that track

all frickin’ day long, you know?

[motorcycle engines revving]

By the end of the day,

the place is like one big mud pit.

And that’s where they did it.

[both grunting]

[“Road Runner” by Bo Diddley playing]

♪ I’m a road runner, honey ♪

♪ And you can’t keep up with me ♪



♪ Come on, let’s race ♪

♪ Baby, baby, you and me ♪

[Big Jack grunts]

[Johnny groans]

KATHY: I mean, the thing about Johnny,

he wasn’t always bigger than the other guys,

but he was always meaner.

[Johnny grunting]


[bones snap]



You okay?

You broke my damn finger.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we done?


Now, you tell your friends in Milwaukee

that they can have their chapter, all right?

You… You tell ’em Johnny said so. All right.

BRUCIE: You all right?

[Johnny whimpers]

If you were gonna let ’em have a chapter,

why’d you go through the trouble of fightin’ him?

If anybody was gonna have the idea,

it had better be me, right?

And now he knows it. [wincing]

BETTY: You good?


I never felt better.

[Betty laughing]

KATHY: After that, the club started growin’.

It got real big, real fast.

All right?


[motorcycle engines rumbling]

[hubcap rattling]

[intro to “Mannish Boy” by Muddy Waters plays]


[motorcycle engines rumbling]

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

KATHY: Chapters started poppin’ up

all over the place, you know.

Other clubs started askin’ to join up.

♪ Everything’s gonna be all right this morning ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

[beat drops]

♪ Now, when I was a young boy ♪

♪ At the age of five ♪

♪ My mother said I was gonna be ♪

♪ The greatest man alive ♪

♪ But now I’m a man ♪

♪ I’m past… ♪

[song cuts off]

[car horn honks]

[car engine idling]

Get the hell out of the street, kid.


Goddamn it!

What the hell do…

[engine accelerating]

[intro to “I Feel Free” by Cream playing]

♪ Bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp ♪

♪ Bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp ♪

♪ I feel free… ♪

[motorcycle engines rumbling]

♪ Bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp ♪

♪ Bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp ♪

♪ I feel free ♪

♪ Bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp ♪

♪ I feel free ♪

♪ Bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp ♪

♪ I feel free ♪

♪ Bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp ♪

♪ I feel free ♪

♪ Bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp ♪

♪ I feel free ♪

♪ Bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp, bomp

[beat drops]

♪ Feel when I dance with you ♪

♪ We move like the sea ♪

♪ You, you’re all I want to know ♪

♪ I feel free ♪

♪ I feel free. ♪

[song fades out]

[engine revving]

[tires squealing]

[indistinct lively chatter]

[“New Orleans” by Gary U.S. Bonds playing]

♪ “Hey, hey, hey, yeah” ♪

♪ I said, “Hey, hey, hey, yeah…” ♪

MAN [on speaker]: And welcome to the 12th annual car show.

♪ Oh, come on, everybody, take a trip with me ♪

[motorcycle engines rumbling]

♪ Well, down the Mississippi, down in New Orleans ♪

♪ They got honeysuckle growing on the honeysuckle vine ♪

♪ And love is a-blooming there all the time ♪

♪ Well, every Southern belle is a Mississippi Queen ♪

♪ Down the Mississippi, down to New Orleans ♪

♪ I said, “Hey, hey, hey, yeah.” ♪

[song stops]

ZIPCO: Look at these pinko motherfuckers.

These motherfuckers.

It’s like my brudder. You know, my brudder?

Me and my brudder, we swing the same way, but,

only thing is, he’s a pinko.

There’s somethin’ in his head, is wrong, you know.

But when he gets drunk, he’s just like me.

Otherwise, he thinks different.

What do you mean by “he’s a pinko”?

Ain’t you supposed to be takin’ pictures?


So what you got that microphone for all the time, then?

I don’t know.

I was thinkin’ I could record people talkin’, maybe.

Use it with the pictures.

Make a book or somethin’, maybe.

A book?

Yeah. Maybe.


So what do you mean by “he’s a pinko”?

Pinko, uh, you know,

college boy.

They wear tennis shoes and short pants,

you know, shit like that.


What’s your brother do?

Uh, he’s in the Air Force.

Going to Thailand next November.

Air Force mechanic.

They took him,

they wouldn’t take me, you know.

They took him ’cause he’s a clean-cut, all-American boy.

You know, short pants and tennis shoes.

I gotta take a piss.

ZIPCO: I told my brother… He went to college one year.

I said, “Fucker, you don’t quit that college,

I’mma beat the shit outta you.”

And he quit.

‘Cause I told him I don’t want no goddamn pinkos in my family.

‘Cause I can’t stand that shit, you know.

‘Cause if you can’t work with your fuckin’ hands,

you ain’t no fuckin’ good.

MAN: Hey. Stupid.

Yeah, you, you tall fuck.

CAL: Tall?

MAN: Yeah, you. You scratched my bike.

JOHNNY: Hey, come on. Come on, hey.

I, uh, you know, I like to work.

I ain’t a fuckin’ prick.

I like to work with my hands and shit.

I work hard for my money, you know?

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

[camera clicks]

What do you do?

I study photography.

In college.

[camera clicks]

MAN: Why’d you scratch my bike?

[scoffs] I didn’t scratch your fuckin’ scooter, man.

Well, I walk off, there’s no scratch.

I see you here,

now all of a sudden, there’s a scratch.


What’s goin’ on?

Man, I was looking at this guy’s carburetors.

He’s got Jaguar carburetors,

you know, big Italian carburetors.

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

And now he says I scratched his bike.


I didn’t scratch that ancient piece of shit.

The fuck you didn’t.

You wanna get salty, motherfucker? I’ll get salty!

Okay, now, hold on, hold on, hold on.

Nah. Nah.


Where you guys from?


All right. You know a…

You know a guy around there called Shitty Pete?

Around there?


He rides with us sometimes.


How do you know Shitty?

Me? Well, I used to work with Shitty Pete.

You know, truckin’.

Around, uh, five years back.

Your boyfriends are gettin’ into trouble.

[tuts] Oh, shit.

What you guys call yourselves?


Gary Rogues.

[chuckles] Yeah.

And how many guys you got?


[men exclaiming]

Not enough, eh?


[all grunting and clamoring]

[“Baby Please Don’t Go” by Them feat. Van Morrison playing]

♪ Baby, please don’t go ♪

♪ Baby, please don’t go ♪

♪ Baby, please don’t go down to New Orleans ♪

♪ You know I love you so ♪

♪ Baby, please don’t go ♪

[camera clicks]

♪ Baby, your man done gone ♪

♪ Well, your man done gone ♪

♪ Well, your man done gone, left the county farm ♪

♪ He had his shackles on ♪

♪ Baby, please don’t go ♪

♪ Before I be your dog ♪

♪ Before I be your dog ♪

[clamoring subsides]

[song fading out]

♪ Baby, please don’t go ♪

♪ Baby, please don’t go ♪

♪ Baby, please don’t go down to New Orleans ♪

♪ You know I love you so. ♪

[grunts softly]



[both grunting]

JOHNNY: No, no!

[Benny grunting]

Benny, no, stop, stop.

No, no. No.

[breathing heavily]


No, all right?

[Benny panting]

All right.

Jesus fucking Christ.

That kid’s fuckin’ crazy. [panting]


Fuck this.

[Cal groans]

Let’s get some beers.

Come on.


Well, I had… I had four carbs

and, uh, 80 cubic inches per engine,

two-inch valves, all ported and relieved,

and, uh, I had the biggest cams,

the hairiest cams I could put in there, man.

How the fuck did you start it?

My mechanic. [chuckles]

He weighed 300 pounds.

He started it. One kick and that fucker started.

ZIPCO [chuckles]: Fuck.

You know how to time stuff pretty good, huh?

Pretty good. I mean, all right.

Enough for me, you know. I’m the one ridin’ it.

ZIPCO: Yeah, but, see, here’s the problem.

Then you gotta bring that fat guy with you ridin’.

[all laughing]

And you gotta feed him.

JOHNNY: Whatta you thinkin’ back there?

BENNY: What?

Right there, when you-you come chargin’ in like that?

Nothin’. I saw you squarin’ off with them guys.

What I’d need to think for?


Yeah, you and me, kid.

You and me, you crazy fuck.



[Johnny sighs]

KATHY: Well, Benny’s always been a fighter.

And that’s just what they need in that club.

Because you know what?

Half them guys in there are candy ass.


There’s a lotta guys in there that are candy ass.

Can you walk with that thing?


KATHY: I mean, candy asses.

They’ll just as soon turn around than get into a fight.

They don’t care if they go to jail

for disturbin’ the peace.

No, but they ain’t gonna go to jail

for aggravated assault or nothin’ like that.

[TV playing]

Will you move those bikes?

Yes, ma’am.

KATHY: Oh, wow. You, uh…

You left me one beer out of a whole case of bottles.

What saints.

MAN [on TV]: From Bell, California,

here is Richard Connelly.

[applause on TV]

Get these bikes off my yard!

I mean, Benny’s not even here,

and all these jerks are out in front.

I mean, ’cause they got no place to go, see?

So they’ll come and they’ll sit here.

And it makes the place look bad.

I mean, the neighbors see it, and this and that.

I used to be respectable.

Kathy, why do you think the guys,

they don’t wear their colors when they’re not all together?


‘Cause they’re afraid when they’re all by themselves.

‘Cause too many people are after ’em,

for one thing, you know.

Too many people got a grudge against them.

So if they catch ’em one by one…

I mean, that’s what happened to Benny.

Benny always wore his colors, and when he did wear his colors

and he was by himself, there was trouble.

I mean, you heard about all the trouble he got in

over at the Lakeside Inn?

Yeah, yeah.

And that was it.

Benny was by himself

and wouldn’t take his colors off for nobody.

And there was trouble. [chuckles]

You hear my brother?

Can’t be wearin’ no colors in this neighborhood.

[Benny groaning]

HENRY: Paulie, he won’t stay down.

Keeps getting back up.


You better stay down, you rotten fuck.

I’ll get him to stay down.

HENRY: Is this your fucking bike, asshole?

[Benny grunts]

Oh, shit. Henry!

[knife slices]

[Henry screams]

HENRY: [groans] You motherfucker!

Oh, you dirty cocksucker!

PAULIE: Henry!



Yeah, don’t worry.

I got this motherfucker right here.


[coffee machine whirring]

I mean, it nearly took his foot off.

You know, my dad always told me

it takes a lot to make a man cry,

an awful lot, you know.

I mean, they don’t get hit on the head and start cryin’.

Not a real man.

Well, I’ve seen my father cry

twice in all my life.

Once when his father died

and once when my mother almost died.

And I mean really cry, you know.

And I always believed him.

Whereas Benny,

I’ve seen him getting worked over with blackjacks.

I’ve seen him gettin’ stitched up

with no nothin’, you know.

I mean, it’s just like, just like stitchin’ him up

while he’s wide awake and everythin’ else.

You don’t see that guy shed a tear.

The closest I ever seen him come to it was that day. Mm.

Not for the pain or nothin’, no.

You know what it was?

BENNY: [sighs] Don’t let ’em take my foot.


All right? You don’t let ’em

take my foot off.

[Benny breathing heavily, sniffles]

They take my foot off, and I can’t ride no more.

KATHY: That was it.

He didn’t want to lose his foot

’cause then he couldn’t ride no more.

Never mind that he-he got a concussion

and this maniac nearly chopped his foot off

for not taking his colors off.

No, never mind that he…

He wasn’t even supposed to be ridin’

’cause his license had been suspended

from that one time the cops chased him all over.

I mean… [exhales]

No, no, no, no.

I mean, all he could think about

was ridin’ his stupid motorcycle.

I tell ya, you know, be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

[Kathy slurping]

And what about Johnny?

Oh, Johnny.

Johnny went crazy.

[whispering]: Johnny, Benny is in a bad way.

He’s in the hospital.

Two guys jumped him over his colors.

They nearly chopped his foot off.

[Cal sighs]



[“Hush Little Baby” by Deon Jackson playing on speakers]

[motorcycle engines rumbling]

[glasses rattling]

[engines revving]

[engines continue revving]

[song continues playing faintly on speakers]

[smacks lips]

I don’t want any trouble here.

Well, um…

Young kid get beat up in here earlier today.

And, ah…

You know who did it?

Couple of regulars.

A couple regulars?

Yeah, all right.

Take that pencil,

write their names down, where they live.

Then I’ll let you leave.

This is my bar. I own it.

[pencil scratching]

[engines continue revving]

Send a few guys,

make it so they can’t walk no more.

What about the bar?

Burn it down.

[“Masters of War” by The Staple Singers playing]

♪ Now, you masters of war ♪

♪ You build all the big guns ♪

♪ You build the big planes ♪

♪ And you build the big bombs ♪

♪ You hide behind walls ♪

♪ And you hide behind desks ♪

♪ I just want you to know ♪

♪ I can never done nothin’… ♪

We gotta go.

[“Masters of War” by The Staple Singers continues]

♪ You play with my world, mm, mm ♪

♪ Like it’s your little toy ♪

Nah, we don’t.

♪ You put a gun in my hand ♪

They’re scared of us.

♪ And you hide from my eyes ♪

♪ Then you try to run farther… ♪

KATHY: I think it terrified him.

You know, that’s a lot of power for one guy to have.

You know, to be in charge of alla that.

I mean, that can really mess with your noodle.



You know, Benny was bad off.

Now, I had him in a motel for three weeks.

I mean, he couldn’t walk,

so I got him a place with no stairs.

[over TV]: This is my husband. This is…

MAN: Darrin.

[canned laughter]

[both laughing]

DARRIN: Oh, we were just having a drink.

Would you care for a cocktail?

I’d like a very dry martini.

[knocking at door]

Italian Vermouth, Spanish gin

and a Greek olive?

[canned laughter]

DARRIN: Well, I don’t think we have any of…

[knocking at door]

WOMAN: Don’t bother.

I’ll fix it myself.

[canned laughter]

[shuts off TV]

Hey, Kathy.

Come on in.

Hey, look at you.

All propped up.

Like the queen.

Who you callin’ a queen?

[chuckles] Ah, you look good. You’re looking all right.

The guys thought you might really be out of it.

He is out of it. He can’t walk.

What’d the surgeon say?

They, uh, cut through a tendon.

JOHNNY: Oh, Jesus.

KATHY: We’re outta ice.

JOHNNY: Oh, yeah.

They tie it back together or what?

BENNY: Somethin’ like that.

JOHNNY: Mm-hmm.

I’m gonna go get some ice.

So, uh…

So, how long they keep you in the hospital for?

BENNY: Three or four days.

JOHNNY: That’s a long time.


JOHNNY: The guys would love to see you out there.

It’s gonna be a big one, you know,

maybe the biggest one yet.

Biggest what?

Picnic. Johnny’s sayin’ they’re goin’ all out

for the Dayton run.


BENNY: How long is that? Three weeks?


BENNY: I mean, I’ll still be in the cast by then, but…


Cast, nah. You shift with your left foot.

You can always use your front brake

if you can’t put no pressure on it.

I know the guys, they would…

[ice rattling loudly]

You want a drink Johnny?

I’m good.

The guys would love to see ya out there.

You know, they’re real worried about ya.

I’ll be there.

All right.

I’ll get out of here.

I’ll let you rest.



[door closes]

[motorcycle engine starts]

I mean, you wouldn’t really try riding

after three weeks, would ya?

[lighter clicks]

The doctor said three to four months with no weight on it.

I don’t know.

Turn up the TV, will you?


I don’t want you ridin’.

Yeah, it scares me, especially this soon after surgery.

I-I don’t like it.

You don’t like it?

I get worried.

I should just go.

I’m just gonna leave.


No, it’s better.

You’d be better off.

Stop. Stop it.

Not having to take care of me.

Worry about me.



When I heal up, I’ll leave.

[sighs softly]

I don’t want you to go.

[pensive music plays]

I’m going off the freeway into this, uh, ice plant.

I don’t know if you know what ice plant is.

If you’re ever in California,

stop and look if you want, but, like…

Hey, Kathy.

KATHY: Hey, Brucie. How’s Gail?

She’s good. She’s, uh, got a job doin’ nails in Oak Park.

I’ll go see her.

Uh, Johnny, can we talk?


Oh, you always gotta have these guys around to hear everything?

Well, what’s there to hear?

Some things.


You need somethin’, Kathy?

You can’t have him.


You know exactly who I’m talkin’ about.

Benny. You can’t have him.

The club can’t have him. He’s mine.

You know, and if he keeps ridin’ motorcycles,

he’s gonna die.

One way or another, it’ll kill him.

And you know this is true.

What am I supposed to do about it?

You know I don’t run Benny, just like you don’t run Benny.

There ain’t nobody can tell that kid nothin’.

He’s grown.

If he wants to ride a bike, he’ll ride a bike.

Well, not if you tell him, Johnny.

Not if you tell him he’s outta the club.

Come on.

No, he’s mine, Johnny. Mine.

I’m his wife, not you.

Fuck is that supposed to mean?

Well, I know you love him. I love him, too.

That’s why you gotta do this.



Are you, are you done?

I don’t know. Am I?

Oh, you got anything more to say?

No, I said it.

All right, then, you know, y-you are.


You’re done.


KATHY: You can’t have him!

MAN [muffled]: Shut the fuck up!

WOMAN: Why don’t you try it?

MAN: Shut your fuckin’ yap!

I swear to God, all you do is bitch.

Yap, yap, yap!

I oughta shut that fuckin’ mouth of yours for good.

WOMAN: If you did, it’d be the first thing

you ever finished…

Quit the racket!

I’m sick of that mouth on you.

WOMAN: …worthless piece of shit!

Always acting like you’re so fuckin’ tough!

If it wasn’t for my bad back, I’d have beat

your ass blue by now!

Yeah, lemme get my jacket.

WOMAN: My back! My back!

I said to quit the racket.

MAN: Come here!

WOMAN: What a worthless piece of shit…

Come here! I’m gonna put this belt on you!

WOMAN: …you turned out to be!

No, no, no!

Take that!

I said, quit the racket!

MAN: Told you!

I told you!


[man cries out]


Told you, huh?

I told you. Didn’t I?


Quit it! Quit it!



[man sobbing]

Hey, come here. Come here.

Come on.

WOMAN: Stop!

Stop it!

[man choking]

Stop it! You’re gonna kill him!

Stop it! Stop it!



I want you outta here!

Don’t you ever come back here! Don’t you ever!


WOMAN [softly]: I’m sorry.

I’m sorry. [sobbing]

I’m sorry.


[breathing heavily]

KID: Who’s comin’?

[energetic rock music playing]

[engine starts]

[music stops]

[indistinct chatter]

What’s the matter?

[indistinct chatter continues]

KID: Hey, hey.

You a Vandal?

That’s right.

All right, well, me and the guys,

you know, we’re looking to join up.

You wanna join…


…you gotta talk to the man.

Oh, yeah? Who’s the man?

Who’s the man?

That’s the man.

Come on.

Hey, look at this guy.

BRUCIE: Hey, welcome back.


You rode in all the way on that?

I strapped it to the bike.

He needs it ’cause his leg is broke.

Hey, Betty.

BETTY: Hey, Kathy.

I need a drink.

So, uh, what’s it like ridin’ on the old foot?

[motorcycle approaching]

[engine revs]

[engine shuts off]

Hey, man.

Somebody told me you’re the guy I need to talk to.


Blew out here from California.

Heard there was a big picnic, wanted to check it out.

Heard you’re the man in charge.

I’m Sonny.

I was hoping maybe to…

…little food, little to drink…

…camp out for a night or two.

Wanted to show a little class, contribute to the party.

All right. Help yourself.

This here’s Brucie.

This, uh, Benny right there with the boot.

And I’m Johnny.

We’re the Vandals.

SONNY: Well…

…it’s nice to meet some proper fuck-ups.

[“I’m Going Home” by The Sonics playing]

[men hollering]


♪ When I was a boy ♪

♪ I had a mind of my own ♪

♪ Told my folks ♪


♪ I was leaving home ♪


Vandals, motherfucker!

BRUCIE: I always wondered

what riders out in California looked like.

Can you imagine a thousand of those fucking guys?

♪ I’m going home ♪

♪ I’m going home ♪

[man hollers]

♪ Yeah, I’m going home. ♪

[song fades out]

CAL: Oh, they always pegged me for stupid.

Man, I couldn’t read a fuckin’ comic book

until I was in the army.

What comic book?

I was born in Canada, man.

Come on, I mean,

I went up to the fourth grade, man, in school,

all French, no English.

And I was, I was always hasslin’

and just tryin’ to learn the goddamn language.

You were in the army?


I got a undesirable discharge in there

because I was always salty.

ZIPCO: I wanted to be in the army.

I always wanted go over there to Vietnam.

I went to the draft board to get in.

They had this big party at the Seaway there then,

where I went the night before.

And get home about four, you know.


My ma comes home.

“You ain’t goin’ yet?”


“You ain’t goin’ yet?”

My alarm clock’s ringin’, I’m still conked out,

and my fuckin’ beard’s full of wine,

and, you know…

[all laughing]

…and my ma, she takes me in a taxicab,

she drives me over there, and she throws me in there.


They, uh, they go from station to station,

and you sit there, and I keep fallin’ asleep.

[laughter continues]

Well, hey, I passed.

I passed all the fuckin’ tests, man.

And the guy says, “Hey, you flunked your physical.”

I said, “What the fuck? What, my ears?

I couldn’t hear or what?”

He said, uh,

“No, your, uh, your psychiatrist flunked you.”


COCKROACH: That doctor’s a fuckin’ genius.

ZIPCO: Yeah, I smell like

a fuckin’ distillery, wined up,

but I give him good answers, you know.

So he says,

“You passed everything, except,”

he says, “you are an undesirable character.

We don’t want you.”

I says, “I wanna go,” you know?

And I cussed that fucker out that told me that.

I say, “You goddamn motherfucking

bastard cocksucker.”

I walked outta there.

I was crying, man.

I wanted to go.

There’s pinkos burnin’ their draft cards,

they that wanna go, they won’t take.

Boy, that pissed me off.

It means a lot, you comin’ out here

all banged up like that, you know?

I’ve been thinkin’, uh…

I can’t run this club forever.

You know, I’m gonna have to find somebody, uh…

to take it over, you know.

What about Brucie, huh?



Yeah, you know, I love Brucie like a brother, you know?

But it ain’t, it ain’t Brucie, no.

Brucie’ll get eaten alive by these guys.

It gotta be somebody that, uh…

…that they respect.

It’s gotta be somebody

that ain’t gonna take no shit off of ’em.

It’s you.

[chuckles softly]

Come on.


I built this club outta nothin’, all right?

I built it.

I put more into this fuckin’ club

than my own family, all right?

This is my family.

I don’t know how many fuckin’ chapters we got now.

I know we got…

new guys.

We got young guys.

I don’t even know some of them, but…

the guys I do know, you know, they ain’t gonna follow nobody

except somebody who can hold their own, you know?

Look at me.

I’m all fucked up.


I can’t even pay the fuckin’ dues.

Yeah, well, fuck the dues. [scoffs]

[Benny inhales deeply]

[exhales deeply]

You’re a grown-up, man.

You got a house. You got a job.

I don’t want that.

I don’t care about none of that.

[Johnny sniffs]

Yeah, you know.


that’s why it’s you.


You are who all these guys here,

they’re all, they’re all trying to be.

You see?

[smacks lips]



It’s yours.


Hey, you know…

Just think it over, you know. [chuckles]

[clears throat]

BRUCIE: Sonny, you, uh…

…y-you ride in California, right?

Your club’s out there?

SONNY: Mm-hmm.

So why the hell are you way out here?

I came here for him.

He didn’t turn in his colors.

We heard he was ridin’ with another club.

So they brought me out here to fuck him up.

BRUCIE: So, are-are you…

Are you gonna fuck him up?


I like you guys.

I’m hopin’ to trip with you for awhile.

The fuck happened here? [sniffs]

Well, I-I think this-this Funny Sonny just, uh…

just made Cal shit his pants.

[men laugh]

Look at his face.

[laughter continues]

Fuck, man.

Goddamn. Fuck.

I smell something, is all I’m saying.

[laughter continues]

I mean, he’s… It’s…

You know, I understand. He’s a scary guy.

[indistinct chatter]

KATHY: I mean, the only thing is

I thought I could change him, you know?

[cap clatters]

Oh, jeez.

I mean, every woman thinks that she can change a guy,

not to her own ways, but to be different, you know?

Not to be different, but to be…

I don’t know, like, he’s wild.

I thought he’d get over that, but…


But Benny, he always talks about leavin’.

You know, sometimes I wish he would, you know?

‘Cause every time he gets into trouble,

the first thing he’ll say to me is,

“Well, I’m gonna leave.”

And I think he just says this to me

so I say to him, you know, “Don’t go, don’t go.”

But it’s gettin’ to where if he’d just go,

not tell me about it, but just pick up and go,

it doesn’t hurt so bad, you know?

I mean, I’ve got feelings.

‘Cause Benny has no feelings. I don’t know where he gets it.

From what I hear, even when his father died,

he showed no feelings.

Said he’s better off dead.

I mean, Benny thinks that when you die,

you’re better off than when you’re living, you know?

Like when his dad died, he said,

“It’s just as well.

He’s better off that way.”

You know, when Brucie got killed,

“He’s better off that way.”

No feelings.

Brucie, I mean, I-I think ever since Brucie died,

things with the club have changed, you know?

Don’t you?


I mean, I miss Brucie.

[tires screech]

CAL: Nothin’.

Just pow. That’s it.

WAHOO: I mean, that’s how it is, you know.

There’s always that one.

You know, there’s always that one that gets you.

CAL: It’s the one that comes out,

that one that comes out of nowhere.

That’s the one that will get you.

WAHOO: That’s it.

One that comes outta nowhere.

Hey, Johnny.


We just got a call.


It’s the funeral home.

They won’t take the flowers.


They won’t take the flowers you sent over there.

Says the family don’t want ’em.

Well, fuck it. Send them anyway.

You know, they can eat ’em if they don’t wanna take ’em.



Get the guys together, all right?

We’ll take ’em ourselves.

[“I’ll Never Learn” by The Shangri-Las playing]

♪ Sit here thinkin’ ♪

♪ Thinkin’ bout the happy times we used to have ♪

[man sighs]

♪ Now they’re gone forever ♪

♪ I still have to wait for their return ♪

♪ No, I’ll never learn ♪

♪ I’ll never learn ♪

♪ My eyes, they burn from sleepless nights ♪

♪ Cryin’ ♪ ♪ Cryin’ ♪


Get outta here.

♪ I’ll never learn, I’ll never learn ♪

♪ My eyes, they burn from sleepless nights… ♪

JOHNNY: You guys remember Teddy Singer?

WAHOO: Yeah.


And Teddy Singer died

on the way back from, uh, the blessing

on Saint Christopher’s Day.

Yeah, he swerved and hit a parked car

near the rock quarry.

Good guy.

Yeah, he used to, used to ride that, uh,

beautiful Knucklehead, the…

All chrome. Nothin’ but chrome.

His dad made s-special things for ’em.

You know, because his dad was a… was a tool and diemaker.


After-after Teddy died,

I, um, I did offer his dad to buy the bike

because, you know, it’s beautiful.

I offered him good money, too, you know?

But he wouldn’t, he wouldn’t…

…he wouldn’t sell it.

You see?


He wouldn’t sell it.

He didn’t even ride it.

He kept the bike.

In his basement.


You understand?



Just fuck it. Fuck it.

[“I Can See” by The Liberty Bell plays on speakers]

[patrons chattering]

WAHOO: You know, that’s how I wanna die.


And my mother, she says to me…

She says, “Well, you’ve had wrecks.

“I mean, you’ve seen people die,

“seen both your cousins die on bikes.

You’re gonna kill yourself.”

But that’s… that’s the way I wanna die.

And when I die, I wanna die on a bike.

Shut the fuck up.

WAHOO: There’s no…


the fuck up…

WAHOO: What?


Hey, they say that, uh…

they say that you’re the one to talk to about joinin’ up.

Oh, no.

No, we don’t, uh…

we don’t take kids.

But I ain’t a kid. I’m 20.

Come on. Get out of here.

All right? Just…

Will you just come look at our bikes?

We chopped ’em ourselves.

Okay. [sighs]

Come look at our bikes.

CAL: Let’s see these pieces of shit.

Oh, my God.

These are pieces of shit.

[Wahoo laughing]

So we, uh… we scrapped all the pieces ourselves.

You know, I mean, we didn’t have nothin’, but we did it.

You know, we did all the work.

There you go.

Wh-What do you call yourselves?

The Renegades.

We’ve been ridin’ since we were kids.

[indistinct chatter]

Look, we’ll do whatever we gotta do. All right?

If you want us to rob someone, we’ll rob ’em.

You know, if you want us

to fight someone, we’ll kill ’em.

All we wanna do, we wanna… we wanna ride with you.

You want this pretty bad, huh, kid?

KID: Yeah.

[Johnny mumbles]


I bet if I offered you to run this whole club,

you’d take it in a heartbeat, right? [sniffs]




Yeah. You’re in.

But just you.

You gotta leave your friends behind.



Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.



Get the fuck outta here.

What kinda piece of shit are you?

What, you leave your friends behind like that?

[train horn blowing in distance]


Get the fuck outta here.

I don’t wanna see you around here ever again.

WAHOO: Johnny!


WAHOO: Hey, you…

COCKROACH: Johnny, hey, hey!


[Kid grunts]

[knife clatters]

[Johnny sighs]

All right, clean this piece of shit up

and get outta here.

Jesus fucking Christ.


WAHOO: Cocksucker, motherfucker.

KATHY: But you left.


You left before things really got bad.

I guess it was ’69, so, uh…

So, yeah, I was done with school,

and I just packed and left for New York.

[lighter clicks]

That’s why I wanted to talk.

I wanted to know what happened to the guys.

What happened to the club.

You know, a year or so after Brucie died, after you left,

things with the club really changed.

They just got…

You know, and the club, it split.

It split between the old guys and the new guys,

between the beer drinkers and the pot smokers.

And those rules,

it’s just a bunch of made-up stuff,

but these new guys really believed ’em.

It was like it was all written in stone or something.

COCKROACH: There’s a guy used to ride with us.

Took photos.

He says he’s, uh… he says he’s gonna make a book.

So I says to him…

“All I ever want is to be photographed

dressed up like a barbarian.”

Like a real barbarian, you know?

With fur and an axe or some shit.

[“Oh Love” by Brother T. [And Family plays on speakers]

CAL: I can’t really take it anymore.

So, there I am, perplexed about what to do.

This guy seems he’s gonna pull rank on me or something.

And I’m not having it.

So this guy’s hassling me, man.

Hey, Funny,

stop hogging the booze, man.


CAL: So this, I’m like,

“Listen, man. I’m warning you.”

One step closer,

and I’m gonna… I’m gonna give it to him.

[indistinct chatter]

Boy, look at that dress.

I bet I’d look good in that dress.

Yeah. I bet you would, Kathy.

CAL: And when I get salty, motherfucker… [exhales]

yeah, it’s like a fucking old egg sandwich. You know?

MAN: He’s lucky I wasn’t mad, you know?

KATHY: You got all these new guys,

you know, half of ’em coming back from Vietnam.

They’re the pot smokers,

and they’re different, these young ones, I mean.

You know, I mean, smoking pot, sure. You know?

But they do other stuff, too. Drugs.

You know, like hard stuff, and they’re crazy.

MAN: I got him laid out on the floor, right?

And I put this right up to the back of his head.

He says, “Why don’t you let me go?”

I say, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, motherfucker.

“I captured you.

You go when I say you can go.” [chuckles]

You hear what they did to Cockroach?

What’d you say?

COCKROACH: A motorcycle cop.

I always wanted to be a motorcycle cop.

That’s why I gotta…

…give my colors back.

You say you’re quittin’?


But what better job, huh?

I say, what better job is there than to get paid

to sit on a Harley-Davidson all day long?

I already told her. She’s gotta call a lawyer,

you know?

I don’t think she’ll do that.

I told her that last week. She…

Kathy. Here.



Where’d you get that?

That girl, she wants you to have it.

Sonny, what the heck is she wearin’?

She took some fellas upstairs. She don’t need it.

CAL: Don’t worry. They’re having a good time.

She said she wants you to have it.

She did, huh?

Try it on.

[Cal cackles]

Come on!

Yeah. [cackles]

We’re like Santa Claus.

Where are they from?


All you new fuckin’ guys.

Yeah, I can’t keep up.

I gotta… I gotta take a piss.


Fuck. Fuck!

You wanna quit, motherfucker?

You wanna quit, you motherfucker?

[“Down on the Street” by The Stooges plays on speakers]

[man wolf-whistles]

MAN: Yeah.

SONNY: Whoo.

It’s real pretty.

You look good, Kathy.

[whistles] It’s good.

Benny, come ‘ere.

[door opens]

[speaking indistinctly]

What’s goin’ on?

[groaning softly]

SONNY: Somebody fucked him up good.

You see who did it?


All right, let’s get him loaded in the car.

You two, you need to take him to a hospital.

CAL: Come on.


JOHNNY: Come on. Up you get.

♪ A thousand lights ♪

♪ Look at you ♪

♪ A thousand lights ♪

♪ Look at you… ♪

Where you goin’?

Let go.

Let go.

I’m sorry.


Look what we got.

Don’t worry.

Come on.

We’ll take care of you.


We’re gonna take care of you.

KATHY: Stop it!

[gang laughing]

No! No!

We got you.



Come on.


Goddamn, girl.

KATHY: Benny! Benny!

No! No.

Hey, hey, hey! [laughs]



Benny! Benny, no! No.

JOHNNY: The fuck you doin’?

All right, we’re just getting our wings.

[both grunting]

Come on, man.

They said the girl in the red dress was ready to go.

We’re just gettin’ ours.

They said the girl in the red dress.

Get the fuck outta here.

Fuck, man, fuckin’ misunderstanding.

Fuck outta here.

[voice breaks]: Where’s Benny?

Um, well, he’s not…

He’s not here. He had to go.

[breath trembling]: Yeah.

You’re okay.

[breath shuddering]

[“Treat Him Right” by Mickey Murray playing on speakers]

JOHNNY: It’s short pours. Short.

Yeah, but, I mean, it’s like they’re walking out the back

with a bottle a night.

[footsteps approaching]


If liquor keeps walkin’, we’re going to…

WAHOO: No, I told ’em.

I need to talk with you.


They broke two fuckin’ ribs.

These fuckin’ new guys.

I think they’re crazy, Johnny.

I told my old lady I’d turn in my colors.

I wanna turn in my colors.

Quit the club.

I understand.

But, Johnny, these guys,

the fucking new ones…

I’m worried when they find out, they’ll fuckin’ kill me.

I need help.


I’ll take care of ya.

You got a pistol, right?


Bring it by tonight.

What are we gonna do?

We gotta go see Cockroach.

[Benny sighs]

KATHY: Benny?

You up here?


Whatcha doin’?


Look, I got somethin’ I need to say.

I gotta be someplace.

Well, we all got places to be, you know?

All right, what is it?

I can’t live like this no more.

[breath trembling]


And I ain’t gonna live like this no more.

Well, you weren’t there, Benny. You didn’t see it, you know?

Like, I-I don’t know what I would’ve done

if they got me up those stairs

and into that bedroom. You know, I’m…

Johnny said he took care of it.

He said nothin’ happened.

But that’s not true.

You weren’t there. You didn’t see it.

I mean, you weren’t there.

I know. I-I’m sorry.

You weren’t there!

If they’da got me up those stairs,

I think I woulda taken your gun,

and I woulda popped my brains out.

Come on.

I’m serious.

You know, I-I know I’m always sayin’ that

people who commit suicide, they must be nuts.

Well, you know, I think this time I would go nuts.

Well, who’d even want you after a thing like that?

Who’d even wanna look at you?

What do you want me to do?

I want you to quit ridin’. I want you to quit the club.

Don’t ask that.

Yeah, I was thinkin’ we’d go someplace, you know? You…

I mean, you said you had a cousin in Florida

with a garage you could work at.

Let’s go there, you know. Let’s just go someplace, Benny.







What do you think this is? Hmm?

What did you ever think this was gonna be?


I gotta go meet Johnny.

♪ ♪

[dog barking in distance]

Don’t do nothin’. Just follow me in.

[train horn blowing in distance]

[doorknob clatters]

[shotgun shell clatters]

You ready?

Give me the pistol.

Fuck! Fuck!

[Cockroach screams in pain]

You let it bleed.

[breathing heavily]

Go now.

Stay gone.


JOHNNY: Come on.

[sirens wailing distantly]

[car doors open]

[car doors shut]

[engine starts]

[sighs heavily]

[engine shuts off]

The fuck was all that for?

[sighs deeply]


that was takin’ care of Cockroach.

Like you took care of Kathy?

Is that what this club is now?

Is that who we are now?

That’s it.

Benny. Benny.


These new guys.

These, uh…

These young guys, they…

Don’t none of ’em listen.

I, uh… I can’t, I can’t run this club no more.

I n…

I need ya.

You know…

I don’t ask nobody for nothin’.

And I don’t want nothin’ from nobody.

It’s not me.

Never gonna be me.


[engine starts]

[pensive music plays]

KATHY: You know, Benny always

talked about leavin’.

And then he was gone.

It’s like Funny Sonny says to me.

He says, “Kathy, I’m gonna tell you something.”

He says, “Once you go out with a guy from the Vandals,”

he says, “you’ll never go back to any other guy.” You know?

And I think this is true, ’cause after a while,

you get just like them. You know?

You start thinkin’ like them and actin’ like them.

It changes you.

And Benny was gone more than a year, ’cause that was ’71.

You know, that’s when some kid showed up to challenge Johnny.

[“I Don’t Worry Myself” by Johnny Adams playing]

I’d never heard of him.

You know, it was just some kid.


I’m a Vandal now.

What chapter?


All my guys been talkin’.

We’re done with you runnin’ things.

[breathing heavily]

I’m here to challenge you.

Fists or knives?



All right. There’s a…

There’s a parking lot on Fuller.

Near the lake.

Tomorrow night.

All right.

[TV playing]

[grabs keys]

[over TV]: Any ideas?

A few. A few.

But I wanna take a look at the test before I commit.

How was your evening?

Where are the girls?

Out with friends.

All right, I gotta head out.

You comin’ back tonight?


You grab some eggs on your way home?

I don’t wanna get out again.

MAN [on TV]: Well, I apologize for the way she acted, Steve.

Always late.

MAN 2: Kay was against our coming out.


MAN 2: She was very content.

[door opens]

She couldn’t understand why I wasn’t.

[door closes]

[engine shuts off]

Hey! Johnny.

Hey, Kathy.

Benny ever come back around?


No, if he had, I figured you woulda seen him before me.


Yeah, last I heard, he rode to, uh, Indiana with some guys.

That sounds right.

What do you need?



Well, I guess neither of us got him.

I guess not.

You know…

You can give everything you got to a thing.

Yeah, you can give it all you got.

And it’s still just gonna do what it’s gonna do.


What, you mean like my marriages? [snorts]

[Kathy chuckles]

Come on, Johnny. What do you need?

I already said it.


Hey, take it easy, Kathy.

You, too, Johnny.

[car door opens]

[engine starts]

[car pulling away]

[pensive music plays]

KATHY: It was late October,

so it was already gettin’ cold.

From what I hear, some of the old Vandals

didn’t even take their bikes.

[engine idling]

They just sat in their cars to watch.

WAHOO: The Huber Law.

What? What is that, German?

Nah, Huber Law is when you go to work

and you go to jail at night.

That’s-that’s what I’m sayin’.

They’re teachin’ ’em a trade.

All these flunkies.

[motorcycles approaching]

All right, let me take care of this.

WAHOO: Go get ’em, Johnny.

[both blowing air]

It’s gettin’ fuckin’ cold out there.

[train horn blowing in distance]


[breathing heavily]

How you want it, kid?

[Corky gasps, breathing heavily]


[breathing heavily]

Well, I heard a guy say later…

a bikerider, he says that once Johnny got killed,

that was the end of the golden age of motorcycles.

Hey, after that, this kid took over.

He turned the Vandals into a proper gang, you know?

The fuck we do now?

Nothin’ to do.

[slow instrumental rock music playing]

KATHY: The gang got even bigger.

[engines roaring]

I mean, they have chapters all over the Midwest now,

even further, you know?

I heard they started runnin’ drugs down from Canada.

You know, gambling, prostitution, you name it.

I mean, I heard they even murder people.

You know, and other clubs,

you know, you think of Funny Sonny, right?

Comin’ from California.

That couldn’t happen today. You know?

I mean, with other clubs,

they attack each other on sight now.

I mean, it’s a real shame.

And what about the other guys?

What happened to all the guys?

I mean, well, some of the guys still ride with ’em, you know.

Wahoo and Corky, I think.

They’re still Vandals.

[“Come Softly to Me” by The Fleetwoods plays]

Fuck you!


‘Cause everybody’s melon’s different.

KATHY: You know, Cal died.

Thinks different.

Yeah, they said he was, uh…

he was paintin’ houses in Lakewood.

He fell off a ladder, and he broke his neck.

Somebody told me Funny Sonny got paid five bucks

to sit on his bike outside the movie theater

to try to get people in to watch Easy Rider.

Whoo! [laughing]

KATHY: The whole thing is

just ridiculous. [chuckles]

Cockroach went back home.

And can you believe this? He’s a motorcycle cop now.

Yeah, of all things.

And Zipco moved to Texas to work on a-a shrimp boat.

That’s the last I heard of him. I don’t know.

And what about Benny?


♪ I love you so ♪

♪ Please hold, hold me so tight… ♪

[“Come Softly to Me” continues over speakers]

MAN: Hey, Benny.


You hear that?

They just told me the leader of the Vandals got killed.

A guy named Johnny.

Said some kid just walked up and shot him in a parking lot.

Didn’t you used to ride with that guy?


These fucking kids.

[glass rattles softly]

[“Come Softly to Me” continues playing]

[exhales deeply]

[Benny crying quietly]


[continues crying]



KATHY: We moved down here to Florida.

You know?

Does he still ride?

No. No.

No, ever since Johnny died, you know,

Benny don’t ride no more.

And, you know, I…

I don’t think he misses it.

And things are real good.

We’re real good. We’re happy.

Yeah, Benny works with his cousin now,

and things are real good.

[indistinct conversation]

[muffled]: I swear by it. I mean, at cars.

We’re happy.

BENNY’S COUSIN: …stunning cars.

He comes in, I’m checking it all out,

and I go back to him, and I tell him

everything that he did wrong.

How he didn’t respect it,

how he didn’t treat it right, he didn’t maintain it.

Then he starts getting mad. He starts yelling at me.

And so…

[voice fades out]

[motorcycle engines rumbling in distance]

[“Out in the Streets” by The Shangri-Las playing]

♪ He used to act bad, used to, but he quit it ♪

♪ It makes me so sad ♪

♪ ‘Cause I know that he did it for me ♪

♪ Can’t you see? ♪

♪ And I can see ♪

♪ He’s still in the street ♪

♪ His heart is out in the street ♪

♪ He don’t comb his hair ♪

♪ Like he did before ♪

♪ But he don’t wear those ♪

♪ Dirty old black boots no more ♪

♪ But he’s not the same ♪

♪ There’s something ’bout his kissing ♪

♪ That tells me he’s changed ♪

♪ I know that something’s missing inside ♪

♪ Something’s gone ♪

♪ Something’s died ♪

♪ It’s still in the streets ♪

♪ His heart is out in the streets ♪

♪ He grew up on the sidewalk, streetlights shining above ♪

♪ He grew up with no one to love ♪

♪ He grew up on the sidewalk, he grew up running free ♪

♪ He grew up and then he met me ♪

♪ He don’t hang around with the gang no more ♪

♪ Out in the streets ♪

♪ He don’t hang around with the gang no more ♪

♪ Out in the streets ♪

♪ He don’t hang around with the gang no more ♪

♪ Out in the streets ♪

♪ He don’t hang around with the gang no more. ♪

[song fades]

[“Bikeriders” by Lucero playing]

♪ Kathy met a girlfriend at a place around Grant ♪

♪ Swore if she got out alive, she’d not go back again ♪

♪ Fellas didn’t know her ♪

♪ And they scared her half to death ♪

♪ Handprints on her jeans ♪

♪ She would have just got up and left ♪

♪ That’s when she saw Benny standing over by the bar ♪

♪ Sat back down and waited till he came over to talk ♪

♪ Later on that night ♪

♪ As she was walking out the door ♪

♪ Benny started up his bike ♪

♪ And the boys came out for more ♪

♪ Oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ They picked her up and put her ♪

♪ On the back of Benny’s bike ♪

♪ Now Kathy’s been with Benny Bauer ♪

♪ Ever since that night ♪

♪ She’s tried to leave him many times ♪

♪ Can’t quite get away ♪

♪ Seen more jails and courts and lawyers ♪

♪ Than she’d like to say ♪

♪ That Benny’s always been a fighter ♪

♪ That’ll never change ♪

♪ Kathy takes him home and heals him up ♪

♪ It’s all the same ♪

♪ He made it from the club room all the way out to the street ♪

♪ They beat him with the barstools ♪

♪ But he made it on his feet ♪

♪ Oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Kathy’s running to her boy ♪

♪ Picks him up and takes him home ♪

♪ And Benny’s crying ♪

♪ “Kathy, please, I’m sorry, don’t you know?” ♪

♪ I’m sorry, don’t you know? ♪

♪ I’m sorry, don’t you know? ♪

♪ At a bar they call Stoplight, the fellas drink their beer ♪

♪ Women with their hair done up, they make it very clear ♪

♪ Which one of the fellas is all theirs ♪

♪ And can’t be touched ♪

♪ They’re tellin’ me ♪

♪ That motorcycle riders just give up ♪

♪ They’re talkin’ to the pretty ladies ♪

♪ Everyone they can ♪

♪ I never seen the trouble caused all by just one dance ♪

♪ If Benny don’t get himself shot tonight ♪

♪ I wish he did when he gets home ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Now Kathy’s dating Benny and he keeps her by his side ♪

♪ Kathy’s still the cutest girl these boys will ever find ♪

♪ Riders line up BSAs out on the scrambler’s tracks ♪

♪ Levi’s jeans and leather jackets ♪

♪ Numbers on their backs ♪

♪ Benny’s bike’s too big to race up 250 class ♪

♪ They make him start way up the hill ♪

♪ Up by the railroad tracks ♪

♪ Tomorrow, they’ll all ride across ♪

♪ The Illinois state line ♪

♪ Motorcycle Blessing at the Saint Christopher Shrine ♪

♪ Oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Kathy’s walking out the door, leaving Benny all alone ♪

♪ And Benny’s crying ♪

♪ “Kathy, please, baby, don’t you go” ♪

♪ Ah, baby, don’t you go ♪

♪ Ah, baby, don’t you go ♪

♪ Kathy mean it this time ♪

♪ Just leave in the middle of the night ♪

♪ His wallet’s on your table, his boots on your floor ♪

♪ The car is parked right outside your back door ♪

♪ So leave him asleep in your bed ♪

♪ And you’re halfway to Chicago before goodbye is said ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh. ♪

[song ends]

[“Lonely Room” by Mickey Murray playing]

♪ Here I go walking down this lonely street ♪

♪ Laughing and smiling with everyone that I meet ♪

♪ But no one knows what’s in this lonely heart ♪

♪ No, but me ♪

♪ Oh! This lonely street ♪

♪ Talking about this lonely street ♪

♪ This lonely street ♪

♪ Remind me of my baby… ♪

[song fading]

[faint chattering]

[object clacking]

[switch clicks]

[song ends]


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