The Wild Ones starring Marlon Brando was based on the 1951 short story The Cyclists’ Raid by Frank Rooney. The story or “legend” of The Wild Ones is based on a 1947 motorcycle rally in Hollister, California. The cyclists gathered and partied in Hollister which proved to be far more than the seven man police department could handle.
The bikers left Hollister before any members of the media could get there to document the biker gang in action. So they did what any story telling journalist would do in a pinch – use “artistic license.” The San Francisco Chronicle published the photograph below which went “viral” in those days which meant was picked up by Life Magazine. The rebellious, leather jacket reputation of the American biker was personified and set in stone.
blog written by Michael Accorsi
@michaelaccorsi (Twitter and Instagram)