The Gaylords, like many white Chicago gangs, were part of the Northside Alliance.
Street gang coalitions have a way of not working out. It's the kind of feudal arrangement where a bunch of serfs feel comfortable with one lord.
The street gang doesn't lend itself to power sharing. That may be one of the reasons that the North Side Gaylords are reputed to be one of the
toughest gang ventures around.
2 WHO RUNS CHICAGO:? Michael Kilian,Connie Flether,F. Richard Ciccone, St. Martin's Press. 1979, New York, p.165.
If a makeup artist was hired to do a quick gang member guise on some actor for an upcoming 1950s movie, they would most likely start tough-tucking a cigarette behind the ear of a clean-shaven face and after gobbing grease into the hair, proceed to style it back slickly. This makeover, along with the traditional cuffed-pants-bottoms, is the rough characterization that can be found in the movies "The Westside Story" (1961) and ďThe Outsiders" (1983). This is the gutsy Greaser image, which on Chicago's streets was bequeathed over to the 1960s by the 1950s. Coolly liberating for a greaser gang member to cling to a street corner, much like a bike-clinging Hells Angel with a breezy wind of freedom at his back. Running opposite to the Hippie culture, Greaser-ism was viewed as true Americana by many city youths. By 1970, on the Windy City's North-side, elite greasers, those primarily membershiped in white gangs, loosely termed themselves as "Stone Greasers": stone, as in as solid as Thor's hammer. White gangs not only blanketed themselves in grease, they had the same collective struggle. The very neighborhoods where they corner-clung were being intruded upon by Latino gangs.
White gangs responded to this vile intrusion by Tarzan-swinging into certain Latino gang camps. Sometimes this was accomplished in force, with another allied gang or more supporting the attack. After pre-selecting a rivaled hood, a trouble spot for a comrade crew, a hit was put into operation. The plan was always simple, "Get in, do your thing, and get the f_ck out." Vindication was always at the core of it for white gangs. In most case histories, for individual white gang members, it started out as continuous early-teen victimization at schools, or other public venues, by trap-snappish Latino gangs. From there, the victimized usually sought rebellious refuge in the closest white gang, while seething to retaliate for past grievances. Once deeply rooted in the gang, the individual actually compiles more grievances like the loss of soul-tight comrades.
U.F.O. United Five Organization
In 1971, the "Playboys", a tough-as-nails group whose hood was wall-inked with Hugh Hefner's Playboy Bunny, lost member Kong to a murderous Haddon Boy. Then there was the hood venturing Ventures who lost their member Doc in 1972. Deaths reverberate strong on the conjested streets. Other white gangs empathize and they feel even more vindicated as they storm Latino gang strongholds together. By 1973, a loose label of "UFO" (United Five Organization) is conjured up to solidify things. The UFO is a fight federation of five main units: "Chi-West" of Chicago-N-Western with their Skunk symbol; "C-Notes" of Ohio-N-Leavitt which are Italian stallions whose hood walls bore bold dollar signage; "Jousters" with their knight-helmet crest; and, Playboys. Playboys also ride a side-bar of PVPís (Playboys, Ventures, Pulaski Park), but that equals out to seven gangs total, however, the soldier-entertaining moniker of USO probably would not jive as well as the moniker of blaring bright, flying high UFO.
Pride of the Stone Greaser
During daylight hours, members of Greaser-fanatic white gangs meet up at the schools where they are enrolled such as safer-than-others Lane High School. At Lane they even have cave-padish Lennie's, a music-bopping fast food joint to coolly congregate in. Sometimes while at Lennie's they have to UF0 blast-off from their actual seats to deal with alienating beings from other gangs that show up to try and plant flags. At sundown, when Lane's door is shut, the UFO troops are pretty much night-nested in their own individual hoods or out doing some area head hunting on encroaching Latino gangs. Along with head hunting there is also treasure hunting; patch-adorned sweaters. All gangs are about the obsessive smash-snatch thievery of street styled sweaters.
The cross-parading Popes are another Greaser-patronizing White gang whose main protocol is pre-emptive striking against encroaching Latino gangs. However, they are not part of any UFO sightings. All though they are Greaser giants they have an abrasive relationship with neighboring Kilbourn Park Gaylords, not any other Gaylord fraction. It is an egotistical environmental issue where they sometimes have nasty neighborhood relations with each other. This causes stomach discomfort for the other Greaser gangs and they stay out of the aggravated affair to an extent. Another white gang is the grungy Simon City Royals who emerged in the Lakeview area mainly due to the landing of the nationalistic Latin Eagles. The "Simon City" portion of the Simon City Royals' name has been shoplifted from a white gang whose existence was lost to Latino gangs. The Simon City Royals are freshly brewed and lack reputed roots. So, there is some skepticism by the UFO as they scan them for life readings. A select sampling of Simon City Royals is taken on some test-trial hits and they do some minor-intermingling, but fundamentally there is just something odd about Royals.
In the stormy sea around Humboldt Park resistance-fighting Gaylords have franchised up at Moffat-N-Campbell because the neighborhood was being clamped upon by Latino gangs. Soon their futuristic fight schedule is booked for years with opponents: Latin Panthers, Latin Kings, Latin Disciples, Imperial Gangsters, Orchestra Albany, Latin Hoods and others. It is another culture-clash where gangs are litering walls with paint and sidewalks with blood. They are not just bouncing snowballs and bullets off each others hood either. Fire bombing takes place. With their tenacious leader Joker, stars-n-stripes-minded teenagers conduct their war in the veins of trashy alleyways and mangy railroad viaducts. Deaths will occur. A Gaylord named Harpo, a fluffy red-haired, easy-going lad will be shot to death by Latin Kings under one of those mangy railroad viaducts. Lil Rico from the Latin Hoods will be street-erased also.
Moffat and Campbell's bleak situation is not just a gruesome gang war. Being a culture-clash there is a bigger picture here. There is so many Puerto Rican immigrants flash-flooding into the area that Chicago feels obligated to name-change localized Tuley High School to Roberto Clemente as they revamp the structure. Roberto Clementi High School becomes a nightmarish bee hive of Latino gangs. White teenagers wind up dropping out and majoring in Street Survival 101. In an area where the average income is less than $10,000 a year, jobs are gem finds. Rev. Richard West of St. John United Church of Christ, 2442 W. Moffat, will become soul-anguished about the helpless situation. A neighborhood bar will be fire bombed and this will be soul-disturbing to him. What will be disturbing even more to Rev. West, though, is when he receives a call from a government job agency informing him that there is just a residue of jobs left for the whites in his community, as the first grabs have been given to Latinos. The Reverend voices his concerns, in regards to Latino preference over poor whites, to the federal office of Equal Employment but is bluntly told that minorities come first. Mind boggling it must have been, as impoverished whites in the area are the minority.
Chicago Turbulent Seventies
In 1974 the murder rate skyrocketed in Chicago to over well over 900 in a population of roughly 3 million people. Racial tension was explosive in the mega-segregated city of Chicago. Entire neighborhoods were not only supportive of one culture; many residents within them actually cheerlead for their specific culture-oriented gang(s). On the north-side of Chicago, racially-turbulent border lines were to be found in the main busy streets of the areas that made up the city's matrix: Buck Town, Uptown, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, Logan Square, Lincoln Park, and Ravenswood. Whereas Blacks were denied access to eateries and such because of discrimination in their epic Civil-Rights struggle, Latino and Whites were forbidden to enter certain establishments in Chicago. No placard needed in the business windows, you knew where you did not belong. Although not as degrading and unjust as the well-documented Black discrimination, it is just as fatal. Even Fullerton Beach was off-limits to whites due to pulsating piranhas, Latino gangs.
Pro-American White Pride Stance
Around this time period of racial un-harmony individual Gaylords started deploying White Power symbolization and slogans as a defensive measure. Desperate times call for desperate measures. And, these were mad-minded teenagers in absolute mayhem. No Hitler-revival doctrine, this White Power utilization was just frightmare tactics primarily against Latino gangs. Gaylords-involved-altercations with Black gangs were minimal. Distributable "compliment cards" were brag-bashing business cards that Chicago gangs habitually produce. And from the 1950s up until the mid-1970s, Gaylord compliment cards show no racial content. The angry-alphabet is only iced on compliment cards and paint-creamed to walls as the Latino gangs start pouring in at jet-propulsion speed. Ultimately, this worded warfare is a two way street. All gangs, city-wide, have incorporated it. Black gangs are doing over-renditions of Black Panther, Stokey Carmichael's empowerment cry of "Black Power." Latino gangs are anti-white spewing machines still grenade-tossing their own countries flag, while down casting the American flag."
Technically as a combined unit Gaylords can't be considered White Supremists as they were race mixing bastards. Plain truth is, not all Gaylords were white. Once again, the bigger picture here is an ultra-mega culture collision. These particular non-Anglo Gaylords were melting-potted already and shell-shocked by the Latino gang invasion and opted for Gaylord membership. Anyone, from American Indians to, yes, even Puerto Ricans flocked to the Gaylord banner; about 20 percent of the summed-up total. These were the Americanized who identified with the patriotic-rockin' "Stars-N-Stripes" culture. Additionally, White Flight did not just have white passengers. Other flighty natives took the luxury ride. Unfortunately, the non-whites who could not afford the luxury ride of the White Flight were stuck in the conflicted crapper with the unfinanced whites. Whites also found themselves assimilated into Latino gangs. Unable to Evil Knievel bike-jump out of a hood when a Latino gang over ran an area, whites converted over to the incoming culture. However, in Uptown, near the Lake Michigan water front, the conversion was not so orthodox. At Ainslie-N-Winthrop a sprinkle of Latin Kings were able to gain a foothold and inject the Latin King fever into an area of southern-tough whites; poor and running on idle, the heavily influenced whites take on an oxymoron-ish title of "White Latin Kings." As years pass, and a flood of Latino reinforcements join these Kings the "White" will be eventually dumped from the very title and they will become what they were truly destined to be "Latin Kings." Just like elsewhere, this Latino gang introduction inadvertently produces Gaylords.
Chicago Uptown Poverty
Interwoven into the crackling' buildings around the decrepit corners of Sunnyside-N-Magnolia, Southern-tongue Gaylords have ghoulishly materialized. Ghost-town-structured Uptown is a destitute area where you can find cardboard houses and tainted toddlers. And, these Gaylords are condemned to these horrid conditions. A hindrance of some concrete obstacles, trouble-spot blockage, has been constructed by the city on the corner of Sunnyside-N-Magnolia, but all this does is create a defensive shield, a maze-craze that gets labeled "The Mall." The Chicago Tribune reports the Mall to be "a pit out of hell. Even Police are afraid to go there." Daily living is not so sunny-bright at Sunnyside, but the Gaylords have the burning passion of there self-entitlement to keep them strongly afloat. Tattooed on tough skin and crude walls is Gaylord pride galore. Also to be found here, disdain for the Latin Kings, as they have essentially clicked-on the mayhem mechanism in the area. Bullet blasters from both warring sides are systematically produced. As the years grind on these Gaylords will have a hydra-head of gang sets to contend with and poverty to pursue.
Chicago Irving Park
Back at the arena of Kilbourn Park that ego-environmental issue between those particular Gaylords and the Popes had erupted into all out war. The boiling point was breached in 1975 during a nervy foot chase over trivialities. In a Docile part of the Popes' hood, a fear-fleeing micro-sized member of the Gaylords has shot blindly behind him with a handgun and extinguished the brawny maximizer of the Popes: Larkin. The aggrieved Popes strike up a mission to crush all Gaylords. In this white-wonderland-area conflict the Simon City Royals crusted banner stands abreast the Popes on this matter. In their short history, to three different foe factions, the Simon City Royals have lost three main-headers: Bimbo, Arab, Tuffy. With those deaths, the idle-running Royals seemed like they were lacking direction but now they obviously have some, to be a demented mash-smash machine to all Gaylords. The Royals really haven't been lacking any vision. Their sinister eyes see the world around them as a burglarizing bonanza and they are fastly trying to become mob-zillas. The Popes and Simon City Royals have a good handful of corner-castles. But so do the Gaylords, as they Human-Torch-up to meet the challenge at hand. And the Gaylords are not alone on their armed excursions; they have what is left of UFO supplements: Jousters, Chi-West, C-Notes. However, everyone involved has their own hoods that they really need to be concentrating on.
Logan Square: Latin Lovers, Orchestra Albany
At Palmer Street where the psychedelic-experimenting Gaylords are back dropped by painted crude-crosses on the urban decay around them, the Gaylords know that they need to seriously concentrate on the concrete scenery around them. In late December of Bicentennial-frenzied 1976 they have lost spirited Tesse. Tesse bled to death after receiving a gunshot during a daylight skirmish outside a local business on Milwaukee Avenue. The Orchestra Albany, a morbidly musical group of mostly Mexicans and Cubans, is the gang that gloats about killing Tesse. Along with the Orchestra Albany, another mostly Mexican gang, Latin Lovers, has set up shop on the borders of the Gaylords' shrinking bubble. And, all the Latino gangs around the bubble are trying to pop it. Whites within the general proximity vacate as tension rises and Latino immigration increases. Police and media report the harsh negativity of it all, where the Gaylords are shown as unbendable racists at gun play in the nastified mist of spray paint. But none of these report-filers themselves are conflicted teenagers under crumbling conditions. Most of these judgmental report-filers go home to docile dwellings, and are not youths who have to fight for their existence.
Palmer Street Gaylords do explorations outside their protective bubble. While out and about they have manage to put droplets of the Gaylords' vibe into the minds of youth in trouble-spot-developing areas. These droplets are black-n-gray in color as these are the Palmer Gaylords specific colors they have chosen to style. Due to this infusion, there is the manifestation of the Seeley-N-Ainslie Gaylords, a Hun-ish clique who are strong willed cross-carriers. Seeley-N-Ainslie Gaylords are 4 miles north of the Palmer Street Gaylords, their Dr. Frankensteinís that have created them. However, Seeley-N-Ainslie has their own problematic situations. Those White Latin Kings that fester around the Sunnyside-N-Magnolia Gaylords, about a mile west right down Lawerence Avenue, have expanded out and crowned new sets by Seeley's sector. This is precisely why the Seeley-N-Ainslie Gaylords have sprung to full life. Soon, their brave leader, rebel-yelling Honkey, will be killed by the Latin kings and the Gaylords will feel more then inclined to return the unpleasantries.
Not all Gaylords sections are long enduring Mick Jaggers. Many sets fizzle out. Incidentally, white gangs such as the Jokers, Ventures, Pulaski Parkers expiration dates were up. Latino gangs and the immigration-fuel behind them have ethic-scrubbed many hoods. The area of Grand-N-Noble, which encompassed the Gaylord campsites of Ohio-N-Noble and Grand-N-Ogden, was Gaylord depleted. When Springfield-N-Lemoyne and Keystone-N-Wabansia Gaylords had to vacate their posts, some wound up falling back northward towards the next formidable Gaylord section, Lawndale-N-Altgeld.
Kelwyn and Mozart Park Area
At Lawndale-N-Altgeld, the Latino gangs have actually replenished the Gaylords ranks as area schools are being over run. Not too cool when you are dramatized by the fact that your 72-73 grad-pic of Mozart grammar school is infested with the same Imperial Gangsters, suited in Gangster-gear, that harshly Disco-danced over people all through 8th grade. Most of the youth that joined the Gaylords actually despised gangs. But the Gaylords at Lawndale-N-Altgeld look like the Justice League, and a grandiose place to become vigilant Captain Americas from. Even bulky jocks that are alienated by the Latino gang infractions enroll with the Lords at Lawndale. Itís as if the very aspirations of the American Dream are intruded upon as Americanized youth go into survival mode. Kelvyn Park High School is even publicly voicing their concerns about the alarming situation of whites flighting out and Latinos flooding in. Scar tissue starts to mound up as the Gaylords and Latino gangs culture clash. The Palmer Street Gaylords are about a mile east of the Lawndale Gaylords so they share some of the same enemies that are building up between the two brotherly sets. In the same exact year that Tesse from Palmer Street dies a newbie Gaylord, Glover, is rifle-shot to death in broad daylight by the Imperial Gangsters. And, the same gang that killed Tesse from Palmer Street, the bonkers-for-bullets Orchestra Albany, kills a Mexican-American Gaylord, while he is strolling with his girlfriend on the outskirts of Lawndale-N-Altgeld.
As curtains start to close for the 1970s, all the Gaylords bases are insanely infuriated by the mass invasion of Latino gangs, or as the Gaylords, and other white gangs, brashly term them "spics." With that, the Gaylords have powder-kegged some new doctrine for their reputed name: Great American Youths Leading Our Rights Destroying Spics.