Taylor Street Jousters and Taylor Street Gangs
Cousin Gang to The Gaylords
Almighty Insane Jouster Nation
A Description Given By The Gaylords
The street gang known as the "Jousters", was once a power house force to be reckoned with, on the North side of Chicago. Their name is of course a reference to the medieval sport of Jousting that originated in 1066 AD.
The Jousters most likely started in the early 1960s, around the area of Ashland and Taylor streets, calling themselves the Taylor Street Jousters. The Taylor Street Jousters were an offshoot to a gang that previously controlled the area, that was known as The Taylor Street Dukes.
The Taylor Street Dukes were a notorious street gang that had a presence in the Al Capone-Organized Crime era. Also in this Tommy Gun era were other White gangs such as; 42 gang and Grand Avenue Nobles.
The ethic makeup of the Taylor Street Dukes, and then later, the Taylor Street Jousters was primarily Italian.
By the early 1970s, the Jouster's main symbols of representation, were a medieval knight's helmet, and a simple cross, that was used in their graffiti, murals, gang business cards and on gang sweaters. Their official colors were a light blue, and a Navy blue sported together.
In the early 1970s, the Taylor Street Jousters battled with other gangs over turf. The main battle for them of course, was the Puerto Rican and Mexican immigration flooding in to their territory. During this time they were tightly allied with the Gaylords, and a main figure in the UFO alliance through the entire 1970s. In defiance of the Puerto Rican and Mexican gangs, the Jousters also adopted the American flag as an additional symbol, and like the Gaylords; took a White Pride stance. They were also part of the "Stoned Greasers"association, which basically meant that they prided themselves on being a gang that originated from the greaser gangs of the 1950s and 1960s.
By the early 1980s, the Jousters had firmly established additional sets on the street corners of Honor and Bloomingdale, Sawyer and Altgeld, Hanson Park and other spots. All these sets or branches used a "T-J" in their graffiti, and murals as a reference to the fact that were honored to have originated from the Taylor Street Jousters. One of their slogans that could be heard around this time period was, "Blue on blue, will always be proud and true."
At this time, the Hanson Park Jousters were allied with a neighboring White gang known as Cragin Park Playboys, through an alliance called, PVJs PVJ stood for Playboys, Ventures and Jousters. Even though the Ventures were extinct, the Playboys and Jousters were still paying honorable homage to them by keeping them on the original title.
The Jousters also had a strong unity with the Gaylords, after all, they had been brother gangs for almost twenty years. Their unification was called , GFJ. This stood for Gaylords , Jousters and Freaks. The Freaks were another predominately White street gang.
Unfortunately for the Jousters; Honor and Bloomingdale, and Sawyer and Altgeld were gone by 1985 do to immigration. Also adding to the demise of the set; Honor and Bloomingdale, was the unbearable suicide of their leader; Lil Man. Also the Jousters were fully gone from the Taylor Street area.
There was also turmoil for them at their set of Hanson Park. The Jousters were strongly in control of this area, until two mysterious murders in their park brought a lot of police attention to their organization. Apparently, two members of a rival gang; the Simon City Royals were found dead in Hanson Park. The two deceased Royals were G-Man and Rotten, both Royals from a nearby Simon City Royal set.
By 1986, the Jousters looked to be going extinct, and very few members were seen actively on the streets. This was all up until a few years later, when they were seemingly brought back to life, by the rejuvenation skills of members by the names of Bear and Omen. Hanson Park at this time was their last set left.
The rejuvenation however came to late, as the ethic, and cultural make up of the neighborhood was changing. The Jousters would last up to around 1995, but after that their presence faded out from the Hanson Park because of immigration.
United Five Organization
Jousters, Gaylords, and Belairs
Sawyer and Altgeld Jousters
Jousters had a chapter on Sawyer and Altgeld which we called library Jousters because there was a library there. I have a funny story right there on sawyer and Fullerton was a gas station so one day I am getting gas wearing a gangster sweater, white hat with a pink strap on it and a pink comb. Well, I guess a pee-wee saw me, and informs T.J’s I turn around and there had to be 40 coming at me. In front was Hatter and Munchin both busted out laughing after seeing me.
Lil Hippie Jousters North and Damen
Hanson Park Jousters - Luna Lords
The Last Warlord
I was thee last warlord of the Jousters. We as a whole decided it was better to disband then to allow the very people we were fighting into the gang. Don’t get me wrong, we still to this day talk and can count on each other when we need to, but hanging on the corner in the ghetto just wasn’t what it was all about. We no longer had any sections around us to help us out if we needed, and we were surrounded by Cobras to the east, Gangsters to the west, Vice Lords to the south, and Kings to the north. When it actually came up to start allowing the Kings from Diversey to come hang with us at the park, ALLLLLLLL of us old school bros had enough and held a meeting to disband in honor rather then turn into the scum we were fighting.
I was a warlord for my generation. We retired in 97, Omen, Bear, Riddler, Lil Riddler, Zues, Blade, Lil Joker, Sir Joker, DJ, Lil Bear, among others, of this time line. We were Midget Luna Lords, then we became a powerhouse on the north side. We stopped recruiting in 95 due to the overwhelming Mexican take over and we refused to let our history go to the Hispanics. We were not Folks or People. We were white power. We had a carnival every year. We ran within iron fist keeping our Polish population safe, and we got tired of these for mentioned Mexicans rolling the old Polish guys as they left a bar drunk. We took our neighborhood back!
I lived at Taylor and Oakley from about 1979 to 1982, living in the second floor of this old building. When I lived there, I came to know, and befriended, the Taylor Street Jousters. Their leader was Banshee, whose brother Rudy had been killed before I knew him. Banshee's other brother, Flaco, was a friend of mine, and he was killed in a fight with La Familia (Puerto Rican gang). Other Jousters I knew were Trog, Raton and Oscar.
I think of all of them whenever I am in the area. I was a white kid from the suburbs, and they looked over me and protected me. They were Jousters, and I am proud that I was their friend.
Honore and Bloomingdale Jousters
North and Damen Jousters
GOOD LOOKING OUT THATS WHAT WE WERE, PEOPLE, JUST HUNG AROUND ON DIFFERENT CORNERS IN THE HOOD TO HOLD IT DOWN. OURS WAS TALL! BORDERS WERE FROM NORTH AVE TO FULLERTON EAST SIDE WAS HIGHWAY 94 TO MILWAUKEE AVE ON THE WEST WHICH RUNS SOUTH EAST TO NORTH WEST.....
TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT: ,JOUSTERS:.KIDD,FLY.AERO,JINO: BOTTOM SAME ORDER...HATTER,LIL MAN,MUNCHKIN,JOE PRO..... AERO AND MUNCNKIN. THAT PICTURE WAS SUMMER 1971 IN ST. MARYS SCHOOL YARD, WHERE STEVEN SEAGAL MADE ABOVE THE LAW.....
R.I.P. WITH TALL LOVE
Mural is from the factory we claimed as ours on Bloomingdale and Laramie. The factory is long gone, but if you look at the bridge crossing over Laramie just south of Grand Avenue, you can still to this day see an old tag from the same time frame.
Taylor and Oakley
Origional Taylor Jouster had this to say about his club: Prior to my mom's death in '64, everything was a tightly knit fit, and no-outsiders from the hood. When our boy's got in trouble, either with the law or the other rivals, mom use to hide them in the basement on Leavitt, until I got a little older and had full membership with my new family. There are so many of the Original guys still alive and are still in the neighborhood. Loco, Juan, Rocky, Mouse past away about 8 years ago, Lil Joe, Nick, Tito & Victor & myself. These guys were the founders. The Harrison Gents, Black Panthers, Vice Lords were the real rivals. Actually a real pain in the azz most of the time.
Our boundaries were from Western to Roosevelt to Canal St, to the Eisenhower Expressway.
Tony's Hot Dog Stand at Polk and Western, In front of Traficante's Drug Store on Oakley and Taylor, which the headquarters was on Oakley Blvd, Blackie's Tavern on Taylor St just East of Oakley Blvd, The original Al's Beef Stand at Aberdeen & Taylor St. Jew Town also known as Maxwell St and Roosevelt, Papa Charlie's at Carpenter and Taylor, Levitt and Roosevelt were the old Juvenile Detention Center was, cause we lived across the St. and a few other places. And Ferrari's Bakery at Taylor and Western.
Things were pretty wild back then and territorial issues for control of the streets were inevitable for the strong and the weak to be disabled. As far as Non-Existent for Taylor and Oakley, you have to remember that this was still an Italian neighborhood, Next door to Blackies was an Old Capone Warehouse, and old man Vito Marzullo lived 1/2 block from there. Systematically we moved around the area to secure and protect what was considered ours.
A Warlord Remembers:
MAY THE LEADER OF THE JOUSTERS REST IN PEACE . MANY TIMES THE TJN AND WARLORDS CLOSED DOWN MILWAUKEE AVE. BY BURGER KING IN WICKER PARK FIGHTING . SHALOM OLD ENEMY ..... EGGIE? WARLORD
Riis Park Jousters
There was a TJ set at Riis Park from 1987-1991. They used RPTJ to represent their set.
Click photo to enlarge
Click photo to enlarge
Click photo to enlarge
Taylor and Oakley Jousters
From a Jouster From the 60's and early 70's: I was a Jouster in the late 60s early 70s. It was mostly Mexican then. There were others in the gang that were black. White, myself for one and Puerto Rican I can think of only 1 Itaian guy Jack, Loco was the leader. The gang was confined to the Taylor and Oakley area as described correctly. It brought back memories. About 70 or 71 we added Fullerton and St Louis and I don't recall exactly but a group near damen and north ave. It grew from there.
It was not a racist white power group. The racists came later and would not have been welcomed by the early jousters. We were pretty crazy but considered ourselves good guys and protectors of our neighborhood.