For more than three decades, George Christie was among the most prominent leaders of the Hells Angels biker organization. He was prosecuted and persecuted; hunted and hated, but always respected, even by his enemies, of which there were many. Now, Christie shares his journey from accused (though not convicted) murderer and arsonist to legitimate business owner and family man in the new, solo stage production OUTLAW. Written and directed by Richard La Plante, OUTLAW is coming to the Playhouse @ Westport Plaza June 29-July 1.
Based on his memoir Exile on Front Street: My Life as a Hells Angel and Beyond, the show explores how the son of poor Greek immigrants in Southern California became one of the most influential leaders of the world’s most infamous motorcycle club. In 1978, Christie founded the Ventura chapter of the Hells Angels, which he ran until 2011.
“This show has taken me deeper into realizing why I became who I am,” Christie said. “I am not making excuses, nor am I condemning my old lifestyle. It’s helping me find peace with myself. I don’t think you can grow if you don’t explore the good with the bad.”
During his years with the Hells Angels, Christie survived gang wars, multiple prosecutions and attempts on his life. In 1979, he was among a group of Hells Angels members targeted by then-U.S. Attorney Robert Mueller, who is now spearheading the investigation into alleged Russian influences on the 2016 presidential election. Through it all, Christie considered himself a peacemaker, by the standards of outlaw biker clubs.
“The crime rate in Ventura was lower when I ran the Hells Angels,” he said. “We didn’t allow drive-by shootings. I told our members they could deal with problems, but not in ways that endangered the community. I kept innocent people from getting hurt.”
After quitting the Hells Angels, Christie began writing, speaking, promoting concerts and consulting for defense attorneys. In 2015, The History Channel produced a documentary series about him, titled “Outlaw Chronicles: Hells Angels.” While the documentary focused on the Hells Angels, playwright and co-producer Richard La Plante said the new stage production offers a more personal portrait of Christie.
“I find George’s story compelling because I believe if he was not an outlaw and had not chosen that path in life, he could have been the president of a large corporation or a state senator,” La Plante said. “He has the brains and charisma to do anything and be anyone. It was those brains and charisma that took him to the top of the outlaw biker world. It was his choice, guided by circumstance, and one that he has never regretted or whined about.”
Tickets are $50 and on sale now through MetroTix at www.metrotix.com or by calling 314-534-1111. Additionally, tickets will be available at the Playhouse @ Westport Plaza box office one hour prior to show time. Groups of 10 or more should call 314-616-4455 for special rates.