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Filming Planned on Hells Angels

September 25, 1998|MARINA MALIKOFF

Filmmakers from the History Channel will be in Ventura next month, gathering footage for a documentary on the Hells Angels' 50th anniversary.

"They are a fascinating group of people," said Mike Mason, a producer for Sherman Oaks-based Triage Entertainment. "I want to tell the story in their voice."

Triage, which will be in town to film an Oct. 10 benefit concert for the motorcycle group, will produce the documentary for the History Channel.

Although George Christie Jr., president of the thriving Ventura Hells Angels chapter, has not yet agreed to be interviewed for the project, he hasn't said no.

"It's probably something we'll be involved with," said the 51-year-old Christie, often sought by writers, reporters and directors.

Christie has given the crew a green light to shoot the concert at the Ventura Theatre, but said he wants to see a more refined outline of the project before he and the club commit to anything more.

"I'm interested in the project," Christie said. "Certainly the Hells Angels are a part of history."

Still in the pre-production phase, the retrospective will begin just after World War II when a group of pilots returned to San Bernardino and gave birth to the motorcycle culture and the Hells Angels, Mason said. The story will follow the club's move to Oakland, president Sonny Barger's reign, and track what Mason calls the club's "ups and downs"--including a concert at Altamont Speedway in 1969 that resulted in chaos and death. Members of the Hells Angels were among the security guards that day.

Mason will also touch on the club's often tense relationship with law enforcement.

"The most impressive thing is the ability of the club to survive and prosper," Mason said. "Whether you love them or hate them, they are still standing."

The documentary, tentatively titled "The 50-Year History of the Hells Angels," is scheduled to air March 22 on the History Channel during its "Wild Bunch Week."

For more information on the concert, to feature Long Beach Dub All-Stars as the headliners, call 641-3350.

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