The Hell’s Angels long had global ambitions. From their humble beginnings in 1948 as a pack of thrillseeking and hellraising ex-airmen out of Fontana, California to near mythic ,and certainly iconic, status under the leadership of Sonny Barger out of Oakland less than 20 years later with chapters all over the United States. Today The Hell’s Angels acknowledge more than one hundred chapters spread over 29 countries.
The march to the top will always leave many enemies in one’s wake, and in the 1960’sand 70’s several other gangs emerged who would become their sworn enemies. They included the Bandidos, the Outlaws, the Mongols and the Pagans. Julian Sher, a Canadian investigative journalist and author of two books on biker gangs says: "These other gangs hate the Hells Angels… because they are so dominant.Sometimes it is a turf war over drugs or the sex trade but often it’s just to do with the pride of the patch. A lot of it is just to do with ego and testosterone; it’s about macho chest-thumping and who is the toughest pitbull in the junkyard."
On New Year’s Eve 1980, Jørn "Jønke" Nielsen founded the Hell’s Angels chapter in Copenhagen, Denmark and immediately fell into conflict with the other biker clubs in the territory. The war with the club known as Bullshit from 1980-87 seems to have been driven by status, though as all all other rival clubs coalesced under the banner of The Angels long standing enemies the Bandidos (who’s only European outpost to this point had been Marseilles, France) in the early 1990’s the beef had definitely become about control of the dope trade.
Between 1994 and 1997 the Hells Angels and Bandidos across Scandinavia fought what was described as the “The Great Nordic Biker War”.
At least 11 people were killed and dozens injured in a bloody power struggle involving car bombs, machine guns and even anti-tank rockets stolen from a Swedish army depot.
The first incident was a shooting at the clubhouse of Morbids MC, on 26 January 1994 in Helsingborg, Sweden, but no one was injured or killed. In February 1994, there was a shoot-out between Hells Angels and Bandidos members in the same city, resulting in the death of Joakim Boman, a Hells Angels member. Just days later, an anti-tank rocket was fired at the Hells Angels clubhouse. On 22 June 1994, the president of Klan MC, an ally of the Bandidos in Finland, was shot dead by the Hells Angels and on 19 February 1995, the war reached Norway as a shoot-out in Oslo between the Hells Angels and Bandidos ended in one biker being wounded.
Michael "Joe" Ljunggren, the president of Bandidos MC Sweden, was assassinated on 17 July 1995 and the Bandidos retaliated by firing anti-tank rockets at the clubhouses of Hells Angels prospect clubs in Helsinki, Finland and Helsingborg, Sweden nine days later. Two Bandidos members were later sentenced, Kai Tapio Blom was given six years imprisonment and Antti Tauno Tapani was given four years. When Bandidos MC Finland’s president arrived at a Helsinki court house for the trial of Blom and Tapani, he was attacked and beaten by Hells Angels members. A Hells Angels-owned tattoo parlour in Helsinki was later destroyed in retaliation.
On Christmas Day 1995, two Hells Angels members were beaten up by Bandidos at a nightclub in Copenhagen, signaling the beginning of the war in Denmark. In January 1996, there were a series of bombings in Norway, Hells Angels prospect club, Screwdrivers MC’s clubhouse in Hamar and the Hells Angels’ clubhouse in Oslo were the targets. A Hells Angels-owned bar in Helsinki, Finland was also bombed a month later. On 1 March 1996, the Hells Angels attacked the Bandidos’ Helsinki clubhouse where two Bandidos members suffered gunshot wounds. Jarkko Kokko, the vice-president of Bandidos MC Finland and one of the men shot, died sixteen days later in hospital from his wounds. Two Hells Angels prospects were later arrested for the murder, Ilkka Ukkonen was sentenced to twelve and a half years in prison and Jussi Penttinen was given six years.
On 10 March 1996, there were twin attacks on Bandidos members at airports in Denmark and Norway; at Fornebu airport in Oslo, several Bandidos were wounded and at Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen, Bandidos who were returning from a weekend in Helsinki were shot, three wounded and one, Uffe Larsen, was killed. Six Hells Angels members and associates were arrested and sentenced to a total of 53 years in prison, and one was given a life sentence. In April and May 1996, there was another series of bombings as the Hells Angels clubhouses in Helsingborg, Sweden and southern Denmark were attacked and the clubhouse of a Hells Angels prospect club, Avengers MC, was also attacked in Aalborg, Denmark.
Jan "Face" Krogh Jensen, a Bandidos member, was shot and killed in Drammen, Norway on 15 July 1996 and Hells Angels supporter was shot six days later in Oslo. Two Hells Angels were also shot and wounded that month in Malmö, Sweden and at Jyderup prison in Denmark. On 28 August, the vice-president of Hells Angels MC Sweden was shot and wounded in Helsingborg.
In October 1996, there were three attacks on Hells Angels clubhouses; on the 3rd, an explosion in Malmö wounded twelve innocent bystanders and three days later, an anti-tank rocket was fired at a clubhouse in Copenhagen during a party. Hells Angel member Louis Linde Nielsen and guest Janne Krohn were both killed. Bandidos prospect Niels Poulsen was convicted of carrying out the attacks and sentenced to life in prison. On the 30th, a car bomb exploded outside the Hells Angels clubhouse in Oslo. Toward the end of 1996, there were shootings of Bandidos members in Horsens and Aalborg in Denmark.
At the beginning of 1997, Hells Angel Kim Thrysöe Svendsen was murdered in Aalborg and the president of the Outlaws, Thore "Henki" Holm, and a French member were shot and wounded by a member of Untouchables MC, a Hells Angels ally. Bandido footsoldiers were also shot in Amager and Køge in Denmark. The Bandidos responded by ordering shootings on Hells Angels members and allies inFrederiksberg.
On 4 June 1997, a car bomb exploded outside a Bandidos clubhouse in Drammen, Norway, killing Irene Astrid Bäkkenvold, a civilian passing by in her car. Three days later, Björn Gudmandsen was killed and three other Bandidos were wounded after a shooting in Liseleje, Denmark. Hells Angel member Vagn Smith was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life imprisonment and the Bandidos clubhouse in Dalby, Denmark was bombed.
The war ended on 25 September 1997 as "Big" Jim Tinndahn, the president of all of the Bandidos’ European chapters, shook hands with Hells Angels Europe president Bent "Blondie" Nielsen in front of Danish TV news cameras.
By the end of the war, 11 murders and 74 attempted murders had been committed with 96 people wounded.
- 01-Melvins // PGx3
- 02-USChristmas // Psychedelic Warlords
- 03-Dungen // Brallor
- 04-Franco Battiato // La Paranoia
- 05-Pregnant // Wanna See My Gun
- 06-Vulcan // High C
- 07-Dwarr // Electric Shock
- 08-Blood Red Shoes // One More Empty Chair