Aristocrats Gang and Black Saints Gang
Aristocrat Gives North Side Gang History
History of the Black Saints
An ex Aristocrat stated: I want to add a little bit to the history of North side clubs in The Lakeview area from the 60’s, this was no secret it’s just things that were left behind and forgotten. When I found your website about the old greaser gangs, I tried to give some history of the Aristocrats, since doing that I have talked with a few others from the neighborhood and was reminded and remembered more about it. I am talking about 50 years ago.
Sherry Berry Black Saints
The guys on Seminary and Barry wanted to have their own group and while hanging out at Red Barnes house (he was recovering from a broken leg suffered in a football accident) they started asking everyone to come up with a name and for a short time were going to call themselves “the In Crowd” named after the song by Dobie Gray, but finally decided on the Aristocrats. The two warlords were Mickey and Jr. Lira who both came from the Black Saints, The Black Saints didn’t change their name as I thought earlier, but two of their members were prominent in starting the Aristocrats. The Black Saints hung out up and down Sheffield from Sheridan Road to Barry St. (This may be where the term Sherry Berry Black Saints came from) and probably included greasers from Magnolia and Grace. The Aristocrats used the top hat and cane right out of the dictionary and this caused friction with The Harrison Gents who tried to say they couldn’t use the top hat and cane, Aristocrats told them to get lost and it led to fights and shootings. Red Barnes stole some money that was meant for sweaters and took a beating for it and was exiled, I’m told sometime later was beaten to death with a baseball bat in the area of Kimball and Foster.
Many of these guys went to Lakeview high school and hung out at a restaurant whose name I can’t remember now. It was South of Irving Park Rd. on Ashland Ave; this was a popular hang out for the greasers from Lakeview high School. The guys from around Ashland and Addison were there, Joe P was friends with the guys from Lawrence and Rockwell. After graduating from Robert Morris grade School one of the Aristocrat charter members started high School at St. Michaels and met Greasers that were known as The Corp. The guys from Ashland and Addison were known as Royals and Lawrence and Rockwell would become the first Popes.
Simon City Royals
A Simon City guy called Arab moved up to North Clark St. and went to Lakeview high school where he met many of the greasers, he started a set of Simon City at Lakeview (probably without knowledge of the original Simon City) Some of the best guys from the Aristocrats joined him and they quickly joined with The Royals and become known as The Simon City Royals. These early Greasers were allies; Aristocrat War Lord Jr. Lira said the Aristocrats with their allies numbered over 600 guys.
To tell you how deep Aristocrats were in the 60’s:
Project build had an outing for all the North side Clubs/Gangs in the latter 60’s, they sent a few buses to pick up the participants from the corner but that wasn’t enough! They had to call for more causing a big delay. Before it was over Seminary and Barry required 8 full size yellow school buses to take them to the party.
It was most likely at this event that some friction happened between Seminary and Barry and The old Palmer Boys who came to Seminary and Barry afterwards for an old fashion Greaser humbug. These Palmer Boys would later be known as The Palmer Gaylords.
The Aristocrats would host dances at Viking Hall on Sheffield and Melrose Street just north of Belmont, they handed out flyers all over the Lakeview neighborhood as well as Lakeview High School and hundreds of people would come, there was drinking and fights along with the dancing! A guy named Johnny was the dancing king.
The Aristocrats fought with the projects at Clybourn and Diversey from the early days, A charter member told me the projects held a dance at a community center in the projects and The Aristocrats went, after gaining entry they took off their jackets exposing their sweaters and the project guys started looking for the exits, Trooper and J. P. hit the project leader high and low like a football tackle and banged him up pretty good along with the others that could be caught. These Project guys would later be known as The Deuces.
When I was a Pee Wee, on weekends we would put on our sweaters and go to different Schools after dark to represent! These schools were Blaine @ 1420 W. Grace, Hawthorne @ 3319 N. Clifton and Agassiz @ 2851 N. Seminary. Aristocrats would go on to claim Hawthorne and Agassiz as their turf, the older guys would hang out at these schools and the younger guys hung at Seminary and Barry. I’m told a white Latin Eagle called Hillbilly was killed at Hawthorne School. The older guys would visit Lemoyne School @ 851 W. Waveland near the old 19th district police station at Halsted and Addison. This lasted into the mid to latter 70’s and faded as the older guys were getting to old to hang out on corners. There were still guys hanging at Seminary and Barry and they could count on the older guys backing them up if needed. Most of us went to Robert Morris grade School on Barry just west of Sheffield; it’s rebuilt and has a different name now. Once when The P.R. Stones started to grow at Morris School we gathered some recruits and all the Pee Wee’s and went to Morris School Yard with 120 / 13 year olds! This was a show of force, we had no intention of attacking anyone but wanted to show them who we were. Mothers were grabbing kids off the street and pulling the shades and after only a few minutes we herd the sirens and disbursed into small groups and split up. The article about the little kid getting killed by the armored car guard at Jewel on Sheffield being an initiation is bogus / wrong! We didn’t have anyone that young, it wasn’t allowed and we fought or took a vote to get in. When I went to join with a friend, we fought the President and Vice President who some of you knew “Art Pope” R.I.P.
Message from a charter member “J.P.”!
As for history, I have drafted a few things out and will be sending them to you in the future. A lot of it will reinforce that which I mentioned to you via our telephone call. I went to the website, played around, and found a listing under "CORE!" A lot of these guys were people that I hung around with during and after high school, and through me, we allied with them. Majority white, some PR's and Mexicans, they fought the Cabrini Green Projects and Kings. We helped them with the Kings, but not really the Projects, that is excluding myself and Jimmy xxxxxx who actually went into the projects with them one night on a raid. They hung out on Armitage near Lincoln. My main man in CORE was "Ting" and the Nexxxxf brothers with whom I shared more than a number of adventures with and for some reason could get ammunition for any type of weapon that you could think of.
The Rebels of Lincoln Avenue
J.P. mentions an old Greaser Club called “The Rebels” that hung out along Lincoln Ave. and allied or joined the Aristocrats. (I don’t remember them). These Kings mentioned were from Armitage and Dayton, which was a Church and Included the Young Lords. We were shot at from this Church; it was kind of like a Middle Eastern Mosque taken over by extremists.
I don’t know about the fight with Michael and the Royal. What I do know is he was very big and he boxed in the golden gloves tournaments. J.P. told me Michael wasn’t a good boxer he was just big. Some of our guys boxed in the tournaments and trained and worked with some people you might recognize.
Johnny Lira, Arab, Michael, Todd Brewer and Willy Laboy!