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Lords of Lawndale

The history of the Chicago's Stone Greasers. Throughout the late 1960s until the late 1970s, Chicago's youth were divided into two cultures: the Greasers and the Hippies. It Greasers tried to hold on, or imitate the Greasers of the 1950s. The Hippies imitated the Hippies, or Freaks that most people remember from the 1970s before the disco era. Hippies were known for their parties; Greasers were known for fixed up old fast cars, drag racing, and joining gangs.


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It has been stated that the UFO Organization started among Stone Greasers at Lenny's back in the early 1970s. For a brief period of time, The newly formed Simon City Royals were part of the UFO, and hung out at Lenny's with the rest of the greaser gangs. That no only makes Lenny's the last of the greaser hang outs, it makes it an important part of North Side Chicago greaser gang history.

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Lane Tech High School

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Frank and Rose Lenny's Restaurant | Lane Tech High School Chicago
Lenny's Stormtroopers in Frank and Rose's Lenny's Restaurant

Gaylords, Chi-West, PVP's, Royals, C-Notes, Bel-Aires, and the Popes

Frank from Lennies Restaurant Rose and Frank in Lennies Greaser Chick behind the counter at Lennies

FRANK had this gag where if you ordered a small pop, he'd turn the cup over so that only the little lip would be filled. he'd say " THAT'S what you asked for." BLESS FRANK AND ROSE!

Lenny's Stormtroopers

The Stone Greaser Hangout of the Sixties and Seventies

The official name, and the name outside on the sign was "4 Buddies", but we kept calling it Lenny's as a matter of tradition. The Lennies Storm Trooper card was the brainchild of a "second generation" Royal who called himself Little Hitler in 1974. He was also the one who did the actual printing of the "Fist City Royals" card in the Lane print shop. Both cards were done as joke, but the "Storm Troopers" gag went over well so the handle hung around for a year.

Lennies Greasers not from the 1950s, but the 1970s

No, not the 1950s! These greasers were around in the 1970s as Stone Greasers.

In 1972, I came to Lane Tech as a freshman and there were all these guys walking around with leather jackets and baggies on . . . They seemed to run the school they were all the Hall Guards and all the Campus Guards the greasers literally ran the school Right then, I knew my calling . . .

Lennies was the Greaser Hangout. EVERYONE had baggies and leather jackets . . . Some even greased their hair still . . . but all white gangs hung out in there and all had one common goal . . . Fight the Latinos.

Dime PinBall, Greasy Burgers, and nothing but oldies on the Juke Box. There wasn't one modern day song on the whole juke box... Heros Subs was the Black hangout and Jack-in the Box was the Freaks hangout. If anything is mentioned about Lennies a shout out to Frank and Rose must be made. They were the owners and treated us like we were their Family. Hiding us in the Back from Cops when we were cutting class, even opening tabs for lunches when we had no money and driving us home if needed...

Taylor Jousters
Royals Stone Greaser tools of war

The most members when I first started hanging out there were KP Gaylords. There were also Hostein Park, PVPs, Chi-West, Royals (originals), Popes and a lot more little known members of smaller gangs. Alot of guys that came and hung out didn't even go to Lane. But I would say KP had the most guys going to Lane.

But the greasers fought RACE fights with the blacks in the lunch room once every year as the Bros all hung out together in the Lunch room and if a greaser and black got into a fight somewhere like in Gym class thats all it took. Once the Cops escorted a black into Lennies to eat a cheeseburger it was funny...Here it was Chicago 1975 and it could have been Mobile Alabama 1950. The nearest Latino gang was the Project Deuces and they would drive by now and again and break the windows late at night when nobody was there. Frank and Rose, the owners, finally had enough and sold the place in the late 70's and it became Dennis the Menace. The younger guys (Lil Munchkin) still hung there but there was a lot of backstabbing by gangs like Chi-West and the NEW Royals during that Period.

Lenny's Restaurant Greaser Hangout

In the 1960's there were two Lennies. Lennies #1 was south of Cornelia. Lennies #2 was next to the alley by Addison.

From the alley walking North you had several places. Lennies #2 (100% greaser), Joes (80% greaser, 20% duper), and the Teepee Hut (50/50 greasers and blacks).

Dupers a.k.a. Doopers (Dear Old Oak Park): The best way to explain who the groups were: on Happy Days - Richie Cunningham was a Dooper, Fronzy was a Greaser, and Potsy was a nerd.

Journey To The Center of Your Mind by Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes was THE song at Lennies #2. Ten great tunes on the juke at Lennies back in the day:

  • Temptations: My Girl
  • Johnnie Taylor: Testify
  • Cream: White Room
  • Cream: Sunshine of Your Love
  • The Who: I Can See for Miles
  • Jimi Hendrix: Purple Haze
  • Jimi Hendrix: All Along The Watchtower
  • Four Tops: (Reach Out) I'll Be There
  • Sly & The Family Stone: Dance To The Music
  • Tommy James and the Shondells: Mony Mony
  • Amboy Dukes: Journey To The Center of Your Mind

No one in the '60's called it Lennies Storm Troopers. That came along in the mid-70's. Lennies was just called Lennies and the people who went there were just called Greasers, not Storm Troopers.

Greasers and Dupers (aka Doopers) In the 1960's white Chicago was divided into dupers and greasers. Dupers, or Doopers ("Dear Old Oak Parkers") wore jeans or corduroy slacks and colorful shirts, for example madras shirts. Their socks were white and their shoes were brown penny loafers. Most dupers studied and got good grades. They had solid prospects and were usually college bound (although some got heavily into weed and psychedelics).

Music: Dupers liked rock, folk and folk rock. They liked bands and musicians such as Beatles, Stones, Dylan, the Byrds, the Mamas & Papas, Crosby Still & Nash, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors and the Grateful Dead.

Greasers never wore jeans. They wore baggy work pants called "baggies" and solid color shirts, like banlons and/or Italian knits. They often wore a white t-shirt with a solid color button-down sweater over the T. Shoes were black Stacy Adams, Wingtips, or black combat boots. Jackets were black Cabretta leathers. Many greasers were medicore students (thus Vietnam bound, due to the student deferment system), however, some were excellent students. At Lane, more often than not, the Class President was a greaser who hung at Lennies and got straight A's.

Music: Greasers preferred black sounds. Motown, Stax/Volt/Atlantic, and Chicago's Chess Records had the sounds greasers wanted. Greasers also liked Elvis and '50's era rockabilly and doo-wop, however, in a battle of the bands funk & soul from hardcore musicians like Sly and the Family Stone, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield or Johnnie Taylor always won out. Some people think Greasers weren't Beatles fans but the Beatles were always playing on the juke at Lennies. So were the Stones and other British Invasion bands like the Animals and the Kinks. Greasers especially liked Led Zeppelin when their first album was released in 1968, and when the second album came out in '69. And they liked "heavy" music from bands like The Doors, Blind Faith, Steppenwolf and The Who.

Greasers especially liked Jimi Hendrix. Then again, so did Dupers. Hendrix was someone that everyone could agree on. From Cleveland School area Greaser.

I remember lennie's cheeseburgers with extra pickles and ketchup, playing pinball with the Rascals, people got to be free playing in the background. Frank used to drive me down Addison to Central and was always proud the way he could drive off without letting the car warm up. I was in a couple of the lunchroom brawls and even was picked as a representative of the greasers for peace talks after the 1971 riots, ahh memories!!! I remember when Franks son in law got crushed by his truck when it slipped the brake and the wake at the Galewood home.
Lane Tech 68/72

Stormtroopers? Sh_t, I was a greaser at Lennies 1 till they closed it my sophmore year and then came down to # 2. I kind of became a long haired greaser Junior and Senior year, Leather Jacket, Baggies, Combat boots Dago T and a black sweater was the costume of choice for me. Baggie Blues and Greens for day to day and Tans for the dances. I remember the freaks I knew were afraid to come to Lennies even when I guaranteed no one would kick their ass. I was a campus guard and got a kick about what you said of how we ran the school. I used to say the doopers run the school and the greasers run the doopers. I wasn't a gangbanger but knew most of the Chi-West crowd. Funny thing how a short time later I became the police and worked in the Uptown area. Ran into some of the boys there. We all got to keep the wolf away from the door somehow. Remember the SDS coming to school and how we busted them and their cars up. The police kinda looked the other way on that one...
Former greaser, now CPD

Once Upon a Time at Lennie's - By Chi-West

Chi-West sporting a CNotes Gang Sweater at Lennie's

Once upon a time at Lennies #1, Frank's place. I was sitting in my usual spot in the window. What wasn't usual about it was the fact that for the last couple of weeks I had been sportin' the black & green of the C-Notes. Yeah it was a cool looking waist length black sweater with the green stripes on the arm and green trim at the pockets. It had a very well made club logo patch proudly displayed on the one side. Yeah, I must admit it was a cool looking sweater that had seen it's share of action as it's original owner was one of the C-Notes from Mitchell schoolyard at Ohio & Leavitt more then several years my senior. I had been wearing it proudly and had it in my mind that I would stand behind it no matter the circumstance which would arise. Although I've had my share of scrapes with the C-Notes back in the hood, the guy who the sweater originally belonged to was a real stand up guy with a rep bigger then the 'West Town' section of Chicago his club, the C-Notes was part of. I felt and carried the weight of responsibility for his colors seriously. Nobody would be taking these colors from me unless I was conscious of nothing. Now according to some, the C-Notes had recruited more then a few guys from this North side of the city where Lennies was located and on this sunny fall morning these local recruits thought that they could come up to me in numbers and threaten me with acts of violence and physical harm as I was sitting in the window. They thought to be within their rights because I was wearing the aforementioned C-Note sweater to which they thought I had no right, they knowing full well that I was a member of the Chi-West. When I inquired as to how they were planning to carry out their threats as I didn't see any weapons and that without weapons they would each be shitting out teeth later that day. I had already formulated a plan as to how I was going to attack and drop each of them as they would likely rush me but they surprised me by turning away for a quick conference half way back near the washroom. I took the opportunity while they disappeared into the smoke filled haze lingering around the thick crowd of leathers and tankers to covertly take the 38 snub nose revolver I had in the pocket of my leather which was at the South end of the window near the door and slide my arm into one of the sleeves and carry the leather back to the North side of the window and sit with my back against the wall in the window. The leather laid between me and the glass with my right hand holding the gun and my finger on the trigger and my thumb on the hammer inside the sleeve. When 'King Zing' as he called himself came back to me with the rest of his guys in tow, he tried laying some jive on me about blowing me out the window and slid his leather to the side where I saw the handle of a pistol showing from the top of his baggies. I nudged my right arm just a bit exposing the tip of the barrel of my 38 and said 'go ahead'. They immediately did an about face for another meeting I guess. Once upon a time in Lennies.

The Stone Greaser Group is for all the old school greaser gangs, and non gang members, who would like to share their greaser stories, or publish information about their clubs. This will give everyone a chance to tell their stories without having to invest in a website.

New Gaylords Message Board

Let's here yours, Lenny's Memories. Please Check out the Stone Greaser website.

9 of 11 History Pages