Market Street Commandos Motorcycle Club

Market Street Commandos were a one percenter motorcycle club founded in San Francisco and well known for their involvement in the Hollister Riot of 1947.

Market Street Commandos Hollister Riot
A famous image from the Hollister Riot. The rider may not have even been a motorcycle club member.

Market Street Commandos History

The Market Street Commandos hung out at Antones Pool Hall which was located near the corner of Leavenworth and Market Street in downtown San Francisco, California. It is believed that they were founded some time around the early 1940’s.

The location of the pool hall (on Market Street) led to the name of Market Street Commandos motorcycle club. They were a group of men who gathered together and like to talk about, and of course ride, Harley Davidson motorcycles.

In 1947 the Market Street Commandos attended the Hollister rally, the event which would be widely known as the Hollister Riot and would also lead to the coining of the term “one percenter”. Other clubs which were in attendance included the Pissed off Bastards of Bloomington Motorcycle Club (POBOB MC) and the Boozefighters MC.

In 1954 the movie, The Wild One (Amazon link opens in a new tab) was released, with Marlon Brando, which was loosely based on the event at Hollister. This saw the Market Street Commandos rise to infamy.

In 1954 a biker by the name of Rocky, a member of the Hells Angels MC Berdoo chapter (San Bernardino), came riding into Market Street and pulled up at the Antones Pool Hall where around 30 of the Market Street Commandos were gathering. This was the moment when the Market Street Commandos were first introduced to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Later in 1954 the Market Street Commandos were patched over by the Hells Angels Fontana chapter and together became the Hells Angels San Francisco chapter.

Market Street Commandos Patch / Motto

We were unable to find any image of the Market Street Commandos patch.

Market Street Commandos Chapters

Although details are very hard to come by, it appears as though there was only a single chapter of the Market Street Commandos, who were based in Market Street in downtown San Francisco, California.

Famous Market Street Commandos Members

There are no members of the Market Street Commandos who would be considered as “famous” in a celebrity sense, although of course the motorcycle club had a number of memorable characters.

Market Street Commandos Crime / In The Media

Book – One of the most well known books in outlaw motorcycle history, “Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga” by Hunter S. Thompson talks about when the Hells Angels first discovered the Market Street Commandos in the San Francisco downtown area. View the book on Amazon (link opens in a new tab).

Market Street Commandos Hunter S Thompson Hells Angels
Market Street Commandos Hunter S Thompson Hells Angels

Movie – The movie “The Wild One” was released in 1954, starring Marlon Brando. The movie is loosely based on the events at the 1947 Hollister Riot, where the Market Street Commandos were one of the main acts. View this movie on Amazon (link opens in a new tab).

Market Street Commandos MC The Wild One Marlon Brando
Market Street Commandos MC The Wild One Marlon Brando

1947 – Hollister Riot. The Market Street Commandos attended the now infamous Hollister riot, which was part of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) event, the Gypsy Tour Motorcycle Rally, based in Hollister, California.

The media of the day listed the Pissed off Bastards of Bloomington, Boozefighters MC, Market Street Commandos and the Galloping Goose Motorcycle Club amongst the main clubs involved in the activities.

Another rally, for Labor Day weekend, was held shortly after in Riverside, California by the American Motorcycle Association (AMA), which also according to the media got out of control, which was to forever cement the opinion that these outlaw clubs were out of control. This was the beginning of the rise of the one percenter motorcycle club.

It was out of the Hollister Riot event that the AMA stated that 99% of motorcyclists were law abiding citizens, which implied that 1% were not. The 1%er, or one percenter, was then coined and patched.

Market Street Commandos Enemies and Allies

No information exists on the Market Street Commandos allies or enemies. Because the club were founded so early in the history of outlaw motorcycle clubs, it is possible that they did not have any. It is worth mentioning that after the 1954 merger with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club this would have all changed. See our Hells Angels MC article for the extensive list of their enemies and allies.

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