Philadelphians M.C.

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Name of Organization: Philadelphians M.C.

The Philadelphians M.C.

A history of the club in its first 30 years.

First Draft: October 1, 1999

Updated: Feb 1, 2005


In April of 1974 a small group of men in Philadelphia began meeting on a regular basis to "bind together … in a brotherhood of fraternal fellowship." By October the group had grown to 19, and these original 19 men became the Charter Members of a new back-patch leather club, the Philadelphians M.C., Incorporated.

The Constitution and By-Laws of the club were adopted on October 17, 1974, at 247 S. 17th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the home of Frank DeAngelis. A Preamble to the Constitution was written to better communicate the club's purpose and aims:


We, the members of the Philadelphians M.C. Incorporated, do bind together in an affiliation to bring about masculine individuality, and to create an identification for members, one to another when they travel, and to be recognized by men of similar groups.

We bind together in a brotherhood of fraternal fellowship for personal gratification and to create close fellowship within our particular community, and to foster its growth and development.

We bind together to promote personal pride on the part of all members in the club for its aims and purposes, so long as the insignia of the PHILADELPHIANS M.C. INCORPORATED shall be worn.

We will proudly display the club symbol with dignity.

We will assist if possible through fraternal brotherhood, fellow members and other brothers of fraternity, in times of difficulty and trouble.

George Ames

Alfred Atwood

Richard Ball (aka "Pearl")

Paul Beck (aka "nipper", author of the club poem)

John Bonikowski

Craig Carlson

Larry Casey (first Captain)

Richard Davis

Frank DeAngelis (originator of the Philadelphia Freedom Punch)//

Frank Howard //(the longest active Charter Member)

Joe Madaras

Jerry McGinnis

Tom Nottingham

Rod Olezewski

Joe Orlando

Robert Richmond (second Captain)

Joe Tucker (aka "Halfbreed")

Tom White

Tom Woods

The Philadelphians M.C. took the form of their Constitution and By-Laws from the Vanguards M.C. The Vanguards M.C. pre-dated the Philadelphians M.C. as a leather back-patch club based in Philadelphia by five years. Over the early years, there was much speculation about rivalry between the new Philadelphians and the longer standing Vanguards. In reality, the two clubs were very cordial and the Vanguards M.C. was helpful in providing advice and counsel during the forming of the Philadelphians M.C.


The Philadelphians M.C., as a group, designed their insignia. The club insignia was adopted in October 1974 as an original part of the By-Laws. The club chose their colors from the flag of the City of Philadelphia, gold, blue and red. On the backdrop of a square shield of gold, they placed a red torch with 18 blue rays emanating from its flame. The 18 blue rays and torch signified the 19 founders of the club. Charter Members had the added insignia of oak leaves to the right and left of the bottom point of the shield. Club associates wear a smaller version of the patch with a red "A" at the bottom point of the shield. Pledges wear a small version of the back patch with a white strip diagonally from the top left to the bottom right. As a historical note, the club’s Charter Associate Members were permitted to wear the large back patch, and the "A" insignia on the associate patch was not used in the early years. The Charter Associate class of membership is no longer in use by the Philadelphians M.C. Also, the club had originally required Charter and Regular Members to wear a small patch on the front of their vest over their heart. Today it is the practice to wear this smaller patch on the lower right side of the front of the vest.

The first set of colors and patches was made by Joe Dando.


The Philadelphians M.C. did not join the Atlantic Motorcycle Coordinating Council (A.M.C.C.) until the club’s eighth year. The first newsletter of the club, dated March-April 1975, makes reference to the club’s desire to be different than the established back-patch clubs. The Charter Members closely guarded their control over the workings of their fraternal organization, and it was not until 1982, when the first non-Charter Captain (John Rocco) was elected, that the club applied for membership in A.M.C.C. The club’s application to A.M.C.C. was sponsored by the Vanguards M.C. and the Spartan Motorcycle Club. The first out of town leather club to recognize the Philadelphians M.C. was S.M.C.L.A. The Spartans Motorcycle Club Leather Angels (or more originally the "Ladies Auxiliary") invited the Philadelphians M.C. to host a cocktail party at their run, "Autumn Scrambles", in 1975.


By taking their By-Laws from the Vanguards M.C., the Philadelphians M.C. also inherited the unusual officer titles of Captain, Co-Captain, and Master-at-Arms. The Treasurer and Scribe, using more common titles, complete the list of officers. The Philadelphians M.C. have had 13 members serve as Captain in their first 28 years. Four of these have been Charter Members.

Larry Casey (Charter)

10-14-74 to 02-10-75

Robert Richmond (Charter)

02-10-75 to 10-02-78

Richard Davis (Charter)

10-02-78 to 10-06-80

John Rocco

10-06-80 to 05-05-84

Richard Ball (Charter)

05-05-84 to 10-06-86

Robert Broughan

10-06-86 to 10-10-88

Edward Glaser

10-10-88 to 10-05-92

Ricky Rogers

10-05-92 to 10-03-94

Clint Robison

10-03-94 to 10-07-96

Ricky Rogers

10-07-96 to 10-05-98

John Loesch

10-05-98 to 10-2-00

Jeff Scheib

10-2-00 to 10-7-02

Ryan Goldner

10-7-02 to 10-4-04

John Loesch

10-4-04 to present

One of the traditions of the club, practiced by a number of Captains, is to provide a gift to the membership. Clint Robison commissioned watches with the club insignia on the face. Ricky Rogers commissioned a belt buckle in a stylized version of the club insignia from a drawing used in an ad.


Today the Philadelphians M.C. have strong relationships with a number of clubs. A few historical events are worth noting.


The original home bar of the Philadelphians M.C. was The Post located at 1705 Chancellor Street. The club had its first public social at The Post on Monday, February 24, 1975. The night was a great success in part due to the en-mass attendance by the Vanguards M.C. The Post is still open today, although it is no longer the regular haunt of the area’s leathermen. In 1977 the club moved its home bar to The 247 Bar, located below the apartment where their club was founded at 247 S. 17th Street. Today the 247 Bar is closed (after it dabbled with stripper entertainment) and the location is now owned by an Irish pub. In 1982 the club moved its home to The Bike Stop upon its opening. The Bike Stop was opened by one of the club’s members, the late Ron Lord, and its first manager was John Rocco. Ron converted The Bike Stop from a drag performance bar to a leather bar. The stage where the drag entertainers performed is now home to a pool table, and Ron Lord’s motorcycle hangs from the ceiling.

The Philadelphians M.C. share The Bike Stop as home bar with the Bucks M.C., Liberty Bears, and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Defenders L.L.C.


Two traditions stand out in the history of the Philadelphians M.C. cocktail parties. From its very first anniversary party (October 1976) the Philadelphians M.C. have had a propensity to host cocktail parties at bathhouses. This second year anniversary of the club was celebrated at the Barracks Baths on Sansom Street. This tradition was revived over New Year’s 1998-99 with the club incorporating bathhouse parties in its New Year’s run, Tri-Cen XIII.

The other tradition is a special cocktail, created first by Frank DeAngelis. Known as the Philadelphia Freedom, this potent cocktail has a secret recipe known only to a few club members. In the early 1980’s A.M.C.C. became concerned with club’s competing for the most potent cocktail punch. So well-liked throughout the A.M.C.C., the Philadelphia Freedom cocktail was the only exception to A.M.C.C.’s request that cocktail parties use open bars and refrain from ever-stronger punches.

In 1976-77 the Philadelphians M.C. held their first run over the New Year’s weekend. After a long year of Bicentennial celebrations in Philadelphia, the club chose to mark the beginning of the nation’s third century by naming the run TRI-CEN. This first run was held at the Holiday Inn on Walnut Street in downtown Philadelphia, and was the first "hotel run" of its kind, where the run fee of $60.00 paid for registration, food, and hotel. The first run was chaired by Ron Lord.


The Philadelphians M.C. have the following membership categories: Charter Member, Life Brother, Regular Member, Associate, and Pledge. There are presently no Charter Members active with the club, but three remain with us, and they retain the rights of membership for life. Life Brothers are Regular Members honored by the club with lifetime membership.

Regular Members, Associates, and Pledges are membership classes common to most A.M.C.C. clubs. The club has a practice of making Honorary Associates of those individuals who are special to the club. Another standing practice is the naming of a club "Brother". The designation of Brother is given to one individual for a year based on their contribution to the ideals of the club.

The club has had women Associates prior to 1976, starting with Lee & Cheryl of Trash M.C. of New York City. But it was not until 1996 that the first woman was made a Regular Member, Jo Ann W. The club also has a history of deaf members, starting with Larry Warnow, who designed the club’s first friendship pin.

The membership of the club started with the original 19 Charter Members. The membership has been as small as eight during a period from 1981 to 1984. Today it has grown to over 30 Regular Members and active Life Brothers.

The first Life Brother was Chuck McAllister. Presently, the club has the following Life Brothers: Richard Ball, Robert Broughan, Edward Glaser, Brian Poaches, Robert Richmond, John Rocco and Ricky Rogers.


In 1976, Captain Bob Richmond created the Brother of the Year Award to recognize outstanding service to the club. The award has not been presented every year, as its presentation is entirely at the discretion of the Captain. By club custom, however, the Captain solicits nominations for the honor from the membership. The first recipient of the award was Charter Member Frank Howard. Through 2004 the recipients of the award are:

In February of 1977 Jan Durbin of the Philadelphians M.C. left to found the Companions, a men’s club no longer in existence. The Companions were the only club to "spin-off" of the Philadelphians M.C.

In February of 1994 all the then members of the Philadelphians M.C. were made associate members of the Vikings M.C. of Boston

On March 13, 1975, the Bucks M.C. were the first club to present the Philadelphians M.C. with their club colors.

Frank Howard

Al Hutchins

Richard Davis

Bob Richmond

Frank Gould

Ron Lord

Clint Robison (twice)

Richard Ball

Bob Broughan (twice)

Mike Kleintop

John Loesch

Ed Glaser

Jeff Scheib

Don Hinkle-Brown

Ryan Goldner

Rich D'Amico

José C.

Jim Kiley-Zufelt

Glenn Welsh

Marc Coleman

To honor the memory of Frank Howard, the only Charter Member to remain active in the club from its founding until his death in 1993, the Frank Howard Brotherhood Award was created by former Captain Ed Glaser in 1994. It had been Frank’s custom once a year to read aloud to the membership the Preamble to the club constitution as a reminder of the importance of brotherhood and why the club exists. To date the award has been presented only four times:


Jeff Scheib


Ricky Rogers


Steve M.


John Loesch


Jo Ann W.


In 1982 the Philadelphians M.C. created the Mr. Philadelphians contest which fed into the Mr. Philadelphia Leather contest. The first winner of this title was Al Santora. The club hoped that the practice would spread to the other leather clubs in and near Philadelphia, so each would field a contestant for the Mr. Philadelphia Leather contest. When the practice did not catch on, the club ended the contest after a few years and devoted their efforts in support of the Mr. and Ms. Philadelphia Leather Contest sponsored by The Bike Stop.


The club has expanded greatly in the past few years. We have grown to over 30 regular and charter members with new pledges waiting to join. Our ranks of associate members has grown to over 100 and now spans the globe.


Period in existence:

Philadelphians who participate/d in this organization: