Entertainment

A biker’s tale

Rosebank author David Spiteri.
Rosebank author David Spiteri. Cathy Adams

Men who stick by their mates and who will do anything to defend their code of honour, even if it means violence.

What they have in common: a love of motorbikes and "the brotherhood".

Welcome to outlaw motorcycle clubs as they are portrayed in a no-holds-barred book by long-term Rosebank resident and former Lismore fish shop owner David Spiteri.

The Prez is a gritty account of the birth of the clubs in Australia, based on David's own experiences, and it's already attracting plenty of media attention.

It's packed with sex and violence, explicit language, drug-trading and not a little bit of humour ... just the kind of thing that's sure to make it a bestseller.

Says David: "I started writing it 10 years ago when I had a bad motorcycle accident.

"I was in hospital and everyone kept bringing me bikie books. But they had no real soul.

"No one had told our story, which is a social history of the working class."

David says he was 10 when he saw the famous bikie film The Wild One.

"It excited me," he says. "I couldn't wait to grow up."

He joined the Bankstown Vampires but, even then, he says, bikies were looked down upon.

"That's never changed. But it's a false perception of what clubs are about."

At 17, he signed up with the Royal Australian Navy and spent the next 20 years in the services.

It kept him out of some trouble, he says, and it's where he got most of his tattoos, with the exception of the one that adorns his shoulder blades, a tribute to the Nomads bikie club he helped found.

David started the Byron Bay chapter and still belongs.

For most members, the clubs are about being part of an extended family, he says.

"A lot of people join motorbike clubs for the wrong reasons.

"They bully people and stand over them and that brings disrespect.

"What they wear on their backs reflects on us."

The result: usually they're given a hiding, kicked out of the club and their motorbike is taken.

Violence is part of the bikie lifestyle, acknowledges David.

Of The Prez, he says: "I had to change the characters, not to put anyone offside.

"But what is in the book is 100% true."

All the crimes in the book have been through the courts, he adds.

So what's next? A movie, hopes David, with a Russell Crowe-type playing "the Prez".

And the publisher...

What the publishers, HarperCollins say: "David Spiteri is a long-standing member and former president of one of Australia's first outlaw motorcycle clubs. He has seen the clubs develop from loose affiliations of riders to the well structured and well connected groups we see todaywith links to police, politicians and layers. In this never-before-told story, Spiteri puts himself at risk to reveal everything from the drug trade which funds the clubs' operations to the extreme violence that continues to make them infamous. The true extent of the clubs' corruption is exposed and the treachery and subsequent retribution enforced by their own brand of law known as 'the code' is brought to light. This is a truly shocking and compelling look at Australia's bikie culture from a man who has been there from the start."

Topics:  big read northern star weekender



OPINION: Think before putting your foot in your mouth

For the past week I've had a big black eye and a bandage on my head

World of health comes to our shores

Dr Robin Miller

Workshops and events for health professionals with world experts

Getting our kids involved with native fauna protection

Upper Main Arm Public School at West Byron wetlands.

Successful education program reaches five schools and 334 students

Local Partners

Getting our kids involved with native fauna protection

NORTH Coast Local Land Services and Byron Bird Buddies are working together to encourage the community to talk about how to protect Byron's native fauna.


This weekend's markets list

BIG VOICE: Ron the Coffee Man is a popular and regular stallholder at a number of local markets.

Where to get fresh local produce from

REVEALED: A new Northern Rivers music festival in 2017

Lismore Music Festival co-directors Scott Cooper and Paul Connelly.

Mark March 10 and 11 in your calendar

Not ten, but fifteen awesome things to do this week

ANNIVERSARY: Charity day party Nudge Nudge Wink Wink has raised almost $20,000 for local organisations in its first year of events.

This busy week we have pretty much every possible event you may want

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!