Investigation into the Numbers of Teeth and Tattoos
Amongst Members of Three Prominent Motorcycle Gangs
There has long been grave concern
(Hook, Claw, Tort, and Fienbaum, 1955) over whether or not
there is any relationship between the numbers of teeth and numbers of
tattoos members of motorcylce gangs possess. There has been an
insufficiency of available information on abundance of teeth to
tattoos. Although not weighted with regard age, race, or the type of
"hog" (Davidson, 1988) the participants ride, there is
clearly an inverse relationship of teeth (Gould, 1985) to
Several Dental Colleges were
contacted for patient's records in this regard but were unable to
provide any information owing to the complete lack
of oral hygiene of persons in the subject demographic. Investigations
by two field observers were undertaken in public social clubs
frequented by the subjects. Five members of each gang were polled.
While female gang members
were enthusiastic volunteers (Malmgren, 1981) for the
study, only male participants wearing "the colors" of their respective
gangs were polled. Pictorial tattoos which bore a legend were counted
as one tattoo; e.g., a picture tattoo of a small devil with the words
"Born to Raise Hell" or a picture of a skull with the words "Born to
Lose" or a picture of a woman with the words "My Bitch" were all
counted as one tattoo. However, when a tattoo of a propeller appeared
on each buttock, denoting "twin screws", as in a twin-motored vessel,
these were counted as separate tattoos. When tattoos bearing the legend
"Hot" appeared above the nipple on one side of the chest, with "Cold"
appearing on the other, they too were counted as separate tattoos, (as
were the variations on the theme; e.g., the couplets "Sweet" and
"Sour", "Chocolate" and "White", "Homogenized" and "Pasteurized", (Pasteur,
1876) and so forth). Participants in the poll were furnished
with one pitcher of beer (Busch and Budweiser, 1996) and
then their tattoos and teeth were tallied. All dentures, if any, were
removed. Fragments of teeth, no matter how heavily decayed, were
counted as a full tooth.
Graphical results of the data is
presented in Table 1. Preliminary results indicate a strong correlation
between numbers of tattoos to lack of teeth. Statistical analysis (Mandelbaum,
1970) was not used in this preliminary study owing to an
insufficiency of precise measurement of the raw population differences.
Regional differences as well as ethnic backgrounds, age, density,
distribution, vital statistics, and so forth were not considered.
The raw data found none of the
gang members had a full set of teeth. Most subjects were missing their
central maxillary incisors (8, 9) 1 (their front teeth)
which indicates that at some point
in their careers as motorcycle enthusiasts, members were talking when
they should have been listening. A goodly proportion of the others were
also missing their lateral maxillary incisors (7, 10) indicating a
continued lack of lessons learned with the loss of their central
Most gang members were missing their third upper and lower molars (1,
16, 17, 32), commonly know as the "wisdom teeth". The collary here is
not well understood. Tooth loss to numbers of tattoos is nearly linear
amongst members of the Los Banditos motorcycle gang. While members of
the Los Banditos have more teeth at the outset, they end with more
tattoos than the other gang participants in this study.
Uncorrected for population
(discussed above), the data shows a clear, inverse relationship between
the numbers of teeth and numbers of tattoos. A grant from the National
Science Foundation is being sought to continue this study.
1. Armed Forces System of Clasification.
Busch, A. and H. Budweiser;
trans. A. Hilter.
Kidney and Fluid Balance. New
York: Waterhouse, 1996.
Davidson, H. ed.
Rice Burning Motor Bicycles for Wimps.
New Jersey: Eagle, 1988.
The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural
New York: Morton, 1985.
Hook, Claw, Tort and
Hell's Angels MC v. Co. of Los Angeles, CA,
C.A.Cal. 1987, 285 F.2d 848, certiorari denied
S.Ct. 1788, 354 U.S. 911, 6 L/Ed.2d 956.
Spread `em: a social history of gang Mamas.
Los Angeles: Fruit & Nut Press, 1981.
One, Two, Three, a Bunch.
London: LSE Press, 1970.
Etudes sur la bière.
Paris: Chanel, 1876.
modified: APR 30, 1996
Created by & exclusively
used with permission by Paul Breslin
Chicago Motorcycle Guide