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Frankie Betrug Jr. Interview

 

In the early days of America’s Industrial Revolution, citizens of Rochester, New York, toiled tirelessly to keep this great nation’s industrial complex running strong. Guns, heavy equipment, housewares and appliances rolled off Rochester assembly lines for generations, and workers took pride in their jobs. After WWII, however, US servicemen returned to Rochester and hundreds of American cities and towns like it wounded, weary and unemployed.

One such hero was Corporal Frank Betrug. Before the war Frank operated a punch press at a Rochester job shop that made pots and pans. When he returned from Germany in 1945, his beloved factory was shuttered. Apparently, the heavy equipment used to make Dutch ovens also made great bombs. No war, no jobs.

 

corporal-berkey

Corporal Frank Betrug, US Army circa 1950s

 

Undeterred, Corporal Betrug bought a Harley-Davidson from military surplus and rode south. Like so many adventurers who blazed a path before him, Frank’s freedom ride ended short of its final destination. After meeting a girl in Littlerock, Frank settled down and started a family.

To support his wife and new daughter Frank opened a small engine repair shop. Business boomed on the wealth of experience Frank had gained as a mechanic in General Patton’s motorcade, and by 1977 the 57-year-old grease monkey and new grandfather owned a prosperous motorcycle and lawnmower dealership in Razorback country.

Betrug’s Hogs and Choppers was solid enough to survive a recession in the early ‘80s, but Frank’s daughter and five-year-old grandson were not. With only part-time work at her dad’s shop to sustain her, the mother of Frank’s mischievous grandson found comfort in drugs, alcohol and a steady stream of shady boyfriends. Mom’s poor choices took their toll on the youngster, and according to Frank Sr. when the boy entered kindergarten in 1984, "He never really had a chance."

As the years wore on Frank tried to reshape his surly grandson with summer jobs, private tutors and motorized toys, but the damage was done. In 1994 the tenth-grade dropout was arrested for running meth for an outlaw motorcycle gang. This was not the life Frank Betrug had dreamed for his family.

After two years in a halfway house in Bentonville, Frankie Betrug Jr. emerged from the Arkansas penal system a different man, with the tattoos and made-for-TV "gangsta attitude" to prove it. This is the story of how misguided energy and stereotypical notions about what it means to be "tough" or "cool" can drag men down a path from which there is seldom any return.

“When I got out of juvie I didn’t know what the fuck I was gonna do. I was a skateboarder as a kid, but that ship sailed when I started lifting weights in the yard. A friend in the industry got popped for boning a minor at the X Games, so all my shoe hook-ups were fucked. Whatever. When I kick you in the face with a steel-toed boot, you'll know it."


YAMAHA

Long, low and outlandishly proportioned are words that best describe Thug Factory's style. This early XS650 shows telltale signs of Frankie's emerging aesthetic

 

“I learned a lot of stuff hanging out at gramp’s shop, but I was never down with his shit. Too many rules. ‘Clean your mess! Put away your tools! Stop stealing food outta the employee refrigerator!’ Grandpa might have been a badass in Korea or wherever, but he’s a dick.”

“I started Thug Factory with some tools one of mom’s boyfriends stored in our garage. Crutch was a club guy who promised to show me how to strip chrome plating in the bathtub if I didn’t rat him out to my old lady. I came home one day and a tweaker was suckin’ Crutch's dick! I milked that fuckup for months. Thanks for the torch, dumbass!”

“God I hate cops. There ain’t a pig in Littlerock who’ll pull me over when I’m shakin’ down an old shovelhead. If they do I’ll kill ‘em. In case you haven't noticed, I'm swole up like a motherfucker.”

“Thug Factory grew slow at first, but customers eventually came around to what I'm doing. Brass knuckle kickers, pike-nut Mohawks on Nazi helmets, spiderweb handlebar gussets… I invented all that shit.”


MASK

A member of Frankie's rap crew models one of his company's more popular cut-and-sew originals: Thug Factory's "Def Row Murder Mask"

 

“I’m into hip-hop. We gotta crew that hangs at the shop weekends, and I set up a recording studio in grandpa's dyno room. Our beats are dope. Suckers best not step to the mic—I’ll fuck ‘em up.”

“I see the whole ‘70s chopper thing coming outta Cali, but I ain’t with it. I like my choppers fuckin’ hard, know wha’ I’m sayin’?” We just finished a tight Sporty with jockey shifter and hand clutch. I made the shifter out of an old sword one of my boys stole from an Applebee’s. The gas tank looks like the fuckin’ A-bomb they dropped on Germany. It’s sick.”

Frisco fags will tell you different, but super tall apes are here to stay. We can’t keep those motherfuckers in stock. Last November I made four pair of our Gorilla Killa bars and they sold out in like a month. Clockin' them Benjamins, bitch!"

“I change my hair all the time—works great for hookin’ bitches. I did the psychobilly pompadour thing for a while, but I got tired of fucking fat girls with paper umbrellas. The Mohawk's pulling pussy hard these days, but I think I got herpes from a goth chick at an MMA fight in Branson, Missouri.”


THUG-HOODIE

According to Frankie Jr., Thug Factory's "Grim Creeper" hoodie features removable sleeves "for gettin' your swoles on at the gun show"


“We kill it with apparel. All our designs are hardcore, with skulls and brass knuckles an' shit to show pussies we mean business. The MMA crowd is into our shit. I’ve fought a couple of those dudes, but they ain’t so tough. Fuck with me and I’ll give you a beat down with the sledgehammer that hangs off my saddlebag.”

Throughout my conversation with Frankie Betrug Jr., I couldn’t shake the impression that this sullen outsider will adopt any posture or follow any subculture if he thinks it will burnish his self-image. When I asked the buff bike builder to discuss the homosexual activities known to occur between inmates in youth prison, he refused to speak on record. During an impromptu skate session with employees in the back alley, I couldn’t help notice Frankie's Vans didn't have a scuff on them.

 

LOGO-BIKE-FINAL

Not every Thug Factory custom is embued with the younger Betrug's so-called "bone death" style. This customer bike for '80s hairband frontman Vox Populi of Crucifux features styling and paint inspired by the musician's guitar

 

Texans of similar dubious integrity are sometimes described as being “all hat and no cattle.” After spending the better part of a weekend trying to take Frankie Jr. as seriously as he takes himself, I came up empty handed. Only after filtering through the reams of biker bravado this misguided tough guy regularly spews on his blog could I start to make sense of the myth behind the man. To learn the facts about today's chopper scene as one modern motorcycle rebel sees them, follow Frankie Junior's personal rants here.
 


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Comment with Chopcult (73)

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 01:24 pm
 

"Gettin' your swoles on at the gun show."Nicely.Ha!

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 01:25 pm
 

Very cool bike, Really cool hoodie as well.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 01:34 pm
 

Cough Cough Cough....... Bullshit!! :}

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 01:35 pm
 

Portrait of an American Bad...Ass. Not every one has the same view as me and that's the way I like it. But once in a while I see and hear some shit that just makes me shake my head. Remindes me that 2012 is just around the corner and were all doomed anyway.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 01:45 pm
 

thats zack wylde in the last photo. FYI. Awful write up

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 01:46 pm
 

HA. Clicked the link. FANTASTIC write up

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 01:50 pm
 

??? more than confused on this one- besides both bikes being ugly, the text in the artical has to be a joke right?? however i like the shout out to Rochester NY!

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 01:59 pm
 

i know a bunch of dudes like that. especially in austin.
fuckin halarious.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 02:07 pm
 

This dude sucks! Korea or whatever? Respect your granpa you jackass.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 02:15 pm
 

Damn...I really wanted one of those cool skull face masks.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 02:16 pm
 

Fuck that noise, I can take him! (he he)

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 02:20 pm
 

Awesome...fuckin awesome!!! Love it!

C

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 02:20 pm
 

big ups to my man frankie fraud.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 02:37 pm
 

april fools i hope...

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 02:39 pm
 

So Hard! =D

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 02:46 pm
 

I actually made it through most of this before I realized it's April 1st.

Good one.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 02:58 pm
 

Oh you guys! So sly!

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 02:58 pm
 

Has to be a joke. Best thing about this article is the pic of Corporal Frank Betrug, on his ol' knuck and the the lesson i just learned on white boy Ebonics.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 03:09 pm
 

Check the calendar, haha

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 03:12 pm
 

I think I saw him at a flee market a few weeks back with a fresh batch of "gorilla killas" and a tall stack of thug factory cd's

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 03:26 pm
 

ahaha, if my birthday wasnt in april i would never remember this great holiday...

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 03:26 pm
 

Frankie JR is a Punk! Tell him to come back to his familys Upstate NY roots for a real cold ass whoopin' Punk as Bitch!! dis-respictin his pappy!

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 03:30 pm
 

I knew after the 3rd quote it was an April Fools stunt. Nicely done.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 03:47 pm
 

apparently I wasn't as quick as many of you. I was confused the entire time until I clicked the link.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 04:00 pm
 

I think i new that Cat in Juvie. Homosexuality was no problem with him back then.....so I'm told.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 04:15 pm
 

Had me goin too.I was actually starting to get pissed off before I clicked the link.Good one.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 04:15 pm
 

Fuckers!....got me good! hahhahhha

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 04:18 pm
 

Bad write up and the builder seems like a real douche bag.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 04:18 pm
 

Good joke, you guys got me.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 04:46 pm
 

Half way down i thought to myself that this was a fucking joke....Noce

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 04:48 pm
 

I'm with rudehog.


lol. love your writeups.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 04:54 pm
 

Brilliant!

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 04:55 pm
 

I thought that CC "Jumped The Shark" until I realized what day it was.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 05:34 pm
 

Thanks for the miles of smiles. Hahahaha

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 05:46 pm
 

THANK GOD its a prank. Great one and such an imagination it is probably the writers EVIL Twin Brother (Insert evil laugh here).

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 06:18 pm
 

Bangin' in Little Rock?

Takes me back...

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 06:33 pm
 

Well played. AZ is full of these crews as it is bike week!

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 06:34 pm
 

You lost me at, "I'm into hip-hop."

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 07:20 pm
 

I knew Frankie, stabbed him a couple of times when we was in Juvie , had to let the air out of him when he tired to get swolled up on me. Decent bike he built for Randy Rhodes in that last pic but his son Bubba Fonzerlli did all the work.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 08:49 pm
 

The "choclate turd" shoulda been your april fools gag

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 09:00 pm
 

Fat chicks with paper umbrellas. Ha, god damn I love rockabilly. This was some funny shit!!!

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 09:26 pm
 

"In case you haven't noticed, I'm swole up like a motherfucker.”



....awesome.

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 10:02 pm
 

LMAO! VOX POPULI! PRICELESS!

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 10:32 pm
 

I love April fools on the Chop Cult

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 10:46 pm
 

Is this the April's fools joke or what?

Commented on 4-1-2011 At 10:52 pm
 

Well the last pic is of the BLS give away bike from two or more years ago and I think that dudes name is Zakk.

Commented on 4-2-2011 At 12:51 am
 

Great fucking article. Best laugh I've had all day.

Commented on 4-2-2011 At 01:03 am
 

Dropped the A Bomb on Germany had me laughing the most.

Commented on 4-2-2011 At 02:26 am
 

Yuck Yuck, April Fools, right?

Commented on 4-2-2011 At 02:35 am
 

what a fag...

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