Yesterday, a shootout between rival biker gangs left nine dead and many more injured in Waco, TX. What began as a fistfight at Twin Peaks, a David Lynch themed Hooters clone, quickly escalated into an all out war. The carnage at the little Texas roadhouse has many wondering, would this have happened if Patrick Swayze was still alive?
The answer is of course, no. It wouldn’t have.
Swayze, who passed away in 2009, is probably best remembered for his appearance in Roadhouse, a 1989 documentary film about the lives of bouncers who patrol and control outlaw biker bars. At the time of it’s filming, Swayze was an unknown. A slick, yet honest man who would use his charm, brawn, and his background in classical dance to “cool down” situations before they got ugly. He approached bouncing differently than others, keeping order by abiding three simple rules: one, never underestimate your opponent, expect the unexpected; two, take it outside, never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary; and three, be nice. I think it’s safe to say that If Swayze had been working at Twin Peaks in Waco, TX yesterday, everyone would have cooled down and enjoyed their steaks.
Swayze went on to play several other notable roles, but his impact on the world of biker bars was immense. After Roadhouse, you barely heard anymore about big biker shootouts. In fact, I can’t remember a biker shootout being in the news once since 1991, the year I purchased Roadhouse on laserdisc; when I began watching it every single day. The film changed the way biker bars were bounced, and put a stop to biker violence forever. That was until yesterday of course, when a bunch of bikers shot each other in Texas. Just a few years after, and directly related to, the death of Patrick Swayze.
Since Swayze’s passing, there have been nine deaths related to biker shootouts at roadhouses. Incidentally, all of them were yesterday in Waco. Still, that’s a 900% increase since the year before he died, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this shootout yesterday is directly related to the passing of Swayze. It seems as if the bikers were just waiting for their chance to shoot each other, biding their time until a couple years after Swayze was gone just in case he was only pretending to be gone so he could trick them or perhaps return as a ghost who uses the power of love to control a black woman.
Perhaps that’s exactly what happened. Anyone who has seen Swayze’s other film, Ghost, knows that he has the power to return from the dead to solve crimes. Perhaps he tipped police off to the shooting and his actions prevented the death of nine people from turning into something much worse.
While the situation is now under control, bikers in custody and order restored, it’s important to remember that none of this would have happened if Swayze were still alive. I miss him and his brother Don just isn’t good enough. In a way, this entire biker shootout is entirely Don’s fault. We miss you Patrick, please come back.