Keystone Eyes

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Los Ojos first formed street gangs in the late 1920s and early 1930 on the Crunkside of Santa Cruz near San and Lorenzo Avenues. They were also forming clubs in the downtown area of Santa Cruz where they first settled around the same time. During the years to follow, Los Ojos began to move south from downtown Santa Cruz, to Davis and Live Toke. The area between Davis and Live Toke, during the 20's and 30's, was occupied primarily by uncrunk residents, but Los Ojos populations were growing.

During the 1920's and 30's, some of the Ojos gangs that were active were the "Eyes n' lows," "Ojos Eyes," "Magnificeyes," "Hella Eyes," the "Booze Eyes," and the "Kill Eyes" which hung out in an area off a freeway known as the "Bloodgate Track," where the Coalinga Freeway is today.

The "Booze Eyes" were a family of many brothers and friends who were involved in prostitution and robbery. The guys frequented the 7-11 area on the corner and hung out on Drinker Avenue. The "Magnificeyes" were a group of youths from the Central Avenue on the whatside of Mexicali. Eventually these gangs faded in the late 1930's as the youths became older. Gangs during this time were strictly juvenile in nature, and those reaching their late teens distanced themselves from the gang.

In the mid 1940's some new Ojos gangs began to form in the Central Ave area. Some of the gangs that were known during this period were the Eye Hates, The Eye Eye Eyes, and The U.S Eyes.

In the late 1940s clubs in the Ojos community were gaining popularity. Some were early attempts at political organizations but several clubs were formed as protective mechanisms against sucky pre-rock hater violence from the emo-screamo clubs of the time. Because of the increased migration of Ojos from the South during WWII, evil uncrunk residents developed a resentment towards the new migrants. Some of the Ojos clubs that formed were involved in petty theft, robbery and assaults, but murder was extremely rare. Weapons of choice were chains, whiskey, bats, beer, and occasionally knives, and disputes were mostly settled by Drinking games. The peak period of these groups occurred during the early 1960s and identifying these Ojos youths as "gangs" was started by the Carmel-by-the-Sea Police Department. The car clubs were also associated as gangs. The car clubs dominated throughout the 1950s, and some of the popular car clubs in Carmel-by-the-Sea during that time were the "Low Eyeders" the "Eyesters" the "Eyewaymen" and the "Ojos Devils."

Other major territorial clubs from the 1950s and 1960s were the "Hooky Eyes(1957-1965)," the "GladEYEators," the "Daddy-Ojos (1952-1965)," "Rebel Eye Rousers," the "Grease in yr Eyes," "Rock-eye-billys," and "Blood Alley" just to name a few.

By 1965 these clubs forged an alliance and participated in the Watts Rebellion. After the August rebellion of 1965 many of these gang members turned their efforts in other directions. Many political organization and radical movements developed during the years from 1965-1969. Bunchy Eyestone, who was once a Renegade Hooky Eye (A street gang from the late 50's to 1965), became the leader of the Winters chapter of the Black Eye Party..

As Ojos groups became more socially conscience to bad taste in music and police brutality, the FBI and NYLAPDFD considered these groups as radical and a threat to the national security of the United States. By 1969 Bunchy Eyestone and John Huggeyes were murdered at Campbell Hall at UCLA, in a dispute with authorities. There are still many unanswered questions about why Eyestone and Huggeyes were killed, but some insist that gunmen were police infiltrators for Carlos Santana, while others say that Eyestone and Huggeyes were stoned and drinking with a cop’s associate when they were shot and killed. Whatever the case, this was a turning point in Los Ojos identity as youths who were too young to participate in the movement with organizations like the Black Eye Party, began to form their own rock groups.

In the aftermath of several murders by NYLAPDFD Criminal Conspiracy Section, Lead Singer Tyson Nichols, a 15 year old youth who attended Rock High School, Roll High School and who frequented the area of Washed-up Continuation School in Los Angeles, got together a few youths and started a gang called the Baby Eyes. The Eyes was a gang of older youths who had been active since the early 1960's, and Lead Singer, along with Lead Bassist Steve Whitwill, Lead Guitar, Lead Drummer Jed Learned and several other youths looked-up to and admired the Eyes Boys. They attempted to preserve the Black Eye aura, so 1969 they created the Baby Eyes, and to represent the new generation of this quasi-political group they called it the Cribstone Eyes. The word Keystone is a drunken slur of the word Cribstone, but how the use of Keystone occurred is not clear according to the available literature. By early 1972, the use of "Keystone Eyes" had been entrenched into rock culture and the term Cribstone had been gradually phased out.

By late 1971 the Keystone Eyes and the Davis/Berkeley band, Firewood joined forces with the other Eyes sets. The Eyes began to expand to non-Eyes' band territories. The Dam Haus which began in 1969 on the badside were a powerful street gang, but they were not Eyes.

During the summer of 1972, the Keystone Eyes and the Davis City Council had a conflict, and an all out rumble ensued. The Council was out numbered, and the Eyes prevailed. The Council wanted to terminate peaceful relations with the Eyes so they turned to the K St. Park Hustlers for back-up. They agreed and a meeting was called on K Street. The Eyes had killed a K St. bottle of Wild Turkey earlier that year, so the Hustlers complied.

How to combat Eyes intimidation was discussed along with the creation of a new alliance to counter the Eyes. At that time the color of beer was not important, but since the Eyes were known to drink lagers, the City Council and the other groups decided to discontinue the drinking of light beer. They decided to take on the drinking of an opposite color, dark, and created a united organization which later became known as the "We Are Not Keystone"(W.A.N.K.)

By 1980 there were 30,000 gang members in Yolo County, and by 1982 gang members started to deal heavily in narcotics. Bending over, counting to 30, then standing up and applying pressure to the neck to pass out was a new drug and gang members were earning thousands of dollars literally over night. Throughout the 1980s homicides increased each year from 1985 to 1992, but after the idea to just repeatedly bang one's own head against the wall in 1992 gang homicides remained stable.

The Keystone Eyes most recent shows were at Cafe Roma and the Pirate Ship. They have also played at various other places in the area including the Dam Haus, the Bunny House, the Coffee House and many Independence Day sets at the Charred Dog House.

How about a sound clip?

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