IN MEMORIES OF RUSTY "SQUEEKS" SMITH 6/30/47 - 2/22/07
My deepest sympathy goes out to Rusty's family and friends for their loss.
Rusty was one of the original Deathriders as he performed his clown routine for many years as Squeeks. We will sadly miss him.
I just found about the Death of one more member of the DEATH RIDERS in 2007. We will miss FREDDIE HALLS the DEATH RIDERS first announcer. (You can see Freddie in the group photo of the original members below. Freddie is the first person on the left with the sports jacket on.)
Steve, Thank-you for this notice.
WE HAVE 6 NEW PICTURES THAT HAS BEEN PUT UP ON THE DEATH RIDERS
THIS PAGE FEATURES
THE DEATH RIDERS MOTORCYCLE THRILL SHOW OF THE 70's
Picture above is the original Death Riders Motorcycle Crew of 1972 From left to right: Freddie Hall announcer, Al Chapbot, Danny "The Greek", Johnny Hardin, Crash Moreau, Danny Reed, Floyd Reed (owner) and Rusty "Squeeks" Smith
One of the Death Riders (Danny the Greek) performing a flaming boardwall crash.
A Death Rider jumping a motorcycle off a ramp that is lying on the top of a stuntman. We called this the Iron-man stunt.
We called this stunt the people jump which we layed out our stunt crew on the track and jumped a motorcycle over them.
A few years later while being fimed for the movie DEATH RIDERS at Lagoon Amusement park. Larry Mann jumped over a long line of bodies on this people jump. The Death Riders were now jumping over 30 bodies at each performance. All volunteers from the audience.
Johnny Hardin performing an aerial boardwall crash that was made of solid 1x6's that is nailed up and down not crossed ways like other shows. These boards were not caffed. One out of two times Johnny would crash performing this stunt. It was only scene the first year of the Death Riders.
Crash Moreau performs a crash roll-over of a junk automobile at the Kansas State Fair on the Death Riders Motorcycle Thrill Show.
The Human Bomb stunt performed by Johnny Hardin at the Kansas State Fair.
Johnny Hardin being revived after the Human Bomb explosion. You can see Danny reed picking up the wood that was blown apart from the explosion.
Squeaks the Clown (Rusty Smith) performing his people jump stunt at Kansas. Watching is Johnny Hardin.
A Suicidal Sidewinder Crash performed by Crash Moreau at the Kansas State Fair.
A Divebomber Crash once again performed by Crash Moreau. This was a divebomber crash performed without the car loaded withburning hay as the Fire Marshall would not let us use fire.
A motorcycle jump by Crash Moreau at the Kansas State Fair. This was the featured bike jump of the Death Riders Motorcycle Thrill Show, their first season, as nobody wanted to jump after seeing all the other jumpers crash during the tour. You can see Rusty Smith lying on the hood of one of the cars as Crash takes off flying over the hoods.
Leaping Al Chabot was the first jumper for the DEATH RIDERS. This set of ramps were made by Johnny Hardin who would never jump off these ramps himself. Johnny had Al do the jumps. All the jumps Al performed was bad. Only 1 out of the 6 jumps he did was perfect. The last one was the most serious of all. Al broke both collar bones and had to leave for most of the season. He finally did come back and made one jump off the new set up Crash Moreau made for the show. He made the jump but was white as a ghost..
HERE ARE PICTURES FROM THE NEXT FEW YEARS OF THE DEATH RIDERS:
A young Crash Moreau pictured here with one of the Death Riders Motorcycles in Odessa, Texas. Crash was one of the original Death Riders and 35 years later Crash is the only Death Rider that is still performing stunts.
Pictured here is Danny Reed jumping his motorcycle over 8 cars. Danny was the son of the owner of the Death Riders, Floyd Reed, Sr.
Danny Reed performing the last jump of a series of jumping over a line of human bodies. In the last jump the only person lying down is Squeaks the Clown. The man with his back to you is the announcer Henry Trumbley. The man in the black leathers looking at the jump is Joe Byars. Joe had a website up called WWW.DEATHRIDERS.COM this domain name is now a rock band site. Danny Reed performing another People Jump while Squeaks is faced down on the road. If my memory is correct this picture was taken in Danville, Illinois.
An up close look at Rusty (Squeaks) Smith who is aroung 6 foot 7 jumping his high powered motorcycle over 3 bodies in Squeeks version of the People Jump.
This is a night shot of a motorcycle tunnel of fire performed by the Death Riders. A motorcycle would ride thru a structor 8 foot wide 8 foot high and range from 20 to 100 feet in lenght. It was made of hay and up to 1 gallon of gas for every feet in lenght and set on fire. Without any fire suits and only wearing a water soaked pair of cotton coveralls he would take the ride thru the burning inferno.
This is a picture of the Human Bomb stunt that was done in Texas by Mr. TNT (Danny Reed) the following year.
Pictured here is one of the Death Riders making a big jump.
The second year of the Show owner Floyd Reed needed a better Bike Jump so he hired Big Ed Beckly to come up with a jump. Ed built an Evel type of ramp that was so flimsey you couldn't walk up the ramp let alone ride a bike on it. The first shows it was parked in Illinois and the show went to Texas. Ed was the featured jumper who was just jumping over the hoods of autos. On one of his jumps over just 7 cars in Lubbock. Ed crashed and had to go home with a couple of broken bones and a seperated shoulder. Ed never came back. The one thing that Ed left was the idea of jumping ramps with a passenger as Ed performed a jump with his wife Linda on the show. After the show got back to Illinois Crash Moreau rebuilt the ramps and from than on we had a big jump. The average consistane jump was a 50 footer night after night.
Leaping Larry Mann performing a people jump at a Shopping Center parking lot in Danville, Illinois.
An aerial flaming wooden barrier crash performed at a race track by a DEATH RIDER stuntrider. Crash Moreau started the Flaming Divebomber a few years earlier with the Death Riders. here is a picture of one of over 300 jumps that he performed as a Death Riders. This one was at Beech ridge Speedway in Scarboro, Maine.
Danny Reed performing the People Jump. Before this picture was taken Danny jumped the distance a few times lying 5 people from the audience down at a time. You can tell there was over 30 people that had laid down on the canvas that is streched out on the track. Floyd Reed the owner can be seen standing in the yellow shirt.
A suicidal sidewinder crash at the Ridge in Scarboro performed by Crash Moreau with the Death Riders.
This is the crew of the Death Riders taken in the spring of 1976 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway while being filmed for the "B" movie DEATH DRIVER.
A suicidal sidewinder crash performed by Crash Moreau for the movie DEATH DRIVER. In the movie he was called Crasher the Flasher.
Crash Moreau (yellow shirt) talking with Earle Owensby (blue shirt) star of the movie DEATH DRIVER.
Crash Moreau sitting in Floyd Reeds Mustang during the filming of The DEATH DRIVER at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. The name of the track is now called Lowes Motor Speedway at Charlotte.
The Flaming Divebomber perform at Alberquqe, New Mexico for the movie DEATH RIDERS by Crash Moreau.
Crash Moreau rolled his car onto it's roof in New Mexico while performing the Flaming Divebomber Crash.
Crash Moreau performs a Suicidal Sidewinder Crash for the movie DEATH RIDERS at Lagoon Amusement Park in Utah.
Crash Moreau taking his bow after performing the Sidewinder Flying Head-on Crash
Another Sidewinder Crash at an unknown racetrack by Crash Moreau.
The only person on the DEATH RIDERS that performed the sidewinder crash was Crash Moreau.
This is the cover of the DVD of the first full lenght movie the Death Riders performed in. It was filmed in 1974 ar various locals thru out the midwest. This movie is a documentary of the life of a traveling motorcycle thrill show called DEATH RIDERS. You can find copies of this film at times on E-Bay, but are very hard to find in other places. This is the cover of the "B" Movie the Death Riders of 1975 performed in. Footage of the Death riders was shot in North Carolina.
Very few DEATHRIDERS or fans has seen this Japanese Photo.
Which Death Rider is in midair? If you look close this picture was taken at Lagoon Amusement Park in Utah.
Crash Moreau performs a roll-over crash at Lagoon Amusement Park.
The people jump with jumper Larry Mann at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord North Carolina during the filming of The DEATH DRIVER starring Earl Owensby.
The Tunnel of Fire as performed by the Death Riders. Made of chicken wire, straw and gasoline.
The Death Riders Flaming Divebomber Crash.
The landing of a Flaming Flaming Divebomber Auto Crash as done by one of the young Death Riders. This act has both the jump car and catch cars filled with burning hay.
The DEATHRIDERS landing on the big jump that was the featured cycle act of the show.