Simon City Royals

Original Simon City gang Sweater

I was Simon City & Simon City Royals. We never thought of SCR Royals as being new or different. We carried Insane Royals for a while when Bimbo was alive.

The origins of the Simon City Royals as told by those members who lived it.

The Simon City Royals were founded in the Lakeview area of Chicago circa 1968. A spin-off of the much older Simon?s City name originating from Simons Park, the Royals recruited new members from the area as well as from local gangs who were attending Lakeview high school. The first established section was at Ashland and Irving Park Rd. where their leader, Arab, held court in the local eatery located across the street from the high school. Several of the founders were former members of the Aristocrats, The Corps, and Ashland Vikings among others. A second section was founded in the small park on the S.W. corner of Greenview and Waveland. Their colors became royal blue and black. It should be mentioned here that the original Simon?s City retained their name and did not embrace the Royals title as part of their own. The gangs continued as two separate entities in different parts of Chicago for decades to come. The Royals grew fast in the Lakeview area, especially since the Latin Eagles of the time had a habit of attacking white non-gang members. Many of those individuals then sought protection and camaraderie under the new Royals banner. Several more had problems with Latin gangs on the other flanks and they eventually came aboard too.

By the early 1970?s, the Royals were beginning to slowly lose a turf war against their rivals. While the ?turf? was still claimed, it was now in dispute and Royals had a difficult time simply walking unmolested through certain parts of their own neighborhood. The main section had moved control to the area of Newport and Lincoln / Paulina and Cornelia. Another section was started further north on Paulina St., just south of Irving Park Road. This section became known as ?The Barracks? due to the architectural nature of their hangout behind an apartment building.

It was about this time in late 1972 & 1973 when the Royals used a new recruiting tool. The smaller corner gangs of the area were approached and formed into a confederation to become known as the North Side Aces. Some of the younger 15 & 16 year-old members of the Royals were shifted to the Aces to provide a foundation to build upon. Their colors were royal blue/gold, and affiliation to the Simon City Royals was automatic. They now had a semi-permanent toehold over 90% of the formerly disputed streets and a solid alliance within their boundaries. While those borders zigzagged somewhat, the Royals could now claim in earnest their turf extended west to east, from Ravenswood to Racine Ave. and from just beyond Irving Park in the north, to well beyond Belmont in parts to the south.

Mere months after the formation of the N.S. Aces, a three week old ceasefire treaty was violated by the Deuces. When that war resumed, the Aces were officially absorbed into the Royals fold. Overnight the Aces were no more. Although somewhat dispersed, the Simon City Royals could now field over one hundred active members in the Lakeview area at any given time.

The original founding members were mostly off the streets in the early 70?s but were still active. Arab and company could almost always be found in the pool hall on Ashland near School Street. Some of the younger members often hung out next door by a local hamburger joint.

1974 was a rough year for the Royals. Attacks came from all sides as they firmly stood their ground in another vicious and bloody turf war. Fighting was an almost daily occurrence and shootings became more commonplace. The Royals lost several members to gunfire including the sniper shooting of their founder Arab. In spite of what may have looked like a losing battle to some, the Royals continued to grow and expand. The Royals presence was becoming widely known in other schools and neighborhoods outside the Lakeview area. They also increased in numbers among the student bodies at select schools such as Lane Tech and Gordon Tech.

Additional Claims

An ex-Corp member disbutes the claim that ex-Corp members helped start the Simon city Royals.

One of the original founding members of the Simon city Royals - Arab - was originally a Simon City Boys member until his family moved up to Clark Street. It is said that in the new neighborhood, he started the Simon City Royals.