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HELL'S ANGELS -- A STRANGE AND TERRIBLE SAGA OF THE OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE GANGS

by Hunter S. Thompson
1966, 1967 by Hunter S. Thompson

To the friends who lent me money and kept me mercifully unemployed. No writer can function without them. Again, thanks. HST

The idea for this book came from Carey McWilliams, editor of The Nation, who asked me to write an article on the weird phenomenon of motorcycle gangs. The article appeared in The Nation, in Apri11965.  Carey's ideas and suggestions gave the book a framework and perspective that it might not otherwise have had.

The author wishes to thank the following for permission to reprint material:
The World of Sex by Henry Miller, Copyright 1959 by Henry Miller; Copyright 1965 by Grove Press, Inc. Used by permission of Grove Press, Inc. California: The Wild Ones. Copyright 1965, Newsweek, Inc. Used by permission of Newsweek. Inc. The Wilder Ones. Reprinted by permission from Time The Weekly Newsmagazine; Time Inc. 1965.  They Came. They Saw. They Did Not Conquer by William R. Rodgers. Copyright 1963 The Farm Tribune. Used by permission of The Farm Tribune.  Mrs. Pat Whitwright for her letter on page 46. California Takes Steps to Curb Terrorism of Ruffian Cyclists.  1966 by the New York Times Company. Reprinted by permission.  "The Bowery Grenadiers," words and music by John Allison.  Copyright 1948, 1957 Hollis Music. Inc., New York, N.Y. Used by permission. "Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots" by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoner. Copyright 1955 by Quintet Music, Inc. Used by permission. The Hell's Angels Scandals -- Black Boots, Booze, and Highway Broads by Birney Jarvis. Copyright 1965 by Male Magazine. Used by permission of Male Publishing Corporation.  "A Word of Our Own." Copyright 1965 by Springfield Music, Ltd. Chappell & Co., Inc., owner of publication and allied rights for the Western Hemisphere. "Do-Re-Mi," words and music by Woody Guthrie. Copyright 1961, 1963, Ludlow Music, Inc., New York, N.Y. Used by permission.  Hell's Angels by William Murray. Copyright by Curtis Publishing Company, 1965. Used by permission.  Hell's Angels: How They Live and Think by Jerry Cohen. Copyright 1965 by The Times Mirror Company. Used by permission of The Los Angeles Times. "To the Angels" by Allen Ginsberg. Copyright 1966 Liberation. Used by permission of Allen Ginsberg. Mr. Ralph Barger for his telegram on page 323.

SAN DIEGO, July 18 (UPI) -- A WEIRD HAUL AT GANG'S HIDEOUT  -- Four coffins, two grave markers and Nazi emblems were found Saturday in the headquarters of a motorcycle gang where three members were arrested on narcotics charges. The residence also contained a throne chair five feet tall, a stuffed owl, an Oriental beheading sword and assorted motorcycle trophies, police said.

***

Despite the outlaws' growing notoriety, the Oakland police never put the kind of death-rattle heat on them that the other chapters were getting. Even at the peak of the heat, Barger's chapter had a special relationship with the local law. Barger explained it as a potential common front against the long-rumored Negro uprising in East Oakland, which both Negroes and Hell's Angels think of as their own turf. The cops, he said, were counting on the Angels to "keep the niggers in line."

***

  On October 16, the Hell's Angels attacked a Get Out Of Vietnam demonstration at the Oakland-Berkeley border. The existential heroes who had passed the joint with Berkeley liberals at Kesey's parties suddenly turned into venomous beasts, rushing on the same liberals with flailing fists and shouts of "Traitors," "Communists," "Beatniks!" When push came to shove, the Hell's Angels lined up solidly with the cops, the Pentagon and the John Birch Society.

-- "Hell's Angels," by Hunter S. Thompson

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