Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Soul Reads Find, Hell's Angel: The Autobiography Of Sonny Barger

Book Description

 October 13, 2009

Due to copyright restrictions, this eBook may not contain all of the images available in the print edition.
Narrated by the visionary founding member, Hell's Angel provides a fascinating all-access pass to the secret world of the notorious Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Sonny Barger recounts the birth of the original Oakland Hell's Angels and the four turbulent decades that followed. Hell's Angel also chronicles the way the HAMC revolutionized the look of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle and built what has become a worldwide bike-riding fraternity, a beacon for freedom-seekers the world over.
Dozens of photos, including many from private collections and from noted photographers, provide visual documentation to this extraordinary tale. Never simply a story about motorcycles, colorful characters, and high-speed thrills, Hell's Angel is the ultimate outlaw's tale of loyalty and betrayal, subcultures and brotherhood, and the real price of freedom.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this most intriguing and insightful look into the highly controversial, five-decade-old Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC), Barger chronicles the formation, history, and colorful events that have led to the mystique and outlaw image of this free-thinking organization. In 1957, Barger (a technical consultant on several biker films, including Hell's Angels on Wheels and Hell's Angels '69) formed the Oakland chapter, which would become the foundation and serve as headquarters for the entire club. In his own words, Barger shares stories of pool hall fights, motorcycle runs, the importance of loyalty and honor, and relentless battles against the government efforts to destroy the HAMC. He also tells his side of the infamous 1969 Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Raceway. The many photos provide additional glimpses into this wild and dangerous American subculture. A most interesting book that is recommended for popular culture collections.DTim Delaney, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Barger, king of the chopper pilots, road variety, is an American icon, and his life story is a history of the biker lifestyle. As president of the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels, he has seen and survived hassles with the police, peaceniks, and the Rolling Stones, with their "prissy clothes and makeup" --all of which he recounts. He notes fine points, such as the fact that it was Emmett Grogan, of the radical egalitarian Diggers, who suggested that the Angels work security at the Stones' ill-fated free show at Altamont, California. He nonchalantly admits to criminal acts, such as pulling a gun on Keith Richards onstage. Withal, however, he includes only somewhat more sex and violence in his life story than one encounters in most contemporary biographies. Certainly, specific expressions of Barger's biker attitudes may scandalize the squeamish; for instance, his explanation of why women engaged in group sex with bikers: "For a certain kind of chick, it was an honor to get fucked by a bunch of Hell's Angels." Even if such sentiments prove too straightforward and earthy for some, the book is a dandy cultural document. Barger paints an engrossing picture of a distinctive subculture that receives precious little literary attention. Yet bikers probably live in many a library's community. So read up on them, organize a booktalk on Hell's Angels, and some of them may well offer to bring the refreshments, not to mention some invaluable diversity. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

71 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hell's Angel speaks the truth. May 18, 2000
By A Customer
Back in the late 60's, I was a member of the Green Dragon'sMotorcycle Club in Houston. We were a linked brotherhood with theBanditos MC. During a rally in Dallas, some 50 or 60 Hell's Angels attended. To my pride I was able to meet Sonny Barger, he was at that time with the Oakland Chapter of the Hell's Angel.
He is nothing short of one classy, dedicated to bikes and bikers, and honest to the bone. This book, he brings IT ALL OUT. I was amazed to read how the Angels got started and managed to stay together dispite the law breathing all over them, the public have a definite attitude against them. It was Sonny who kept the brotherhood together. Yes, we all know of the legal problems with the ANgels as well as other biker groups, in this book Sonny is totally honest and forthcoming. He has some very funny stories on state rallys and of course the problem at Altamont. This book is a must read for all bikers and those who WANT TO BE A BIKER. A classic read by Sonny. May God Bless You Sonny and keep doing just what you are doing. Don't change one thing. "The Attorney" Green Dragons MC - Houston
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must read for die hards July 4, 2000
Sonny is one of the most prolific and a true outlaw. I've admired him and his followers since I first became aware of the spirit of Harley Davidson. After Korea, my dad and his partner both bought HD's and traveled the US of A! Although my father wasn't an outlaw,he raised a few. I can say only one thing, Buy the book! To Sonny, Hail the Red & White! To Ole Buzzard {omaha, NE} tow on bro! bigwayne53
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leader of the Pack June 14, 2000
The motorcycle club subculture has been an important theme in Hollywood (from The Wild One to Easy Rider) and in recordings (the song, Leader of the Pack). Everyone who sees the Hell's Angels has an opinion about what is going on, yet few have had a first hand relationship with a member. This book gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like for Oakland's leader of the pack, one of the first branches of the Hell's Angels.
I grew up in San Bernardino (Berdoo in the book) which was an even earlier branch of the Hell's Angels than was Oakland. Some people I went to high school with joined the Hell's Angels. We all heard many stories about the group, and what went on. We treated these people with extreme caution and gave them a wide berth.
The book brings out an ethos of freedom (the open road) combined with a masculine emphasis on being respected and being loyal to friends. At the same time, there is an underlying sense of the frontier marshall, wanting to clean up those who were challenging law and order. Behind that there is a disregard for the rules most of us follow, whether in speed, drugs, theft, or violence.
This book is filled with deaths, injuries, and destruction. The Hell's Angels live in a dangerous world, and that doesn't bother them. What would bother them is not following their code of ethics.
Having read about all of the things the Hell's Angels are supposed to have done in the last 50 or so years, it is interesting to hear it from the other side.
Although you probably won't want to emulate Sonny Barger in too many ways, you'll certainly never forget him. If you love motorcycles (as many of us do), you'll be moved by his loving descriptions of various bikes. He was truly the wild one at the head of the bike pack.


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