Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hell's Angel by Sonny Barger, Keith Zimmerman, Kent Zimmerman

I completed reading Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. This is Sonny’s very open history and participation in the founding of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC). This book is not for the squeamish. He tells it from a no apology perspective.

I must admit, I know little about the HAMC. That was until I read this book. While some consider them an organized crime syndicate, others just a club, I won’t be taking sides with that here.

One thing for certain, the primary author Barger is not dumb. In this book he shows himself as a calculated and visionary leader. He and others (he shares the credit) took a small California MC and laid the groundwork for a worldwide organization.

Membership in these clubs is an honor that is jealously protected. The thing that stuck out most for me and what it means to be a part of a club like this, is the commitment. I enjoyed the trip down history lane and how modern motorcycle design was influenced by these early HAMC garage customs.

Whether you like what he’s accomplished, or not, he’s not going to care. He helped build an organization that is going to be around for a long time. A recommended read for those curious about that side of the motorcycle world.