"Hell's Angel"

Biker legend Sonny Barger recounts the formation of the Oakland Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club and the four wild decades that followed.

By Interview by Nick Bryant
October 6, 2000 2:05AM (UTC)
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Sonny Barger truly is an American Legend. In his recent autobiography, Hell's Angel (William Morrow), written with Keith and Kent Zimmerman, Sonny recounts the formation of the Oakland Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club and the four decades that followed. In addition to recalling the colorful members who rode alongside him, Barger explains how the HAMC revolutionized the look of the Harley Davidson motorcycle and has become a worldwide bike-riding fraternity second to none.

He also recounts numerous stories about being a Hell's Angel including his battles against government efforts to destroy the HAMC and the infamous 1969 Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Raceway, an epochal moment that came to symbolize the end of the sixties.


Ralph "Sonny" Barger currently lives near Phoenix, Arizona, having moved from his longtime hometown of Oakland. He is now a member of the Cave Creek chapter of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. A master mechanic, he has been technical consultant on several biker films including Hell's Angels on Wheels and Hell's Angels '69, has served time in federal and state penitentiaries, and is developing a movie based on his autobiography. He rides his customized Harley-Davidson every day and bench-presses 285 pounds.

Listen to an excerpt from an exclusive interview of Sonny by journalist Nick Bryant.

Interview by Nick Bryant

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