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Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Hunter S. Thompson
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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"Thompson has presented us with a close view of a world most of us would never encounter. His language is brilliant, his eye remarkable."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Superb and terrifying."    --Studs Terkel, Chicago Tribune

Synopsis

'A phalanx of motorcycles cam roaring over the hill from the west ...the noise was like a landslide, or a wing of bombers passing over. Even knowing the Angels I couldn't quite handle what I was seeing.' Huge bikes, filthy denim and an aura of barely contained violence; the Hell's Angels could paralyse whole towns with fear, so terrible was their reputation. But how much of that reputation was myth and how much was brutal reality? Only one man could discover the truth about these latter-day barbarians; Hunter Stockton Thompson, Dr Gonzo himself, the man who saw the fear and loathing in the heart of the American dream. This counter-culture classic is the hair-raising result. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of select-ing titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Roll em, boys

California, Labor Day weekend . . . early, with ocean fog still in the streets, outlaw motorcyclists wearing chains, shades and greasy Levis roll out from damp garages, all-night diners and cast-off one-night pads in Frisco, Hollywood, Berdoo and East Oakland, heading for the Monterey peninsula, north of Big Sur . . . The Menace is loose again, the Hell's Angels, the hundred-carat headline, running fast and loud on the early morning freeway, low in the saddle, nobody smiles, jamming crazy through traffic and ninety miles an hour down the center stripe, missing by inches . . . like Genghis Khan on an iron horse, a monster steed with a fiery anus, flat out through the eye of a beer can and up your daughter's leg with no quarter asked and none given; show the squares some class, give em a whiff of those kicks they'll never know . . . Ah, these righteous dudes, they love to screw it on . . . Little Jesus, the Gimp, Chocolate George, Buzzard, Zorro, Hambone, Clean Cut, Tiny, Terry the Tramp, Frenchy, Mouldy Marvin, Mother Miles, Dirty Ed, Chuck the Duck, Fat Freddy, Filthy Phil, Charger Charley the Child Molester, Crazy Cross, Puff, Magoo, Animal and at least a hundred more . . . tense for the action, long hair in the wind, beards and bandanas flapping, earrings, armpits, chain whips, swastikas and stripped-down Harleys flashing chrome as traffic on 101 moves over, nervous, to let the formation pass like a burst of dirty thunder . . .

They call themselves Hell's Angels. They ride, rape and raid like marauding cavalry--and they boast that no police force can break up their criminal motorcycle fraternity.
--True, The Man's Magazine
(August 1965)

They're not bad guys, individually. I tell you one thing: I'd rather have a bunch of Hell's Angels on my hands than these civil rights demonstrators. When it comes to making trouble for us, the demonstrators are much worse.
--Jailer, San Francisco City Prison

Some of them are pure animals. They'd be animals in any society. These guys are outlaw types who should have been born a hundred years ago--then they would have been gunfighters.
--Birney Jarvis, a charter member of the Hell's Angels who later became a San Francisco Chronicle police reporter

We're the one percenters, man--the one percent that don't fit and don't care. So don't talk to me about your doctor bills and your traffic warrants--I mean you get your woman and your bike and your banjo and I mean you're on your way. We've punched our way out of a hundred rumbles, stayed alive with our boots and our fists. We're royalty among motorcycle outlaws, baby.
--A Hell's Angel speaking for the permanent record

. . . The run was on, "outlaws" from all over the state rolled in packs toward Monterey: north from San Bernardino and Los Angeles on 101; south from Sacramento on 50 . . . south from Oakland, Hayward and Richmond on 17; and from Frisco on the Coast Highway. The hard core, the outlaw elite, were the Hell's Angels . . . wearing the winged death's-head on the back of their sleeveless jackets and packing their "mamas" behind them on big "chopped hogs." They rode with a fine, unwashed arrogance, secure in their reputation as the rottenest motorcycle gang in the whole history of Christendom.

From San Francisco in a separate formation came the Gypsy Jokers, three dozen in all, the number-two outlaw club in California, starved for publicity, and with only one chapter, the Jokers could still look down on such as the Presidents, Road Rats, Nightriders and Question Marks, also from the Bay Area, Gomorrah . . . with Sodom five hundred miles to the south in the vast mad bowl of Los Angeles, home turf of the Satan's Slaves, number three in the outlaw hierarchy, custom-bike specialists with a taste for the flesh of young dogs, flashy headbands and tender young blondes with lobotomy eyes; the Slaves were the class of Los Angeles, and their women clung tight to the leather backs of these dog-eating, crotch-busting fools as they headed north for their annual party with the Hell's Angels, who even then viewed the "L.A. bunch" with friendly condescension . . . which the Slaves didn't mind, for they could dump with impunity on the other southern clubs--the Coffin Cheaters, Iron Horsemen, Galloping Gooses, Comancheros, Stray Satans and a homeless fringe element of human chancres so foul that not even the outlaw clubs--north or south--would claim them except in a fight when an extra chain or beer bottle might make the crucial difference.

Over and over again I have said that there is no way out of the present impasse. If we were wide awake we would be instantly struck by the horrors which surround us . . . We would drop our tools, quit our jobs, deny our obligations, pay no taxes, observe no laws, and so on. Could the man or woman who is thoroughly awakened possibly do the crazy things which are now expected of him or her every moment of the day?

--Henry Miller, in The World of Sex (1,000 copies printed by J.N.H., for "friends of Henry Miller," 1941)

People will just have to learn to stay out of our way. We'll bust up everyone who gets in our way.
--A Hell's Angel talking to police

On the morning of the Monterey Run, Labor Day 1964, Terry the Tramp woke up naked and hurting all over. The night before he'd been stomped and chain-whipped outside an Oakland bar by nine Diablos, a rival East Bay cycle club. "I'd hit one of their members earlier," he explained, "and they didn't appreciate it. I was with two other Angels, but they left a little bit before me, and as soon as they were gone, these bastard Diablos jumped me outside the bar. They messed me up pretty good, so we spent half the night lookin for em."

The search was futile, and just before dawn Terry went back to Scraggs' small house in San Leandro, where he was living with his wife and two children. Scraggs, a thirty-seven-year-old ex-pug who once fought Bobo Olson, was the oldest Angel then riding, with a wife and two children of his own. But when Terry came down from Sacramento that summer to look for a job in the Bay Area, Scraggs offered bed and board. The two wives got along; the kids meshed, and Terry found a job on the assembly line at a nearby General Motors plant--in itself a tribute to whatever human flexibility remains at the shop level in the American labor movement, for Terry at a glance looks hopelessly unemployable, like a cross between Joe Palooka and the Wandering Jew.

He is six feet two inches tall, 210 pounds heavy, with massive arms, a full beard, shoulder-length black hair and a wild, jabbering demeanor not calculated to soothe the soul of any personnel specialist. Beyond that, in his twenty-seven years he has piled up a tall and ugly police record: a multitude of arrests, from petty theft and battery, to rape, narcotics offenses and public cunnilingus--and all this without a single felony conviction, being officially guilty of nothing more than what any spirited citizen might commit in some drunk or violent moment of animal weakness.


"Yeah, but that rap sheet's all bullshit," he insists. "Most of those charges are phony. I've never thought of myself as a criminal. I don't work at it; I'm not greedy enough. Everything I do is natural, because I need to." And then, after a moment: "But I guess I'm pushin my luck, even if I'm not a criminal. Pretty soon they'll nail me for one of these goddamn things, and then it's goodbye, Terry, for a whole lot of years. I think it's about time I cut out, went East, maybe to New York, or Australia. You know, I had a card in Actors' Equity once, I lived in Hollywood. Hell, I can make it anywhere, even if I am a fuck-up."

On another Saturday he might have slept until two or three in the afternoon, then gone out again, with a...
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