Photography: Hells Angels by Bill Ray

I was at a yard sale this weekend and found an autographed copy of Sonny Barger’s (Founder of Hells Angels Oakland charter) autobiography, Hells Angel. An interesting look at the club and the 1960’s. The early stuff is the most interesting so here you go. The majority of these photos are from a 1965 story in life magazine by staff photographer Bill Ray. The Angels allowed Bill to hang out with them and photograph pretty much anything he wanted – within limits. Bill’s first meeting w/ the Angels – he was blindfolded and taken to a bar high in the hills. Luckily Bill could play pool (or so the story goes) and won their trust and allowed to hang with them. The photos are certainly unposed and on the fly, – it looks like they really loved being photographed.

Sonny Barger and 2 from Berdoo

The photos below are of the Angel’s ‘Old Ladies’. I like these even more then the more famous shots of the MC. They look tough as nails but also hot – bleached hair, leather jackets and sunglasses. The girl w/ the broken nose and curlers is great as are the 2 girls crashed on the Juke Box – 4th photo down. Most of these are of the women waiting for the men to finish up a meeting – where they were strictly forbidden.

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Posted on August 9, 2011, in Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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