Quotes From Hunter S. Thompson's Book - Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
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Quotes From Hunter S. Thompson's Book - Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs

Several quotes by the famed journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, regarding the Hell's Angels and their menacing behavior within society.

American Journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, gained exposure and success from his first book, "Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs", published in 1966. His association with the Hell's Angels started in the mid-1960's. The non-fiction book put him on the map of new authors that had spawned out of the beat generation. The book accurately describes the Hell's Angels as a gang of outlaw thugs who wreak havoc within society and have a general disdain for authority. After completing the book, he was severely beaten by this gang of menacing misfits, and here are several quotes by Hunter S. Thompson regarding the Hell's Angels.

"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." (source Hell's Angels - Hunter S.Thompson)

"The Edge... There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others- the living- are those who pushed their luck as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between now and later." (source Hell's Angels - Hunter S.Thompson)

"Filthy Huns Breeding like rats in California and spreading east. Listen for the roar of the Harley's. You will hear it in the distance like thunder. And then, wafting in on the breeze, will come the scent of dried blood and human grease ... the noise will grow louder and they will appear, on the west horizon, eyes bugged and bloodshot, foam on the lips, chewing some rooty essence smuggled in from a foreign jungle ... they will ravish your women, loot your liquor stores and humiliate your mayor on a bench on the village square ..." (source Chapter 3, p. 36 Hell's Angels Hunter S. Thompson)

"Tiny hurts people. When he loses his temper he goes completely out of control and his huge body becomes a lethal weapon. It is difficult to see what role he might play in the Great Society." (source Hell's Angels - Hunter S. Thompson)

"A man who has blown all his options can't afford the luxury of changing his ways. He has to capitalize on whatever he has left, and he can't afford to admit — no matter how often he's reminded of it — that every day of his life takes him farther and farther down a blind alley... Very few toads in this world are Prince Charmings in disguise. Most are simply toads... and they are going to stay that way... Toads don't make laws or change any basic structures, but one or two rooty insights can work powerful changes in the way they get through life. A toad who believes he got a raw deal before he even knew who was dealing will usually be sympathetic to the mean, vindictive ignorance that colors the Hell's Angel's view of humanity. There is not much mental distance between a feeling of having been screwed and the ethic of total retaliation, or at least the random revenge that comes with outraging the public decency." (source Hell's Angels - Hunter S. Thompson)

"When they are not thus engaged, the Angels - sometimes accompanied by the young children of a member or by the unmarried females who hang out with the club - often rent a dilapidated house on the edge of town, where they swap girls, drugs and motorcycles with equal abandon. In between drug induced stupors, the Angels go on motorcycle stealing forays, even have a panel truck with a special ramp for loading the stolen machines. Afterward, they may ride off again to seek some new nadir in sordid behavior." (source Hell's Angels - Hunter S. Thompson)

Websters definition of a gang - a group of people working or acting together; to attack as a group.

   Source - Retro Bites: Hunter S. Thompson & Hell's Angels (1967) 

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Comments (14)

Hunter Thompson had all the dirt on the Hell's Angels and there was plenty of it.

Glad to have new articles from you, Rich! I have always been interested in how motorcycle gangs came to be. My current entertainment industry experience (viewing) of gangs includes a Mentalist episode. But who can forget the first Mad Max movie?

Great discussion, Richard. It's weird, but I've never read any of Thompson's work, even though I've read a lot of American counter-cultural literature. Makes me want to seek him out.

Thompson's words are pungent, and as sharp as razor blades...he certainly makes clear his opinion. Interesting review, Richard.

Thanks for the comments and support everyone! Especially factoid writer, William Felchner, who gave me the nod and inspiration to put this small piece together. His Biker Gang article is way better than this piece, but I felt compelled to clear up what are biker gangs and ordinary bikers. 99% of all bikers are not Hell's Angels and are just into riding, as opposed to the Angels, who were and still are an organized crime syndicate. They have become more sophisticated in their unlawful endeavors. Again, thanks to all!

A good review. Such heavy and a bit... ok ... really dark quotations but a good read. I've always enjoyed quotations. Anyway re tweeted, Sud and Fb liked.

Another great insights about a rider gang in history. Reminds me of "Sons of Anarchy" on TV. Hell's Toads or rather Hell's Angels definitely pulled the hunter out of Thompson, Richard.

back for page love as promised:) facebook liked, stumbled and dugg:)

highly informative

For most of the Australian and Kiwi bikers .. it's all fun and boobs hehe :-) .. a juvenile hedonism, freedom .. the outlaw ethos .. the last event I went to .. and it was bizarre to say the least .. they were all pissed, racing road bikes and Japanese bike bashing .. some of the activities that went on there ;-) It's a real male domain ~ very good Rich :-)))))))

Shmahalahal Jenkins

Hunter S Thompson is my hero

Shmahalahal Jenkins

Hunter S Thompson is my hero

LOVE Hunter Thompson the man and his writing. A great loss.

I do like Thompson's writing but was also kind of a little bitch . The deal was to pay them in beer and a copy of the book when it was finished . He got his ass kicked for sticking his nose where it didn't belong . A man lives by his word ass kicking or not he still should have paid up  just saying