Monday, June 13, 2011
Ralph "Sonny" Barger; Godfather of the Hells Angels and creator of the outlaw look.
Hells Angels legend Ralph “Sonny” Barger is probably somewhere around 75 years old, but still looks like a vibrant man in his mid 50’s, close-cropped white hair and clean shaven. He looks more like a MARINES drill sergeant than a lifelong outlaw as he moves through the room with the confidence and sureness of a sultan in his harem.
This is the man, the legend, the one who moulded the Hells Angels into what they are. It’s not a stretch to say that Sonny Barger was a visionary who essentially created the image of the outlaw biker as we know it.
The contradictions you ask?
The Hells Angels are separate from society, but they’re rooted in it; they’re nonconformists, but they all look the same; they’re a secret society, but also flamboyant exhibitionist; they diss the laws of the land but they’re governed by a strict code, protocols, and rules; their name and “death head” logo represents freedom, individualism, toughness, and lawlessness, but both name and logo are protected by trademarks; and since the very beginning , again, this is all the doing of Ralph “Sonny” Barger.
Source: Jay Dobyns- Former undercover agent for ATF.