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1%er clubs in 1950s San Francisco

Revisiting a great account of the early days of the Hells Angels and Grateful Dead, by a friend of both groups...

Another book I have revisited recently (see my last blog post) is 'Dead Angel' by John Clark. It's one of the best books I've read about the early days of the Hells Angels and other northern California motorcycle clubs in the late 1950s. But it's a wider-ranging social commentary than just a biker book; author John Clark grew up as Jerry Garcia's best friend, and was at the epicentre of the 1960s counterculture when bikers converged with new rock music and the hippy movement.

It's one of those books (badly sub-edited, published independently) that I feel probably deserved more hype around it and money behind it for its revealing content.

It's interesting how the early days of the 1% clubs are currently being exposed, for whatever reasons, by ex-members and entrepreneurs with the cash-clout to bring their stories to the masses. But John Clark's book pre-dates this current trend and is well worth seeking out if you have any interest in the Californian outlaw bike culture in its relatively innocent early days.

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  • Everything with motorcycles and Grateful Dead in it is worthy of attention! Definitely will give it a look.