FALLEN ANGEL: From Hell's Angel to Heaven's Saint by Barry with Tony Marco Mayson

FALLEN ANGEL: From Hell's Angel to Heaven's Saint

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Born-again biker tells all. Though lumpy and overlong, predictably inspirational and occasionally florid, Mayson's story nonetheless makes it on raw energy. Born in 1944, he was thrown out of a hard-shell Baptist college in Georgia for drinking and breaking curfew, did a disastrous stint in the Army (spending much of his time AWOL or in the stockade), married a 16-year-old girl, fathered two children, and serried down to a miserable, sodden existence of working the night shift at a Ford assembly plant outside Atlanta, beating his wife, prowling around for other women, and slowly going stir-crazy. Then he saw two biker films at the local drive-in and had a flash of inspiration. He bought a new BSA 650, shed his family, and zoomed down the road in search of trouble--which he naturally found in abundance. Gambling, pimping, drugs, fistfights, gunfights, skull-cracking: Mayson tried and relished them all. He remarried and forced his wife to support him by topless dancing and prostitution. In the meantime he was moving from gang to gang, from the ""Rising Sons"" to the ""Tribulators"" to the Hell's Angels, and calling himself ""Barry-Barry"": ""I'm a DISEASE!"" Indeed he was; but when the Angels (in 1976) ordered him to murder some rival gang members, Mayson balked. He had to run for his life, and at one point, trapped in a phone booth in San Francisco, surrounded by H.A. assassins, he called his mother (a believer) in Charleston, S.C. The call lasted three hours, began in catharsis and ended in conversion. Mayson eluded his pursuers (at least some of whom must have been hallucinations), fled home, went to Liberty Bible College in Pensacola, and now ministers as the Rev. Mayson to convicted criminals. His confessions have no spiritual depth of psychological insight, but they move--through lower depths more tellingly than higher reaches.

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 1982
Publisher: Doubleday