HELL'S ANGELS: Three Can Keep a Secret if Two Are Dead by Yves Lavigne

HELL'S ANGELS: Three Can Keep a Secret if Two Are Dead

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A down-and-dirty expos‚ of the notorious motorcycle gang and its criminal empire, by a reporter with Toronto's Globe and Mail. Forget, Lavigne insists, the romantic image of the outlaw motorcyclist purveyed by films like The Wild One. ""Yesterday's rebels,"" Lavigne writes, ""have become today's pushers, pimps, and hit men. . .They breathe death and drugs, prostitution, extortion, rape, intimidation, and corruption. . ."" Drenching his report in revved-up rhythms and foul language that mirror his subjects' breakneck way of lite, Lavigne traces the Angels' twisted ascent from a ragtag group of combat vets who banded together to raise hell in post-WW II California to today's organized thugs who make millions (""A member of the Manhattan chapter spends $400,000 a year on good times"") from drag--most amphetamine--manufacture and sale, prostitution, and extortion, in addition to limning the violent careers of the highest-profile Angels (S.F. chief Sonny Barger, who's acted with Jack Nicholson; Canada's psycho Apache Trudeau, who killed 43 people in a 15-year terror spree), Lavigne describes the Angels' criminal activities and loose ties to the Mafia and the radical right; details their infrastructure, including franchising methods, rules and regulations, and maniacally macho mores; and provides lowdown on their three top rival gangs, the southern Bandidos, the Pagans, and the Outlaws, with whom the Angels have waged a long, bloody war. Lavigne also--in line with the book's original (1987) Canadian publication--devotes much attention to a murderous feud among Canadian Angels chapters. Admirably hard-digging investigative journalism, although presented in a sensational, ultra-gonzo style that will alienate many. Certainly the most informative book on these Harley-mounted monsters grace Hunter Thompson's mid-60's Hells Angels.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1989
ISBN: 0818405147
Publisher: Lyle Stuart/Carol Communications