Arthur Veno - The Mammoth Book Of Bikers (Robinson, 2007)
Cover: Nick Castle/ Getty Images.
The definitive collection of first-hand accounts of the world's outlaw motorcycle gangs
Outlaw bikers consider themselves 'the last free people in society', unconstrained by the regulations that rule ordinary citizens. And they guard their privacy jealously.
Drawing on 17 years of studying and participating in biker culture, Arthur Veno has compiled the ultimate collection of original biker writing. Here are insider accounts of landmark incidents in bike folklore, plus reprints of classic writing from biker-originated magazines, handouts, websites and books. Gangs featured include the Bandidos, Hells Angels, Henchmen MC, the Outlaws, the Mongols, Annihilators, the Diablos, Gypsy Jokers, the Rebels, the Straight Satans, and the Vagos. And with contributors such as Freewheelin' Frank (one-time secretary of Hells Angels), Edward Winterhalder (among the most powerful members of the Bandidos), and Sonny Barger (founder of the Hell's Angels).
Also included are those rare accounts by outsiders that have managed successfully to 'look in' on the gangs: including Hunter S. Thompson in his 'Hell's Angels - A Strange and Terrible Modern Saga'; William Queen the undercover agent who infiltrated America's violent outlaw motorcycle gang the Mongols; and Daniel R. Wolf's account of riding with the Rebels.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.