It's all in the title: A strange and terrible saga.. This book is true Gonzo. It's a fascinating story of Thompson spending a few years riding along with the Hell's Angels. Its weird, gross, witty, and absolutely entertaining. Probably one of the most entertaining books I've ever read. Anyone who likes Thompson or has an interest in the Hell's Angels or both, even better! Thompson Author: Hunter S. COM Terms Was this comment helpful? Yes No. The impression I get from reading this is that Thompson was quite happy to find excuses and rationalise the violence, rape, gang rape, racism and criminality of the Hell's Angels until such time as A fascinating book for many reasons.
It's an early and tamer Hunter Thompson. There are glimpses of gonzo journalism, but it is just budding.
It's a nice document of the birth of the Hell's Angels as We had a big laugh, then we took off again. Most other places we get thrown out of town. The Hell's Angels, riding two abreast in each lane, seemed out of place in little towns like Coyote and Gilroy. People ran out of taverns and dry-goods stores to stare at these fabled big-city Huns.
Local cops waited nervously at intersections, hoping the Angels would pass quietly and not cause trouble. It was almost as if some far-ranging band of Viet Cong guerrillas had appeared, trotting fast in a tight formation down the middle of Main Street, bound for some bloody rendezvous that nobody in town even cared to know about as long as the dirty buggers kept moving.
The Angels try to avoid trouble on the road. Even a minor arrest in a country town at the start of a holiday weekend can mean three days in jail, missing the party, and a maximum fine when they finally come to court. Now, after many a painful lesson, they approach small towns the same way a traveling salesman from Chicago approaches a known speed trap in Alabama. The destination this time was a big tavern called Nick's, a noisy place on a main drag called Del Monte, near Cannery Row in downtown Monterey. Most of the guys knew Nick's, but not me because I was in jail the other time.
We didn't make it till about three because we had to wait in a gas station on for some of the guys running late. By the time we got there I guess we had about forty or fifty bikes. Berdoo was already in with about seventy-five, and people kept coming all night. By the next morning there were about three hundred from all over. Kenneth "Country" Beamer, vice-president of the San Bernardino chapter, had been snuffed by a truck a few days earlier in a desert Hamlet called Jacumba, near San Diego.
Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga Summary & Study Guide
Country had died in the best outlaw tradition: homeless, stone broke, and owning nothing in this world but the clothes on his back and a big bright Harley. As the others saw it, the least they could do was send his remains back to the Carolinas, to whatever family or memory of a home might be there. The recent demise of a buddy lent the '64 affair a tone of solemnity that not even the police could scoff at. It was the sort of gesture that cops find irresistible: final honors for a fallen comrade, with a collection for the mother and a bit of the uniformed pageantry to make the show real. In deference to all this, the Monterey police had let it be known that they would receive the Angels in a spirit of armed truce.
The Hell's Angels would soon be known and feared throughout the land. Within six months small towns from coast to coast would be arming themselves at the slightest rumor of a Hell's Angels "invasion. Senate by George Murphy, the former tap dancer. Weird as it seems, as this gang of costumed hoodlums converged on Monterey that morning they were on the verge of "making it big," as the showbiz people say, and they would owe most of their success to a curious rape mania that rides on the shoulder of American journalism like some jeering, masturbating raven.
Nothing grabs an editor's eye like a good rape. According to the newspapers, at least twenty of these dirty hopheads snatched two teen-age girls, aged fourteen and fifteen, away from their terrified dates, and carried them off to the sand dunes to be "repeatedly assaulted. Then the two sobbing, near-hysterical girls staggered out of the darkness, begging for help. One was completely nude and the other had on only a torn sweater.
Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga Summary & Study Guide
Two innocent young girls, American citizens, carried off to the dunes and ravaged like Arab whores. One of the dates told police they tried to rescue the girls but couldn't reach them in the mobscene that erupted once the victims were stripped of their clothing. Out there in the sand, in the blue moonlight, in a circle of leering hoodlums. The next morning Terry the Tramp was one of four Angels arrested for forcible rape, which carries a penalty of one to fifty years in the penitentiary. And since Senator Murphy has also called the Hell's Angels "the lowest form of animals," it presumably follows that they are better constructed for the mindless rape of any prostrate woman they might come across as they scurry about, from one place to another, with their dorks carried low like water wands.
Which is not far from the truth, but for different reasons than California's ex-lightfoot senator might have us believe. Nobody knew, of course, as they gathered that Saturday at Nick's, that the Angels were about to make a publicity breakthrough, by means of rape, on the scale of the Beatles or Bob Dylan. Terry says he noticed the girls and their "dates" only as part of the overall scene. But I figured it was her business, and I wasn't hurtin for pussy anyway.
Besides, hell, when you're seein old friends you haven't seen in a year or two, you don't have time to pay much attention to strangers. All I can say for sure is that we didn't have no trouble at Nick's. The cops were there, but only to keep people away.
It was the same old story as every place else we go: traffic piling up on the street outside, local bad-asses prowling around, young girls looking for kicks, and a bunch of Nick's regular customers just digging the party. The cops did right by staying around.
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Everywhere we go there's some local hoods who want to find out how tough we are. If the cops weren't there we'd end up having to hurt somebody. Hell, nobody wants trouble on a run. All we want to do is to have some fun and relax. If they are, after all, "the lowest form of animals," not even Senator Murphy could expect them to gather together in a drunken mass for any such elevated pastimes as ping pong, shuffleboard and whist.
Their picnics have long been noted for certain beastly forms of entertainment, and any young girl who shows up at a Hell's Angels bonfire camp at two o'clock in the morning is presumed, by the outlaws, to be in a condition of heat. So it was only natural that the two girls attracted more attention when they arrived at the beach than they had earlier in the convivial bedlam at Nick's.
One aspect of the case overlooked in most newspaper accounts had to do with elementary logistics. How did these two young girls happen to be on a deserted midnight beach with several hundred drunken motorcycle thugs? Were they kidnapped from Nick's? And if so, what were they doing there in the first place, aged fourteen and fifteen, circulating all evening in a bar jammed wall to wall with the state's most notorious gang of outlaws?
Police strategists, thinking to isolate the Angels, had reserved them a campsite far out of town, on an empty stretch of dunes between Monterey Bay and Fort Ord, an Army basic-training center. The police posted a guard on the highway, in case the Angels got restless and tried to get back to town, but there was no way to seal the camp off entirely, nor any provision for handling local innocents who might be drawn to the scene out of curiosity or other, darker reasons not mentioned in police training manuals.
The victims told police they had gone to the beach because they "wanted to look at the cyclists. To start with, it was groovy for em. Then more and more guys came piling over the dunes. The suede dudes just split; we never saw em again. I don't know for sure how it ended. All I knew then was that they had some mamas out there in the dunes, but me and my old lady went and crashed pretty early.
I was so wasted I couldn't even make it with her. They said yeah, and then they walked off with some of the guys to the dunes. The spade went with a few guys, and then she wanted to quit, but the pregnant one was really hot to trot; the first four or five guys she was really draggin into her arms, but after that she cooled off too. When we got back to the beach they had a roadblock set up with those two broads sittin there in the cop car, lookin at everybody. I didn't know what was goin on, but then a cop said, 'You're one,' and they slapped the cuffs on me.
Those goddamn girls were gigglin, righteously laughin. Let's see a doctor. I ain't had no intercourse in two days.
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Marvin and Miles and Crazy Cross were already there and we figured we were deep in the shit until they told us bail was only eleven hundred dollars. Then we knew they didn't have much of a case. Laggards were thumped on the shoulders with billy clubs and told to get moving. Traffic was disrupted for miles as the ragged horde moved slowly along the road, gunning their engines and raining curses on everything in sight.
The noise was deafening and it is hard to imagine what effect the spectacle must have had on the dozens of out-of-state late-summer tourists who pulled over to let the procession come through. At the county line on U. About half are married, I guess, and a few own their homes. Just because we like to ride motorcycles, the cops give us trouble everywhere we go. That rape charge is phony and it won't stick. The whole thing was voluntary.