The Angels Chronicles: Reflection 1

What I am about to embark upon is not a string of tales regarding Heaven-sent beings (or non-beings, if you wish). I have thought about these stories since 1968. No other group, order, religion or union has had nearly the effect upon me and the way I have lived my life, as has a band of men, hailing from Oakland, California. They were the Orignal Oakland Hell’s Angels…and they still are.

The way I came to meet them was an unlikely adventure, or misadventure…depending upon your mindset. I have never thought of it as a negative encounter. That very slant on things may well have you thinking that I am, at the very least, misinformed. At the outside, you may think me mad…full-goose Bozo. Nevertheless, they became a real part of my life and I do not regret it for a moment.

Some 40 years ago, (OMFG! Have I lived this long and remembered so much, so well?) I was living in Los Angeles and hoping to find a part in a TV show or a movie. Perhaps because of my naiveté I was oblivious to the pitfalls of the Hollywood scene. No doubt, that is true. Nonetheless, I sallied forth and managed to amass small TV roles and then…a film.

Although I had been in one other film in 1960, (“Young Sinners”, also called “Among the Thorns”) “Hells’s Angels ’69” was to be the most important of any I ever did or will ever do. (BTW, the ”69″ stands for the year 1969, so don’t get cute.)
, President of the Oakland Chapter of the Hell’s Angels, Ralph “Sonny” Barger, tutored me in integrity lessons…without ever knowing it. This was the most complete learning experience, other than that of raising my son Bronson, that I have ever had. And, sometimes it hurts to learn.

I was blind to the danger and drawn to the experience like a whore to crack. I admit that I loved every moment of it. It was not clear to me, at first, exactly who and what these men really were. They were simply fascinating to me; fascinating enough to have had an Angel lover. I’ll never forget.

I was cast in the film because of Lee Madden. Lee had been my director in Detroit for several automotive commercials.It was by chance that I met him in Los Angeles years later. He had teamed with Tom Stern, once a pro-baseball player, to bring to the screen a film depicting the REAL Hell’s Angels in what the press called,”The rumble that rocked Las Vegas”. Toni Bruno did the music. Tom Stern and Jeremy Slate were the stars of the film…of course so were The Angels. I was the co-star. There were other co-stars and terrific character actors but they are stories for another day.

Well, enough for tonight, Dear One. So, nighty-night…and don’t let the bedbugs bite. I hope that you will return to read more “Angels Chronicles” and other…tales from a broad.

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3 Responses to “The Angels Chronicles: Reflection 1”

  1. Fearless Conny that’s what you are. It was good to get the story behind this movie. Sonny was really something and didn’t do a
    bad acting job either. My hubby and I rode back in the– got the same problem. We didn’t have such cool company.

  2. I was wondering. I heard that at one time there was a guy named Richard Carpenter, from Castro Valley ,that became president of the Oakland Hells Angels’ club. Could you verify that? If yes, I dated him in 1967/68, and I always wondered as he was a wanna-be at the time. I have some funny stories about him if anyone wants to roast him. But then, come to think of it, I also heard he ended up in prison. Not sure what for, or for how long. Probably something that would net him some major time.

    Jacy

  3. Jacy-
    I don’t recall knowing him during the filming…that would have been 1968. Most of the guys had nicknames, so that means he could have been there. I have also never heard of anyone by that name being President of the Oakland Chapter; that doesn’t mean he wasn’t. You might want to click on the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club listed on my blog roll. That will take you to their world site. Someone there could certainly tell ypu. Thank you so much for the email.
    Be well, stay frosty,
    CVD

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