4to. commercial album measuring approximately 12" x 10." Plush vinyl covered boards. Metal spiral binding. 117 square color snapshot photographs (each approximately 3 1/2") recto and verso mounted to 10 adhesive card leaves. 1 loose (and heavily worn) black and white enlarged photograph measuring approximately 8" x 10." Album with mild exterior wear. Prints firmly mounted to adhesive pages in worn vintage frame; 1 print appears perished. Aside from loose enlargement, contents about very good throughout. Item #23243
An early 1970's photograph album belonging to an apparent member of the Oakland, California chapter of the Hells Angels, highlighted by intimate views of the club's notorious, annual Bass Lake Runs dated between 1970 and 1973. 46 of the 117 views capture club or motorcycle related content (the remaining are unrelated family images) with several images worthy of Danny Lyons.
Oakland was ground zero for the Angels' rise to prominence in the 1960's and early 1970's, with the chapter prominently appearing in multiple, seminal works of the counter-culture era including Ken Kesey's ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST, and Hunter S. Thompson's first book, HELLS ANGELS: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, where he detailed, among other exploits, Bass Lake in 1965. The Oakland chapter also led security at the tragic Rolling Stones' concert at Altamont, and though this album's owner is unidentified, the contemporary (and seemingly unpublished) black and white photo of infamous club leader Sonny Barger bears a faded inscription reading: "To Al / Sonny."
Despite widespread reports to the contrary, including in the well-publicized Lynch Report of 1965 which estimated California membership near 500, the secretive group was an elite one, with relatively small numbers; Thompson's experiences in HELLS ANGELS, put the membership of all California chapters somewhere near 100 men. Thus, the album offers a rare, intimate, and unfiltered glimpse into unquestionably the most romanticized, recognized, and culturally important of all outlaw motorcycle clubs.