In 1965, LIFE photographer Bill Ray spent three weeks riding with the Hells Angels in California. Here, two women — the Angels’ “old ladies” — hang out at a bar while the Angels attend a meeting.
“This picture feels almost religious to me: The women are drawn to the hot glow of the jukebox god, one bowing her head while the other kneels before it. Bill Ray’s perfect blacks, whites, and greys add to the sense of an upside-down spirituality.” — LIFE’s Editor-in-Chief Bill Shapiro
After looking through thousands of images these past few years, we’ll put it this way: choosing our favorite photographs was not an easy task.
"It was obvious that he was a man who marched through life to the rhythms of some drum I would never hear."
Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels (via luvkrys)
"The bike was going sideways toward a bank of railroad tracks and there was nothing I could do except hang on. For an instant it was very peaceful…and then it was like being shot off the road by a bazooka, but with no noise. Neither a deer on a hillside nor a man on a battlefield hears the shot that kills him, and a man going over the high side on a motorcycle hears the same hind of high speed silence. There are sparks, as the chromed steel grinds down the road, an awful jerk when your body starts cartwheeling on the first impact…and after that, if your lucky, there is nothing at all until you wake up in some hospital emergency ward with your scalp hanging down in your eyes and a blood-soaked shirt sticking to your chest while official-looking people stare down at you and assure each other that “these crazy bastards won’t learn."
Hunter S. Thompson on “going over the high side” (crashing a motorcycle), Hell’s Angels: A Strange And Terrible Saga (via onehundredmillionyears)