Hell's Trademark Attorneys

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Barger never denies messing with drugs. However, “I’m 5-foot-9. Where does he get 6-foot? And the Hell’s Angels don’t have a leader. I’m just one guy with a big mouth.”

Kicks on Route 66

These days, he and his third wife, 30 years his junior, live the quiet life with his 10-year-old stepdaughter. “I live by the same motto I always lived by, I treat people the way I want to be treated,” Barger says. “But if you treat me bad, I’ll treat you worse.”

The Angels aren’t violent, he says. It’s just that the police are always making trouble for them. But they still don’t take any guff.

“In Texas a cop asked me, ‘Excuse me, partner, but … why do you and your friends carry those big knives?’” he writes in his book.

“I told him, ‘Because we’re all felons and we can’t carry a big gun like you.’”

The Hell’s Angels don’t say how many members they have. But they have chapters across North America and Europe. Each club has four or five mandatory runs per year and 15 to 20 parties and smaller runs.

“If you multiply that by the 40 years the Oakland club has been around,” Barger says, “that’s a lot of riding.”

Barger says he still averages 5,000 miles a month on his bike, even though back problems have set in.

As for his 13 years in prison, he says, “That’s not bad, considering all the fun I’ve had.”

In September, Barger did his own version of a book tour, biking down Route 66 and hitting book stores along the way, seeing no contradiction between this PR tour and his past reputation as an outlaw biker.

“It’s a publicity tour,” he says. “Hell’s Angels style.” The cell phone, the phalanx of reporters writing about him, the public relations folks at his side, they’re all just part of the show.

Buck Wolf is a producer at The Wolf Files is a weekly feature of the U.S. Section. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.