Rare Photographs Reveal The Ladies Who Hung Out With Hells Angels


Life.com just put up a never-seen before, unpublished Hells Angels gallery. And while the images (from 1965) of the guys are interesting, it’s the women who will really catch your eye.

Check out that broken nose!

Life photographer Bill Ray and writer Joe Bride “spent weeks with the Angels on an assignment… chronicling bikers and their equally rowdy girlfriends leading lives that — at the time — were as foreign to most of the magazine’s millions of readers as the lives of, say, headhunters in Borneo, or shepherds of the Gobi Desert.”

A woman drinking beer and wearing motorcycle boots might not seem like a big deal to us now, but just think: ten years before this photograph was taken, I Love Lucy was one of the most popular shows on TV; women were usually seen as full-skirted, apron-wearing housewives.

“One thing about the Angels that I found fascinating,” Ray tells Life.com, “and something I’d never given much thought to before I started photographing them, was the role that the women played. The girls weren’t there in chains, or against their will or anything. They had to want that life if they were going to be accepted by the Angels. These guys were kings of the road. I don’t think they ever felt they had to look around for girls. Girls would come to them, and they would take their pick. And then they’d tell them where to sit and what to do.”

More images can be seen here.

Never-Seen: Hells Angels, 1965 [Life.com]

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