Barger, Ralph 1939-(Ralph "Sonny" Barger)
BARGER, Ralph 1939-(Ralph "Sonny" Barger)
PERSONAL: Born 1939; married; wife's name Sharon; children: one daughter (adopted). Hobbies and other interests: Motorcycles.
ADDRESSES: Home—Phoenix, AZ. Agent—c/o Author Mail, William Morrow, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.
CAREER: Master mechanic in Phoenix, AZ; technical consultant for biker films. Military service: U.S. Army.
as ralph "sonny" barger
Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Keith and Kent Zimmerman) Ridin' High, Livin'Free: Hell-raising Motorcycle Stories, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2002.
(With Keith and Kent Zimmerman) Dead in 5 Heartbeats: A Novel, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Hell's Angel (screenplay), for Twentieth Century-Fox, to be directed by Tony Scott.
SIDELIGHTS: Ralph "Sonny" Barger has been a member of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club since 1957 when he formed the Oakland, California, chapter. He has also served as a technical consultant for films about the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, including Hell's Angels on Wheels and Hell's Angels '69.
Barger's book Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club details his life and experiences with the notorious club. He gives details on the history and evolution of the Hell's Angels, stories about their run-ins with the law, and numerous other experiences they have encountered. "Barger paints an engrossing picture of a distinctive subculture that receives precious little literary attention," noted Mike Tribby in a Booklist review. Library Journal contributor Tim Delany described the work as an "intriguing and insightful look into the highly controversial, five-decade-old Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club."
Ridin' High, Livin' Free: Hell-raising Motorcycle Stories contains thirty-eight stories Barger collected and revised from other Hell's Angels members. Included are stories about fellow bikers David Crosby, member of Crosby, Stills and Nash; country singer Merle Haggard, and actor Steve McQueen. "The book works best when describing the simple pleasure of cruising through the American landscape at sunrise," concluded a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 2000, Mike Tribby, review of Hell'sAngel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, p. 1698.
Library Journal, June 15, 2000, Tim Delaney, review of Hell's Angel, p. 101.
New York Times, July 3, 1980, Wayne King, "Mistrial Declared in Eight-Month Hell's Angels Trial," p. A12; August 8, 1980, Wayne King, "Barger Case over, Other Hell's Angels Face Retrial," p. A13.
Publishers Weekly, April 15, 2002, review of Ridin'High, Livin' Free: Hell-raising Motorcycle Stories, p. 57.
American Motorcycle Network,http://www.americanmotor.com/ (July 18, 2002), "Sonny Barger's Hell-raising Motorcycle Stories."
Datebook,http://datebook.seattletimes.nwsource.com/ (July 18, 2002), Mark Rahner, review of Hell's Angel.
HarperCollins,http://www.harpercollins.com/ (July 18, 2002), review of Ridin' High, Livin' Free, and "Ralph 'Sonny' Barger Author Bio."
Let Them Talk!http://pdr.autono.net/ (July 18, 2002), Paul DeRienzo, "Sonny Barger Interview."*