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The Original Hells Angels: Stunning Photographs Of Daily Life Of A Notorious Biker Gang In California In The 1960s

Hells Angels, a motorcycle gang associated with organized crime are famous for riding their Harley-Davidson motorcycles and wearing cut-offs with the Hells Angels insignia. In 1965, LIFE photographer Bill Ray spent several weeks in Southern California, photographing and traveling with the gang that would soon become notorious for its hedonistic, lawless swagger.

Hells Angels, California, 1965.

Hells Angels, California

Hells Angels, California, 1965.

Inside the Hells Angels’ San Bernardino clubhouse, 1965.

Hells Angels 1960s

Hells Angels’ “old ladies,” California, 1965.

Hells Angels 1960s

Hells Angel “Hambone” poses during a ride from San Bernardino to Bakersfield, Calif., 1965.

Hells Angels 1960s

Hells Angels and locals outside the Blackboard Cafe in Bakersfield, Calif., 1965.

Hells Angels 1960s

Hells Angels, their old ladies and hangers-on outside the Blackboard in Bakersfield, California, 1965.

Hells Angels 1960s

Hells Angels cruise north from San Bernardino to Bakersfield, 1965.

Hells Angel, California, 1965.

Women – including one with a bandaged nose – hang out in a bar while bikers gather in a separate room, California, 1965.

Hells Angels 1960s

Two women riding with the Hells Angels hang out at a bar in 1965.

Hells Angels 1960s

A teenager seems drawn, like a moth to a flame, by the Angels and their machines, California, 1965.

Hells Angels 1960s

An Angel is frisked. Cops were mainly looking for his stash of unrolled marijuana, and didn’t find any. It was inside the seat pad of the bike he was riding.

Hells Angels 1960s

A Hells Angel – with his old lady holding on tight — pulls a wheelie in downtown Bakersfield, California, as his friends watch, 1965.

“Buzzard” and an old lady, California, 1965.

Hells Angels 1960s