FYI: Translated from Spanish
The Hells Angels are a group of motorcyclists recognized throughout the world. Whether or not you like the world of two wheels, with a bit of popular culture you know what they are talking about when it comes to the subject of said group.
Alcohol, drugs, sex and violence are some of the themes that are most often associated with the Hells Angels, but the reality is different. Today, this group participates in various altruistic actions, fundraisers for foundations or, well, sale of Hells Angels products, donating the proceeds.
Why is there a bad perception of the Hells Angels? It is all due to the reputation they gained in the mid-1970s. However, their story has a curious beginning that, contrary to what it might seem, is directly related to the United States military.
The history of the name began during World War II, when Bomber Squadron 303 adopted the nickname for their aircraft the “Hells Angels.” Later, this combat division, under the command of Captain Baldwin, would begin to be recognized as an icon of the American military.
Inspired by these fierce war fighters, a group of motorcyclists in Fontana, California, began using the name Hells Angels in 1948. It is said that one of the founding members of the club was a retired military man from said squad, who granted them permission to use the name as a banner.
In 1954, with more people in their ranks, they opened a club in San Francisco and, by 1961, they already had representatives in New Zealand. However, this group of motorcyclists was not yet recognized by all people, but this would change in 1965.
In that year, the California government sued the Hells Angels for “inappropriate activities.” This put the group in the eyes of the world, especially of young people who were looking for a radical lifestyle free from ties.
Their popularity became so great that even the Rolling Stones rock group hired them as their security team for a concert in 1969. The band offered to pay for their services in beer, and the Hells Angels accepted the deal.
As expected, everything went wrong. A member of the Hells Angels was accused of killing an 18-year-old fan of the group who only wanted an autograph from the band members. This immediately made the Hells Angels considered the most feared motorcycle group in the world.
Their history was marred in the following decades with criminal activities, but at the beginning of the new century they began to take a different path. With a large number of members, all with a unique nickname, their ability to do good has grown over the years.
Now, they organize events such as the famous “Toy Drive” a collection that is responsible for collecting toys for low-income children. Other people point out that the members of the Hells Angels have raised funds when they need it most and give it to them without expecting anything in return.
His most recent act of charity was at the end of last year. The Hells Angels made a collection to buy bicycles and give them to children who are in orphanages. They delivered 26 bicycles and a good number of toys.